Mental Health – who’s going to look after you?
Have you ever considered who would make decisions for you if you suffered from dementia in the future? Don’t always assume that your loved ones are legally able to make decisions for you, if you are unable to make them yourself. To ensure your loved ones can make decisions for you, you can create a legal document called a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and in this document you can nominate a loved one or a close friend to act as your attorney.
This means that your loved one or close friend has the power to speak on your behalf and the authorities must consult with your attorneys in all instances. In light of the bad press the authorities have had this week for failing people with dementia, this is a document we would recommend you consider implementing whilst you are fit and well and able to create one.
If you would like to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney then please contact a member of the Wills, Trusts and Probate team on 0845 0738 445 or email email@example.com for more information.
Latest MLP Law News
- October 31st, 2014Can civil partners enter into a same sex marriage?
Now that same-sex couples can legally enter into a civil marriage, what do those with a civil partnership do? Well it’s good news. As of 10 December 2014, civil partnerships can be converted to a civil marriage at registry offices without the need for complicated formalities. Although there has been some confusion as to how this conversion is to happen, the Government Equalities Offices has now confirmed that a full, backdated marriage certificate will be issued to couples – not a ‘certificate of conversion’ as previously speculated. The marriage certificate will show the ‘when married’ date as the date the original civil partnership was formed and the date when the conversion took place. This is to minimise any confusion that may arise due to the ‘when married’ date being earlier than the date it became legal for same sex couples to marry. If ... Read More »
- October 24th, 2014How to protect your business from Cyber Attackers
Cyber security seems to be very topical. Every day I seem to be reading about the risks we all face, personally and to our businesses, from cyber attackers. There are ways to protect your business and I would advise that all businesses should have cyber security on their agenda and I would advise that you follow the simple steps below so that your business is as prepared and protected as it can be. What is a cyber attack? A cyber attack is an assault by a third party via a computer against another computer or computer system, which is intended to compromise the integrity, availability or confidentiality of that computer or computer system. For example: A remote attack on a business’ IT systems or website. Attacks on information held in third-party systems (for example, the company bank account). Understanding the risks faced by the business Identify what ... Read More »
- October 16th, 2014Churchill Paintings Offered to the Nation in Lieu of Inheritance Tax
Thirty eight paintings by Sir Winston Churchill have been offered to the country in lieu of Inheritance Tax (IHT). Sir Winston’s daughter, Lady Soames, died in May this year. Most of the paintings are currently on public display at the family home at Chartwell in Kent, and Lady Soames requested in her Will that they should remain there indefinitely. To carry out her wishes, the family have offered the paintings to the nation under the ‘Acceptance in Lieu’ (AIL) scheme, rather than selling them to meet the IHT bill. This offer is now under consideration. Ordinarily, IHT is payable at the rate of 40% when the deceased person’s estate exceeds £325,000. However, the AIL scheme allows families to offer items of cultural or historical importance in payment of IHT. In order to be considered for the scheme, the item must be ‘pre-eminent’, meaning ... Read More »
- October 13th, 2014Employment Law over bacon and egg butties! – MLP Law’s first Bigger Breakfast event is a success
MLP Law recently hosted the first in its series of Bigger Breakfast events, which covered the latest legal development in the ever changing world of employment law. The delegates in attendance participated in an insightful round table discussion, led by MLP’s Head of Employment Karen Bexley and Employment Solicitor Gareth Matthews on the new concept of Shared Parental Leave. The new right, which comes into full effect in April 2015 but elements of which come into force from 1 December 2014, allows two parents to share the maternity leave and pay which was previously only available to mothers. Delegates engaged in a lively debate about the commercial and practical impact of the new right on their businesses. They were able to get a head start on their peers, the overwhelming proportion of which haven’t yet considered how the right will impact on ... Read More »
- October 10th, 2014Why you shouldn’t sell your business when you’re 64…
If you are obviously close to retirement, a potential buyer for your business will sense your ‘deadline’ and their offer price will be lower to reflect this. So sell when you want to, not when you need to. It takes time to find the right buyer for your business, and when the sale is complete you may need to work as an advisor or on an earn-out for 1, 2 or 3 years. So factor that in to your exit timing plan. Many owner-managers approaching retirement stop replacing capital items and investing in the next technologies to future-proof their businesses. The buyer will factor these catch-up costs into their offer price. Sell when your business is at its best with plenty of growth – a buyer is more interested in future potential than your past performance. If you are losing interest, enthusiasm or commitment ... Read More »
- October 9th, 2014Are you considering alternative business funding?
