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Can social services take my child?

Jade Cox
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Social services will usually become involved with a family before they consider removing a child. This might include working with your family under a Child Protection Plan or Care and Support plan. This allows social services to provide support to a family....

Can Social Services remove my child from my care?

Jade Cox
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Social services will usually become involved with a family before they consider removing a child. This might include working with your family under a Child Protection Plan or Care and Support plan. This allows social services to provide support to a family....

What information do I need to provide when purchasing a house?

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When purchasing a property, it is essential that you provide the relevant information to your solicitor as early as possible to ensure a smooth transaction and avoid delays in an already stressful situation. Identification documents First and foremost,...

What is a Transfer of Equity?

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A Transfer of equity is the transfer of all or part of the legal ownership of a property to another person. In the transaction, you can either be added to the legal title of the property, removed from the legal title of the property, or you can agree to add...

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

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An LPA is a legal document that allows someone aged over 18 to choose someone as an attorney and who they want to make decisions on their behalf when they are unable, through physical and/or mental incapacity, to make the decision themselves. This may be...

Conveyancing: What to expect when Buying and Selling a House

Hannah Williams
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Buying and selling a house can seem like a daunting process, here is a breakdown of the crucial stages of the conveyancing process: Step 1: Instructing your solicitor An offer has been accepted, so it’s time to instruct your solicitor. This is...

What happens if I have 12 or more points on my licence?

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Loss of driving licence is, for many of us, nothing short of a catastrophe.  Clearly, the consequences of a driving disqualification can be severe and far reaching. Of course, persons in this position are at risk of losing their job; if they lose their...

Q & A - Family Court opens up to reporters

Retha-Mari Landman
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Can the media attend my family court case? Media journalists have been allowed to attend the family courts but are unable to report on cases and family proceeding, unless they are cases that are heard in the Court of Appeal and were still subject to...

PLO Letter - Frequently Asked Questions

Jade Cox
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I have received a letter from the Local Authority saying that they are entering in to the PLO process, what should I do? The Local Authority will send you a letter usually set out as ‘letter before proceedings’ or otherwise known as a PLO...

What happens to a bank account when someone dies without a Will?

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After the death of a loved one, thinking about what will happen to their bank account may not be at the forefront of your mind, but it is important to handle these affairs promptly to avoid further difficulties in the future. A Will provides clear guidance...

Driving while using mobile phone laws become stricter

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As of 25 March 2022, the law regarding driving while using a mobile phone has changed, becoming stricter for drivers in England and Wales. The driving while using a mobile phone law was initially brought into place in 2003, where drivers would be committing...

Can I write my own will?

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If you have been considering writing a Will , it is understandable to be curious about ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (DIY) Wills. Many people are attracted to DIY Wills due to being cheap and easy to complete from the comfort of your home, but writing your...

Wales Becoming a Popular Retirement Spot, New Census Data Reveals

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At hpjv solicitors, we recently analysed the latest 2021 Census results to gather data about where the 65+ age group are currently living in Wales. By making a comparison between the most recent results and the data from the 2011 census, we discovered...

Taking your child on holiday - Tips for Separated Parents

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Can you agree a consent form? The school holidays are fast approaching, and many are eager to jet off and take a well-deserved summer break. However, it is important to think before you book. If you have children and are separated from their mother or...

Why you should make a Will

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We spend our lives working to provide for ourselves, children and our loved ones and having a Will is arguably one of the most important things we can put in place. A Will lets you leave clear instructions about how your estate is to be distributed and by...

Tougher Penalties for Animal Cruelty in the UK under New Laws

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Tougher penalties for animal cruelty in the UK have come into effect over the last year. If you have been accused of an animal cruelty offence, it is essential to understand how the law has changed and what this may mean for your situation. Changes to the...

No Fault Divorce Ready to Be Introduced in April 2022

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The current divorce rules dictated by The Matrimonial Cause Act 1973 are soon set to change under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020. For the past 49 years, divorce rules have remained the same, with the divorce petitioner needing to prove the...

