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  • No Fault Divorce from April 2022No Fault Divorce from April 2022
    08 Jun, 2021 Posted By: M. Taylor
    The government has now confirmed that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act, which we’ve written about previously  will come into effect in April 2022.   Currently, when a couple want to get divorced, it’s necessary to give a reason, in the divorce petition, as to why the marriage has broken down, and expect where... read more.
  • Child Arrangements during LockdownChild Arrangements during Lockdown
    07 Jan, 2021 Posted By: Abigail Whelan
    Following the government announcement on Monday the 4th January 2021 of a further National Lockdown, you may be wondering what this means for your children and contact with a non-resident parent. Whilst there is a “stay at home” message in place, this does not prevent children under the age of 18 from moving between households for contact... read more.
  • New legislation permits “Video Wills” during Covid-19New legislation permits “Video Wills” during Covid-19
    07 Aug, 2020 Posted By: Lisa Morgan
    You may have read our blog about making or changing your Will under lockdown, which addressed some of the most common queries raised -if you haven’t you can find it here.  At that time of reporting, witnessing a Will by using video-conferencing such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime was not permitted. However, on 25 July 2020, the government changed... read more.
  • A welcome summer holiday for house buyers and the housing market!A welcome summer holiday for house buyers and the housing market!
    09 Jul, 2020 Posted By: Michael Coward
    The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced on 8th July 2020 an SDLT holiday until 31st March 2021 coming into force with immediate effect.  If you are buying your first home, or are a purchaser who does not own additional properties,  and your sale completes between 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, you only start to pay SDLT on... read more.
  • Legal Update: Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill Legal Update: Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
    23 Jun, 2020 Posted By: Abigail Whelan
    You may have seen our previous blogs on the topic of the proposed divorce law reforms.  If you haven’t, you can find them here: - The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation bill  (posted on 3rd February 2020) Reducing Conflict on Divorce  (posted on 25th July 2019) As you may be aware, under the present law, unless... read more.
  • Making or changing your Will under Lockdown  Making or changing your Will under Lockdown
    21 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Lisa Morgan
    As the UK’s lockdown continues for another three weeks, and  with the likelihood of the restrictions remaining in place for the foreseeable future, the Private Client department at FDC Law have seen an increase of interest in making and updating Wills. We have put together a short blog to answer the most common enquiries raised as to... read more.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on Landlord and Tenant legislation  The impact of COVID-19 on Landlord and Tenant legislation
    06 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Abigail Whelan
    You will probably be aware from the various government announcements over the past few days and weeks, that one of the steps they have taken has been to bring in emergency legislation to stop landlords from evicting tenants during this present crisis. Where a tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and the fixed term has expired, a landlord can... read more.
  • What does COVID-19 mean for child contact arrangements? What does COVID-19 mean for child contact arrangements?
    01 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Abigail Whelan
    We have all seen the government advice about staying home, unless we need to leave the house for specific reasons, such as picking up “essential items” from the shop. But what does this mean for those who are separated parents, with children that spend time between houses? Sir Andrew McFarlane, who is the most senior Judge in the Family... read more.
  • The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation BillThe Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
    03 Feb, 2020 Posted By: M. Taylor
    As you may have seen from the news, the government is making changes to the law relating to divorces and dissolution of civil partnerships. The  proposed new law has its second reading in the House of Lords this week, although no firm date has been set for the law to come into effect, once it is passed. The changes are intended to remove... read more.
  • Do not let the rise in Statutory Legacy put you off making a WillDo not let the rise in Statutory Legacy put you off making a Will
    17 Jan, 2020 Posted By: Emma Williams
    A Statutory Legacy is a Legacy a Spouse or Civil Partner will receive from an intestate estate.  From 6th February 2020, that figure will rise from £250,000 to £270,000 in line with inflation. The law society has issued a press release explaining what this means; “If someone dies without making a will – also known... read more.
  • 2020 - New Year New_ _ _Lease?2020 - New Year New_ _ _Lease?
