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Overseas surrogacy arrangements are an effective means of completing families. As a High Court ruling showed , however, they are notoriously replete with legal pitfalls and should never be entered into without first taking professional advice. The case...
Even with the most careful drafting, there is always a risk that a will may be capable of bearing more than one meaning. In resolving a family inheritance dispute, the High Court considered the extent to which extraneous evidence of a will-maker's...
Finding your way around the intricacies of the planning system without professional advice is, for most people, a near impossibility. The point was powerfully made by the case of a couple whose intimate living space was overlooked by a skylight fitted to a...
When people dispose of assets shortly before having themselves declared bankrupt, it is inevitable that eyebrows will often be raised. However, as a judge's ruling showed, it is one thing to allege an improper motive and quite another to prove it. The case...
Dark secrets lurking in your family background are likely to cause you untold pain. As one case showed , however, bringing the truth to light in the safe environment of a family court can draw the sting and bring peace to you and future generations. The...
Judges have no power to rewrite your will after your death so as to achieve a result which, in their view, better reflects your wishes. The High Court made that point in upholding the validity of a Parkinson's disease sufferer's will although, at least in...
When it comes to divorce, it is very common for one spouse to argue that he or she should receive the lion's share of the marital wealth. However, as a guideline case concerning an entrepreneurial couple showed , fairness usually demands that an equal...
Apparently trifling neighbours' disputes over a few inches of land have a nasty habit of taking on the proportions of a state trial, with legal costs to match. That was sadly so in a case concerning the positioning of a fence between two suburban gardens. ...
The intense vulnerability of many negligence victims requires lawyers to take careful steps to protect them from exploitation by others and the consequences of their own poor decision-making. A case on point concerned a recipient of a seven-figure...
Keeping your will up to date is a very good idea, but making changes that are likely to disappoint members of your family who might expect to inherit can be a recipe for dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a...
Court orders are sometimes obtained by improper means, but when the truth emerges – as it almost always does – those responsible are bound to pay a crushing price. That was certainly so in the case of a businessman who obtained a divorce on the...
Many people very sensibly confer lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) on others so that their affairs can be properly managed in the event that they lose the ability to do so themselves. However, as a High Court ruling underlined , it often makes good sense to...
Absentee or non-resident tenants who do not leave their landlords with a forwarding address place themselves in acute legal danger. In one case, a tenant who failed to take that sensible step suffered forfeiture of her 140-year lease due to her non-payment...
Your assets are your own and, when making your will, you have complete freedom to leave them to whomever you choose. As a case concerning a business tycoon's £100 million estate showed , however, a will signed without the testator having knowledge and...
Children may not have the capacity to make important decisions for themselves, but that does not mean that family judges ignore their wishes and feelings. In a highly unusual case on point, a 17-year-old girl was granted her adamant wish to be adopted by...
Landlords who rent out houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) without a required licence are exposed to the double whammy of criminal prosecution and the prospect of having to repay rent to their tenants. As an unusual Upper Tribunal (UT) ruling showed ,...
There can be a world of difference between a moral obligation and a legal one. The High Court made that point in rejecting a daughter's claim that part of her deceased mother's stake in a residential property was held on trust for her. By the unequivocal...
Before deciding where a child's best interests lie, family judges often have to conduct detailed inquiries into the character and conduct of their parents. In a unique case on point , a judge ruled that a father was probably responsible for the fatal...
If a neighbour has been granted planning permission for a development to which you object, you would be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing more you can do about it. As one case showed, however, with the benefit of expert legal advice that is by no...
Brexit has for years been a constant topic of conversation, but some of its potentially serious consequences remain largely unknown outside specialist legal circles. That was certainly so in the case of a retired couple who were perturbed to receive a...