Family Mediation Voucher Scheme Sees Additional Funding Boost

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Following on from the initial launch of the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme in March 2021, the government have recently confirmed they are investing an additional £1.3 million into the scheme. The additional financial resource will provide a further...

Top Tips for Separated Parents' Helping Children Feel Safe to Express Feelings about Contact Arrangements

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When you are going through a divorce or separation, it is common to assume that you know what is best for your children when it comes to who they will live with and what contact they will have with each parent. However, it is important not to forget that...

New Legal Protections for Domestic Abuse Victims

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Domestic abuse is often a hidden but common occurrence to victims of all gender, age, and ethnicity. Unfortunately, it can have devastating effects, impacting, and traumatising victims for lengthy periods. With around 1 in 5 people (18%), not reporting...

My Ex Doesn't Want to Vaccinate Our Children, Can I do it Anyway?

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The approval of several Covid-19 vaccines in the UK is hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel. With many older people and people with underlying health conditions now vaccinated, many are hoping that life will soon start returning to normal. However,...

E-scooter Legalisation - A Beginner's Guide to the Legal Issues

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E-scooters are an increasingly common sight on many of Britain’s streets, but the lawfulness of their use is not as straightforward as it may appear. E-scooters are not illegal in the UK and you can buy, sell and own one perfectly legally. However,...

Samsung Heirs Pay World Record Inheritance Tax Bill

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In October 2020, the South Korean former chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Kun-hee, passed away, leaving a large inheritance behind to his family – his wife, son and two daughters. The total inheritance tax for Mr Lee’s estates came to a...

The Rise of Non-fungible Tokens and What They Mean for Wills

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When it comes to deciding what to include in a Will, most people would understandably consider the tangible assets they can leave behind for their loved ones. This will often come in the form of property, money and any family heirlooms, but of course it...

Why Are Gen Z Making Wills Despite Having Few Assets?

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For many people, the prospect of making a Will isn’t something they are ready to deal with until later in life, or at least until they have accrued substantial financial savings or property. In fact, it’s an unfortunate truth that some people...

Do you need to make a Will if you co-own your home with your partner?

Alexis Thomas
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Many people will tell you that you need to make a Will when you a buy a home, but is this actually the case? The short answer is that yes you should, regardless of your personal circumstances. Ultimately, making a Will is the only way you can ensure that...

How a Separation Agreement Helped Bill and Melinda Gates Divorce Amicably

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On 3rd May 2021, Bill and Melinda Gates took to Twitter to announce their divorce. Following 27 years of marriage and three children, the billionaire couple stated that "after a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made...

Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme - update for new and existing first time buyers

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First time buyers currently in the process of buying their home through the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme in England will be relieved to hear that the deadline to legally complete their purchase has been extended by two months to 31 May 2021. This could...

Stamp Duty holiday and Land Transaction Tax holiday extended

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There are two new deadlines by which you can take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday in England – if you complete your purchase by 30 June 2021, you can get 100% tax relief on main residence purchases up to £500,000. If you complete by 30...

Land Transaction Rates on Second Homes Going Up

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In the draft budget released on 21 December 2020, the Welsh government announced the higher residential rates of Land Transaction Tax will increase by 1% across all bands. This could affect buy to let investors and people looking to buy a second home or...

Home Moves Can Continue in Third Lockdown

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As we enter yet another national lockdown many will be relieved to hear that, unlike the first lockdown of March 2020, the housing market is allowed to stay open this time around. This means that the following people are all able to make arrangements and...

100,000 extra home sales expected at the start of 2021

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In the first three months of 2021, 100,000 extra house sales are predicted to take place as buyers hurry to complete their purchases before the stamp duty holiday ends. According to the property site Zoopla, the number of new house sales being agreed is...

Advice for Surviving the Christmas Period Post-Separation

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The circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have made 2020 a very difficult year for separated couples, especially those with children. As such, making arrangements that work in the best interests of the whole family has not always been possible. ...

Pet Nup - Who will care for our pet if we divorce?