    03 Jan, 2020 Posted By: Michael Coward
    OK, so it isn’t the most catchy phrase,  and probably not the first thing that comes to mind at the start of the New Year! January is often the time of year when your ground rent demand lands on your doorstep -  you make the payment and forget about it and your lease for another year. But did you know that you have other options?... read more.
  • 06 Dec, 2019 Posted By: Abigail Whelan
    Many people belive that if you have been living together for long enough, you start to have rights as if you were married. We took a look at some of the more common questions asked about this situation.  “I’ve been living with my partner for many years. Does that make them my common law spouse?” The short answer is... read more.
  • Reducing conflict on DivorceReducing conflict on Divorce
    25 Jul, 2019 Posted By: Abigail Whelan
    Currently, in England and Wales every divorce is based on the fact that a marriage has broken down irretrievably. You must then give one of the following five reasons why that is the case - Your partner has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them; Your partner has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be... read more.
  • Inheritance Tax – Do you need a solicitor?Inheritance Tax – Do you need a solicitor?
    12 Mar, 2019 Posted By:
    Even though Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) is based on a simple concept – whatever you own at the date of your death will potentially be subject to tax – the reality is often very complex.  Despite this, more and more people are taking up the Government’s offer to do their own DIY Probate.  What they don’t tell... read more.
  • 21 Feb, 2019 Posted By: D.Collins
    The Government proposes to increase Probate fees to as much as £6,000 for the largest estates in April 2019. This move is heavily opposed by MPs, Lords in the House of Lords, STEP, Solicitors For the Elderly, the Law Society and Solicitors across England and Wales. Fees structure The Law Society has been rallying for people to write... read more.
  • Proposed Law Reform for Divorce Proposed Law Reform for Divorce
    01 Oct, 2018 Posted By: Marion Fisher
    A controversial ruling by the UK Supreme Court that a woman must remain in an unhappy marriage until 2020 has prompted calls for divorce law to be reformed, to allow for “no fault divorces” in the UK. The case of Mr and Mrs Owens has highlighted the extent to which the UK divorce law differs significantly from many other countries. Under... read more.
  • 26 Sep, 2018 Posted By: Leanna Haskell
    A Lasting Power of Attorney is Just For the Elderly – Or is it? Absolutely not. Most of us understand the importance of making a Will, but a worrying number of us don’t understand the importance of making Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – whatever your age. An LPA is a legal document that allows people you trust to make decisions... read more.
  • Inheritance Tax Planning and Lifetime GiftsInheritance Tax Planning and Lifetime Gifts
    12 Feb, 2018 Posted By: Abigail Whelan
    Depending on how much you have to leave, your estate may be liable to pay Inheritance Tax when you die, and you may want to think about how you can reduce that impact.If you are concerned about the impact of Inheritance Tax on your estate, lifetime gifting - giving some of your assets away while you are alive - can be a useful tool to mitigate this.... read more.
  • Do you have an LPA? You may be entitled to money back from the GovernmentDo you have an LPA? You may be entitled to money back from the Government
    05 Feb, 2018 Posted By: D.Collins
    The Government introduced the new “Lasting powers of attorney” (LPAs) under the Mental Capacity Act of 2005, and they came into effect on 1 October 2007.The intention was for the LPA to replace the previous Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) which had been around for many years but were very narrow in scope. The... read more.
  • Briers and Briers -   another cautionary tale for divorcing couples.Briers and Briers -   another cautionary tale for divorcing couples.
    22 Jan, 2018 Posted By: Marion Fisher
    You may recall our blog in 2016 about  the case of Wyatt and Vince.  Even for those of us who have been practising family law for many years, this case was unusual and it brought home the importance of divorcing couples having a court sealed financial agreement, even if at the time of the divorce neither party had any real assets. Yet... read more.
  • Asbestos – A dirty word?Asbestos – A dirty word?
