With life expectancy in the UK predicted to rise into the late 80s for men and women by 2030, an increasing number of people are choosing to safeguard their interests by making lasting powers of attorney. These enable a relative or friend to assume control of their affairs should deteriorating mental health mean they can no longer manage things for themselves.
Isolated land that is not regularly inspected can sometimes be appropriated without anyone noticing. Farmland is particularly susceptible, as are remote areas of woodland and scrubland within large rural estates. When this continues for a long period of time, there is a risk that you could receive a claim of adverse possession (also known as squatters’ rights).
Adverse possession also occurs with vacant and derelict properties that have been forgotten about or are awaiting redevelopment. Sometimes patches of garden or an access way have been incorporated into a neighbouring property, either in a deliberate land grab or because of inaccurate plans which suggest the neighbour’s garden extends further than it does.
If you own a house or piece of land which someone else is trying to claim belongs to them, then it is important that you seek urgent legal advice. The rules of adverse possession may mean that you are at risk of losing your property if you do not act quickly enough in challenging the claim.
If you are concerned about the behaviour or actions of someone who has been appointed as an executor to someone’s will, then it may be possible for you to apply to the court to have them removed from their post and replaced by someone else. This might be a necessary step where an executor is refusing to honour the terms of the will, where there is evidence that they have been stealing from the deceased person’s estate, if they are mentally incapacitated, where they have fallen out with the beneficiaries, or if they are putting their own interests first.
‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’ is a familiar phrase with its origins in the 16th century, where it was widely accepted that no one should have the right to interfere with the use and enjoyment of a person’s property except in very limited circumstances.
Fast forward 500 years and, while the phrase remains well known, there are now numerous ways in which our rights as homeowners can be curtailed and which can lead to a dispute.
If you have bought a new home in the last few years, then there is a chance that you will own your property on a leasehold as opposed to freehold basis. If this is the case, then you may be liable to pay ground rent charges to the person who retains ownership of the land on which your home is built. Where the amount you have to pay seems unreasonably high, or where provision is made for it to double every five to ten years, then we would urge you to talk to us to see if we can help you get the charges reduced or even cancelled.
In an episode of the Netflix series House of Cards, the American First Lady Claire Underwood opens the door of her huge refrigerator and stands there cooling off from a hot flush. The scene generated plenty of debate online, as it was a rare case of the menopause being acknowledged in a drama as an everyday occurrence.
Like period cramps, the menopause is a health condition which most women will experience at some point, usually between the ages of 45 to 55 and like any health issue it needs to be handled sensitively in the workplace.
As Hywel Griffiths, employment law expert with Petersfields LLP in Cambridge explains, ‘Employers need to be alert to the HR and legal implications of menopause transition, as failure to take a sympathetic and responsible approach could see an employer facing claims of discrimination in regard to sex, age or disability.’