Ashleigh Woodward
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Who will care for our pet when we divorce? During the Covid pandemic, people purchasing pets, particularly puppies, is reported to have increased to record levels. As families spend more time at home, going on holiday in the UK and working from home,...

Do Parents Have to Financially Provide for their Adult Children?

Rhian Parsons
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A 41 year old man recently lost his legal claim to force his parents to continue to financially support him in a ‘most unusual’ and ‘unprecedented’ case . The man claimed that his wealthy parents had ‘nurtured his...

Buying a home in 2020? You could save thousands in tax

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People buying property in the UK between now and 31 March 2021 could save thousands of pounds in tax. In July 2020, the Chancellor cut Stamp Duty to 0% for property purchases worth up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland. The Welsh...

Lockdown Wills Witnessed Via Video Link to Become Legal

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To make a valid Will, it must fulfil vital legal requirements, including that it must be signed by the testator (the person making the Will) and witnessed by two independent witnesses. These witnesses must have a “clear line of sight” to the...

What are Encrypted phones and Encrochat?

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What is the background? Encrypted phones have been big news lately. These handsets are purchased with encrypted sim cards for thousands of pounds. Generally, the encrypted phones are limited to calling and messaging other encrypted handsets. Whilst the use...

Making a Will during the COVID-19 lockdown

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How can I make a Will during the COVID - 19 lockdown? The current global pandemic has caused many people to think about their own mortality and what arrangements they have in place to protect their families if the unthinkable were to happen. We are...

Domestic Abuse - How can I protect myself?

Ashleigh Woodward
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Domestic abuse - what protection can the Family Court offer? COVID19 has without a doubt impacted every single one of us in one way or another. The recent government announcement of ‘lockdown’ is inevitably going to pose a significant...

Lasting Powers of Attorney for business

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Do business owners need a Lasting Power of Attorney? We may all have heard of the benefits of making Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) for ourselves and our loved ones.  However, it is also vitally important that business owners consider the...

What is the Land Registry Property Alert Service

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What is the Property Alert Service? Your property is probably the most valuable asset you own so it is important to protect it from risk of property fraud. The Land Registry has set up a free Property Monitoring Service that can be used to check whether...

Legal Aid - what is it and do I qualify for it?

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It seems obtaining any form of help with legal fees, is becoming increasingly difficult. Further barriers have been put in place and it can be difficult to obtain Legal Aid, however that is not to say that Legal Aid isn’t available, particularly in ...

What will happen to my pets when I die?

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In the UK, we are a nation of animal lovers. In an article in The Express, according to a survey taken in 2014, it was quoted “ that more than 80% of pet owners give their furry friends the same love and attention they give their children ” ...

Lasting Power of Attorney

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Do you know who would deal with your financial affairs and health and welfare matters if you were taken ill, involved in a serious accident or had dementia? Thinking about what could happen in these situations is uncomfortable, yet it is important whilst...

DIY Divorce - What does that really mean?

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The Ministry of Justice launched their new portal last week, for people seeking to make their divorce applications seemingly without having to go to Court. In theory a ‘Do it Yourself Divorce’. The Ministry of Justice are hailing this as a...

The importance of making a Will

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The importance of making a Will – Frequently asked questions According to a recent YouGov survey, nearly two thirds of the British adult population do not have a Will. This is a shocking and worrying statistic considering the sometimes devastating...

Going to the Family Court. Frequently asked questions

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What should I wear? It is always recommended that you dress formally for Court. Do not worry if you do not own a suit, a shirt, blouse and some trousers or a skirt are perfectly acceptable. If you are still unsure speak with your solicitor and they will...

A PLO letter: What is it? What does it mean? And what will happen next?

Jade Cox
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If Children’s Services have concerns about your children or your care of them they may have sent you a ‘letter before proceedings’ or otherwise known as a PLO letter. Your Social Worker may have also informed you of the PLO meeting that...

Expert advice is more important than ever!

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Most people anticipate being ill at some point in their lives. When that happens, the first thing we do is either attend our local General Practitioner or our local Accident and Emergency Department. Most of us know very little about physiology or medicine...