    18 Dec, 2017 Posted By: John Kilmister
    Many people are familiar with the word asbestos, and know that it can be very dangerous and can cause health problems,  but there can be a lot of misunderstanding about the specific medical conditions that exposure to asbestos can cause. In particular many people only associate exposure to asbestos with the condition Asbestosis, and don’t... read more.
  • Dying in the Digital AgeDying in the Digital Age
    11 Dec, 2017 Posted By: Leanna Haskell
    Over the past five years, internet use amongst the over 65’s has increased substantially and figures are expected to rise dramatically over the next decade as an increasingly tech savvy population ages.  The question of what happens to our online presence when we die has never been so important.  What is a Digital Asset and why are... read more.
  • Be careful of time, when travellingBe careful of time, when travelling
    30 Nov, 2017 Posted By: John Kilmister
    Alas, I am not talking about Dr Who travelling through time and space but the more worldly need to be careful of Court time limits if you have been injured in an accident on a ship or aeroplane. If you have been unfortunate enough to be injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault and are looking to make a claim for compensation then... read more.
  • Powers of Attorney How to ensure that yours is not open to abusePowers of Attorney How to ensure that yours is not open to abuse
    18 Sep, 2017 Posted By: D.Collins
    Darrell Collins, Head of our Private Client Department,  has spoken out to defend Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).   This follows comments from a former Senior Judge that Power of Attorney orders are open to financial abuse.   But national group Solicitors for the Elderly says that, with the right advice, Powers of Attorney... read more.
  • 19 Jul, 2017 Posted By: John Kilmister
    Most people are familiar with the Channel 5 series Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away! but what is it all about? The answer is that the show features the work of High Court Enforcement officers. They are from a private company (Direct Collections Bailiffs Limited or DCBL) who are licenced to operate in a role that used to be known as... read more.
  • Government Confirms Huge Increase In Probate FeesGovernment Confirms Huge Increase In Probate Fees
    15 Mar, 2017 Posted By: D.Collins
    The government have announced that they will be proceedings with controversial plans to introduce huge increases to the fees charged by the Probate Court Service, for obtaining grants of Probate. At present, there  are flat rate fees which apply to all estates, of  £155 where the application is made via a solicitor, or £215... read more.
  • 17 Jan, 2017 Posted By: S Twose
    Home buyers are facing increased costs as a result of the Government’s decision to  remove the VAT exemption on certain services provided by local governments. Local Authority searches are obtained to check,, as part of a property purchase, issues affecting the property such as  planning permission, building regulation certification,... read more.
  • Archer v Titchener. What would really happenArcher v Titchener. What would really happen
    20 Dec, 2016 Posted By: M. Taylor
    Regular listeners to ‘The Archers’ will know that Rob and Helen Titchener were back in court recently, this time to deal with the issue of Rob’s contact with his son, Jack, and that Henry, Helen’s son, and Rob’s step-son, should return to live with his mother. Rob is to have supervised contact with Jack once a month,... read more.
  • Inheritance Tax. The Law is ChangingInheritance Tax. The Law is Changing
    29 Nov, 2016 Posted By: D.Collins
    Last year alone the Inland Revenue collected £4,643,000,000 in Inheritance Tax. If you would like to reduce the contribution you make to that sum, it’s important to plan ahead and to think about Inheritance Tax when you make your will, and to review your plans when the government makes changes to the rules. The tax is payable by estates... read more.
  • Have you set up Powers of AttorneyHave you set up Powers of Attorney
    24 Nov, 2016 Posted By: D.Collins
    Martin Lewis, the ‘money saving expert’ spoke to Adrian Chiles on his  BBC show, recently  about the importance of LPAs and of making a will As Martin Lewis explains, failing to make a will (for anyone, but particularly for unmarried couples) can cause terrible problems, and can means that the people whom you love and want... read more.
