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    Introducing Alma Kirkman – Family Solicitor
    I am delighted to have recently taken up the post of Family Solicitor with Julie McDonald Family Law and look forward to assisting Julie with her existing clients and meeting many new ones! My first career was in education services although I had had a longstanding interest in the legal profess...
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    Wills – the saga of Ilott v Mitson
    You may have read about the case of Ilott v Mitson in the newspapers during the last 10 years.  After a long battle in the Courts, the case has finally reached a conclusion. The case involved Heather Ilott, who was left nothing from the estate of her mother, Melita Jackson. They had been estra...
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    Care home fees – the facts
    Care homes are run by local authorities (councils) and they calculate how much someone should pay towards their care home fees by means testing. So, the more assets a person has the more they are likely to pay towards care fees.Some people are tempted to transfer their property to their children ...
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    Who looks after your children when you die?
    It used to be the case that there was a presumption that should one parent die, the children would automatically be cared for by the other natural parent. This can be quite a worry for a parent who is concerned that the children would have to live with their other parent, who may have had no inte...
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    Moving with children
    I have mentioned Parental Responsibility in previous articles and blogs and have pointed out that both parents must be involved in important decisions about a child’s upbringing. This includes choosing schools and making medical decisions. Also, one parent cannot change a child’s name or move ...
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    Changing a Lasting Power of Attorney
    As I have mentioned previously, it is advisable to make a Lasting Power of Attorney appointing those you choose to deal with your financial affairs (and health and welfare issues) when you are unable to do so. It is also a very good idea to register your Lasting Power of Attorney to avoid delays a...
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    Signing your Will
    It is, of course, important to have your Will prepared by a Solicitor and to take legal advice to ensure that your Will is interpreted in the way you intended. Although not advisable, it is possible to draft your own Will. Either way, there are strict formalities to follow to ensure your Will is...
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    Divorce and Trusts
    When dealing with a financial settlement as part of divorce proceedings, a number of factors need to be decided, such as where is each party going to live, where will the children live, will one spouse need maintenance from the other, etc. All the financial resources of both parties must be discl...
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    Divorce Court fees set to rise to £550
    The Ministry of Justice has announced that the cost of filing a Divorce Petition will rise from £410 to £550. The same increase would apply for an application to dissolve a Civil Partnership.The original proposal was that the fee was to rise to a whopping £750.The proposed increase is subject...
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    Fines for unauthorised holiday absence
    Following on from my previous blog about seeking consent from another parent to take your children abroad, further issues face parents wishing to take their children on holiday during school term. The local authority can impose fines for unauthorised holiday absence for 3 days or more if parents t...
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