Pension Pot Holders Fail to Take Advice

If you are approaching pension age, unless you are one of the increasingly few with a salary-related pension scheme, you would be wise to take professional advice before you take any irrevocable action. The decisions taken at certain points in managing your pension will affect the whole of your retired life and may also impact on how much of your estate passes to your family.

Under the current…

Mental Capacity and the Right of Self-Determination - Court Ruling

The right of everyone to make their own decisions about how they live their lives is jealously guarded by the law. However, as a High Court case involving a widow in poor health showed, there can come a time when a person's rational faculties are so impaired that judicial intervention is mandatory.

The woman, aged in her 60s, had for many years cared for her husband after he suffered a serious…

Get an Agreement - Especially Where Family Members Are Involved!

It is normal for money, often considerable sums, to pass between family members. However, when this is done without legal advice, it is only too common for disputes to arise as to whether or not the sums concerned were meant as gifts. Disputes between family members often become particularly fractious. Exactly that happened in one case in which a mother and son ended up at loggerheads over…

Elder Care Crisis Looms as Dementia Risk Ignored

A report published recently by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) makes worrying reading as it highlights the growing gap between the number of people expected to develop dementia and the number who have created a lasting power of attorney (LPA).

An LPA can be used to give another person the ability to administer your affairs should you lose that capacity and can be set up to allow management…

Can a Will Be Valid if You Can't Read It?

One of the requirements for a will to be accepted as valid is that the person who makes it must have 'knowledge and approval' of its contents...in other words, they must understand what the will says and what it means in practice.

It might seem, therefore, that a will in a language the testator could not read would be difficult to validate, but that was not the view of the High Court in…

Godwins Private Client Department Chambers' Guide Success

Godwins Solicitors LLP are delighted with the recently released rankings in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide.This is a guide for both professionals and the public in respect of law firms.

Following significant research and interviews, firms are put forward to be included within the guide.Although Godwins’ Private Client Department have been entered into the guide for a number of years…

When Does Notice of Termination Take Effect?

Exactly when notice of termination takes effect can impact on an employee's entitlement to certain benefits or employment rights. In the absence of an express term in the employee's contract, if they are dismissed in writing and the letter is posted to their home address, when does the notice period commence? Does it run from when the letter would have been delivered in the ordinary course of…

The "Final Straw" and Constructive Dismissal

It is an implied term of any contract of employment that an employer should not act in a way that is likely to destroy or seriously damage the trust and confidence which an employee can expect from them.

A serious breach of an implied contractual term or the 'final straw' in a series of less serious actions which cumulatively undermine an employee's trust and confidence in their employer…

Manufacturing Company Fined for Exposing Employees to Hardwood Dust

A furniture manufacturer has been fined for breaches of health and safety law after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that its employees had been exposed to significant quantities of hardwood dust, a hazardous substance which can cause occupational asthma and cancer, particularly of the nose.

Employees at Andrena Furniture Limited's workshop premises in…

Dealing With Employee References

Contrary to popular belief, except in certain sectors (e.g. education and financial services), employers are not legally obliged to provide those who leave their employment with a reference unless they have given express agreement to do so. Where a reference is given, the employer has a duty of care to the departing employee and to their prospective employer to ensure that the information provided…