  • Government Proposals will make it Harder to get Compensation for InjuriesGovernment Proposals will make it Harder to get Compensation for Injuries
    22 Nov, 2016 Posted By: B.Whelan
    The government’s proposals to increase  the small claims limit for personal injury from £1,000  to £5,000 have been strongly criticised by claimant’s groups and by the Law Society of England and Wales.     Under the proposals, people who are injured would not be able to claim back any  legal costs... read more.
  • Wyatt and Vance, A Cautionary Tale for Divorcing CouplesWyatt and Vance, A Cautionary Tale for Divorcing Couples
    14 Jun, 2016 Posted By: M. Taylor
    Dale Vince and Kathleen Wyatt married in 1981, separated in 1984 and divorced in 1992.   At the time of the divorce, neither of them had much money, and it appears that no finacial order was made then.   Mr Vince went on to found his own extremely successful Green Energy business and became a multi-millionaire, his company being estimated... read more.
  • Our private client department  is expanding. Our private client department  is expanding.
    27 Apr, 2016 Posted By: D.Collins
    The Partners  at FDC Law are pleased to announce that Leanna Knight has joined FDC Law Frome, as a member of the Private Client Department.   Leanna is a native of Frome and, she says, is delighted to be returning to her home turf to work! She  obtained her law degree from Bournemouth University, and has previously worked... read more.
  • Court Fee Rise for DivorcesCourt Fee Rise for Divorces
    17 Mar, 2016 Posted By: M. Taylor
    Following on from the news that the government is proposing massive increases in the fees charges by the Court to grant probate, an announcement was made today that, effective Monday 21st March, the fees payable to the court to issue a divorce petition will rise 34% from £410 to £550. Marjorie Taylor,  FDC's head of Family Law,... read more.
  • Domestic Abuse doesn't only happen in the ArchersDomestic Abuse doesn't only happen in the Archers
    14 Mar, 2016 Posted By: M. Taylor
    If you are a regular listener to Radio 4's’s long running soap, The Archers,   you’ll know that a current story line deals with the issue of domestic abuse within the Titchener family. Rob Titchener is not physically violent to his pregnant wife, Helen; his abusive behaviour involves controlling her movements, isolating her from... read more.
  • Proposed New Stealth Tax on EstatesProposed New Stealth Tax on Estates
    25 Feb, 2016 Posted By: D. Little
    The Ministry of Justice have recently issued a consultation paper with their proposals to reform the application fees for Grants of Representation (The application made for Probate or letters of administration, to allow you, as their executor or administrator, to deal with their estate)  in England & Wales.    The MoJ propose... read more.
  • Partner Wins Claim for HomePartner Wins Claim for Home
    17 Feb, 2016 Posted By: M. Taylor
    Joy Williams lived with her partner, Norman Martin for 18 years in a home they owned together. However, when he died unexpectedly in 2012, she found that, because they were not married, Mr Martin had not made a will, and the couple owned the property as Tenants in Common,  Mr Martin’s share of the house did not pass to her, but instead became... read more.
  • What Becomes of the Broken HeartedWhat Becomes of the Broken Hearted
    11 Feb, 2016 Posted By: M. Taylor
    At this time of year, there are hearts and flowers everywhere, as people prepare for Valentine’s Day. Many couples will be celebrating, and it is a popular date to pop the question and form an engagement. Thinking about what could go wrong, or what might happen if a relationship goes wrong doesn’t feel very romantic, but it can save... read more.
  • New Responsibilities for LandlordsNew Responsibilities for Landlords
    02 Feb, 2016 Posted By: S Twose
    Are you a landlord, or considering becoming one?   From 1st February this year, the government has given Landlords in England new legal obligations, imposed under the Immigration Act as part of the Government’s plans to tackle illegal immigration. The new legislation is intended to make it more difficult for people who are in the country... read more.
  • Powers of Attorney. What are they, and why should you have one?Powers of Attorney. What are they, and why should you have one?
    19 Jan, 2016 Posted By: D.Collins
    We have written before about the importance of making a will, to ensure that your wishes are followed after your death, but another important issue to consider is what will happen if you became unable to manage your own affairs? Improvements in health care mean we are living longer, but many of us will suffer dementia or other health problems in... read more.
  • Christmas Parties: Avoid trashing your Career at the Office PartyChristmas Parties: Avoid trashing your Career at the Office Party
    19 Dec, 2015 Posted By: B.Whelan
    You may have seen Thursday's blog offering tips for Employers about avoiding legal issues over the festive period, but do you know where you stand as an employee? According to a 2009 survey for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 1 in 10 workers knows someone who has been sacked or otherwise disciplined as a result of... read more.
  • Flawed Court Website. Was your divorce settlement affected?Flawed Court Website. Was your divorce settlement affected?
    18 Dec, 2015 Posted By: M. Taylor
    News has broken today that the  Form E financial Statement for use within financial proceedings in divorce and dissolution cases,  available on the Government’s website, had a software fault which resulted in the addition and subtraction feature giving incorrect answers. This has raised fears that people  who used Government’s... read more.
  • Tips for Employers - Seasonal Pitfalls and how to avoid themTips for Employers - Seasonal Pitfalls and how to avoid them
    16 Dec, 2015 Posted By: B.Whelan
    It’s that time of year again – workers up and down the country are dusting off their Christmas Jumpers and festive ties, and looking out the glad-rags, ready for the Annual Office Christmas Party.     As an employer, you want to make the event fun for your staff, but you also want to avoid any problems. Make sure you... read more.
  • 11 Dec, 2015 Posted By: D.Collins
    According to recent research carried out for the Cabinet Office and Charities Aid Foundation, around 35% of people want to give money to charity when they die, but in practice only around 7% do so.   Part of this is, no doubt, due to the number of us who put off making a will – around 1 in 3 people in the UK die without a will,... read more.
  • 30 Nov, 2015 Posted By: B.Whelan
    Most of us don’t think much about the rules relating to claims for compensation unless we are injured and it becomes a personal concern. Perhaps this why why there has been little publicity about changes proposed by the government, which will have a big impact on whether, and how easily, victims of negligence are able to claim compensation for... read more.
  • Putting Your Children FirstPutting Your Children First
    23 Nov, 2015 Posted By: M. Taylor
    Separation or divorce are always difficult, particularly where there are children involved, however, there are steps you can take to try to limit the damage.   Resolving issues around children or finances doesn’t have to mean having a huge fight through the courts.   There are other options: Alternative Dispute resolution... read more.
  • Cohabitation: Know Where You StandCohabitation: Know Where You Stand
    09 Nov, 2015 Posted By: M. Taylor
    The office for National Statistics has recently published new data about the makeup of  families and households across the UK.   The figures show that although households consisting of a couples who are married or in a civil partnerships still make up the single biggest family type, with some 12.5 million families meeting this description,... read more.
  • House Prices Still RisingHouse Prices Still Rising
    02 Nov, 2015 Posted By: J. Wood
    Figures released by the Land Registry on 28th October show that House Prices in England have increased 1%  in September, and by 5.3% over the 12 months since August 2014.   Obviously National figures don’t necessarily reflect the local reality : average prices in London have risen by almost 10% and have fallen in some parts of... read more.
  • 29 Oct, 2015 Posted By: M. Taylor
    Frome has often found itself in the news for good reasons, being regularly reported to be among the best places in the UK to live in.   On 27th October it scooped another accolade, when the National Association of Local Councils awarded Frome Council the coveted ‘Council of the Year’ award at its annual ‘Star Councils’... read more.
  • Supporting Bath RUHSupporting Bath RUH
    26 Aug, 2015 Posted By: D.Collins
    Make or update your Will in September and support the Royal United Hospital, Bath. People across the Royal United Hospital’s catchment area are being urged to put their affairs in order by making or updating  their Wills, as the hospital sees its first ever Make a Will Month scheme.  FDC Law are delighted to announce that we will... read more.
  • An End to Disinheritance?An End to Disinheritance?
    21 Aug, 2015 Posted By: D.Collins
    Many of you will have seen the news headlines about the will of Mrs Melita Jackson, which was successfully challenged by her daughter, Mrs Ilott, recently.   Mrs Jackson was a widow, her husband having died in an industrial accident before their only child was born. She fell out with her daughter over her daughter’s relationship with,... read more.
  • Inheritance Act ChangesInheritance Act Changes
    10 Jul, 2015 Posted By: D.Collins
    The Chancellor, George Osborne announced in his budget on Wednesday that he will effectively raise the individual inheritance tax threshold from £325,000 to £500,000 for those with a family home. Married couples and civil partners may therefore be able to pass on estates to their children or grandchildren  worth up to £1million... read more.
  • 22 Jun, 2015 Posted By: J Woodland
    If you own a flat, you almost certainly own a lease rather than owning the property outright. Such leases are often for very lengthy terms,  when the flat is first sold, but of course, as time passes, the remaining term is reduced. It’s important to check how long your lease has left to run, and to consider whether it would be wise to extend... read more.
    Tags: Property
  • Is your divorce Pension Order safe?Is your divorce Pension Order safe?
    19 Jun, 2015 Posted By: M. Taylor
    Changes to Pension Law may put some divorced people at risk of losing out The rules relating to pensions have recently changed, allowing people ‘Pension Freedom’, to withdraw funds rather than buying an annuity, on retirement. However, this could cause problems for divorced spouses who obtained a Pension Earmarking Order  in... read more.
  • Milestone for Senior PartnerMilestone for Senior Partner
    12 May, 2015 Posted By: M. Taylor
    Our senior partner, James Hollis, is celebrating completing 35 years of service with the firm! Several of our news stories recently have related to new faces joining the firm, this one is to celebrate one of our longer serving colleagues, James Hollis, of our Private Client Department. James joined what was then Faulkners, in Frome,... read more.
    Tags: Partner , Our Staff
  • 08 Jan, 2015 Posted By: B.Whelan
    In November, the Employment Appeal Tribunal rules that holiday pay should be calculated based on an employee’s actual earnings, including overtime, rather than on their basic pay. For some employers, the change to the rules may mean an increase of around 3% in average wage bills, and clearly this may have implications for the profitability... read more.
    Tags: Employment
  • 10 Dec, 2014 Posted By: D.Collins
    Recent research by the Law Society showed that over 50% of British adults don’t have a will. Many people feel that they do not need a will, either because they feel they have little, if anything, to leave, or because they believe that their assets will go automatically to their family. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and even if... read more.
  • 03 Dec, 2014 Posted By: J. Wood
    The Chancellor’s announcement, made in his Autumn Statement today, will be good news for many home buyers. Under the new rules, which take effect from  Thursday 4th December, people buying properties for under £1M are likely to pay less in tax on the purchase. Until now, Stamp Duty, (or Stamp Duty Land Tax, to give the tax... read more.
  • 01 Oct, 2014 Posted By: D.Collins
    The law about intestacy (what happens if you die without a will) is changing on 1st October, but you may still be surprised to learn who would (and who wouldn’t)  be entitled to inherit if you don’t leave a will. If you are not married to your partner, he or she  won’t automatically get anything if you die without a will,... read more.
  • 26 Aug, 2014 Posted By: J. Wood
    According to new figures released by LSL Property  Services, the number of first time buyers has risen by around 27% in the past year, with around 30,000 more people buying their first home in the first half of 2014, than in the same period last year.  These first time home–owners are helped,  perhaps,  by the current low... read more.
    Tags: Property
  • 18 Jul, 2014 Posted By: D.Collins
    You may have seen news reports recently that a Will-Writer,  Keith Webber, has been ordered by a court to repay over £360,000 he stole from the estates of his clients.  Webber was also convicted of fraud and theft and given a 5 year prison sentence.  Unlike Solicitors, who are subject to very strict regulation, will-writers... read more.


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