At MLP Law LLP we are seeing an increase in our clients who are accessing alternative business funding, rather than more traditional sources of lending, such as bank, private equity and public funding/grants. By alternative business funding we mean thins such as Crowdfunding, Peer to Peer Lending, Invoice or Asset Finance or Pension-led funding (although there are more!) Each form of finance has its advantages and disadvantages and is important to consider all of them before making a decision on what works best for you and your business. For example, bank lending is of course a trusted source of finance and you can be comfortable with the knowledge that they won’t be seeking massive returns on their investment. However it has become harder and harder to obtain and there are more and more hoops to jump through along the way. Whereas, a benefit ... Read More »
- October 9th, 2014What happens if I die without a Will? Changes to the Intestacy Rules.
The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 came into force on the 1st October 2014. The legislation alters the Rules of Intestacy, which apply when someone dies without a valid Will. These Rules of Intestacy set out who is entitled to administer the estate, who will inherit, and how much each person will receive. The new rules increase the amount that the deceased person’s spouse / civil partner is entitled to when there are no children, as well as simplifying the distribution of the estate where there is a spouse or civil partner and children. The two main changes are: If the deceased person has a spouse or civil partner but no children, their partner will now inherit the whole of their estate. The previous position was that the spouse / civil partner was only entitled to £450,000, with the remainder of the ... Read More »
- October 7th, 2014CHANGE IN PARODY LAW- Will less restrictions mean more creativity?
What has changed? From 1 October 2014 the law will change on parody comedy. The change has been brought about following a recent case in Belgium in relation to copyright infringement (Deckmyn and another v Vandersteen and others, Case C-201/13, 3 September 2014). The makers of parody pieces will no longer be in breach of copyright unless their work competes with the original or exposes the original work to being associated with a discriminatory message. What is a parody? The law is set out in the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC) which though does not define ‘Parody,’ does state that the essential characteristics of parody are that it evokes an existing work while being noticeably different from it, and constitutes an expression of humour or mockery. The work does not need to display an original character of its own. The meaning and scope of the term ... Read More »
- October 7th, 2014Employment Law Changes – With effect from 1 October 2014
Autumn is here already, which means a new wave of employment law changes is upon us. We have set out below the key points you need to be aware of: National minimum wage: The national minimum wage rates for all workers have increased. For standard adult workers, the rise is from £6.31 per hour to £6.50 per hour. The increase comes during the political party conference season, which has seen the Labour Party pledge to introduce a minimum wage of £8 per hour by 2020 should they be elected. This can be a good time to make sure your contracts of employments are in place and up to date. To discuss your contracts with the MLP Law Employment Team, please feel free to get in touch by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0161 926 9969. Time off to accompany partner to antenatal appointments: Employees ... Read More »
- October 7th, 2014A pre-nup will protect you and your business….
The CEO of an Oklahoma oil company is involved in a divorce that may result in the largest ever settlement. The husband, Harold Hamm, is the CEO and founder of Continental Resources, an oil company in which his 68% shareholding is valued at about $19 billion. He must be ruing the day he decided to marry without a pre-nuptial agreement as his wife, Sue Ann, is set to receive a half share of the $19 billion fortune. If they had signed one then it is very likely she would have received a far lower pay out. Whilst pre-nups in England will protect your assets on divorce it is also important to bear in mind that such agreements will also limit the effect a divorce can have on your company. Mr Hamm’s lawyers have complained of “the enormous expense and waste of corporate officer ... Read More »
- September 8th, 2014Employment Law Update for the week ending 5 September 2014
It’s time for MLP’s quick round up of the key talking points in employment law for the week ending 5 September 2014. News Early conciliation statistics published: ACAS has published its first set of statistics since the early conciliation process became mandatory for most types of employment tribunal claims on 6 May 2014 The statistics show that between the period 6 April to 30 June 2014, 17,145 people used the service. During the first month of the service in April 2014, before its use became mandatory, around 1,000 notifications a week were received by ACAS. This increased to around 1,600 notifications a week after the new rules became mandatory. Around 11,000 cases both began and concluded early conciliation period during the period to which the statistics relate. Of these, 16.5% resulted in a successful settlement and a further 19% of employees told ACAS they would ... Read More »
- September 3rd, 2014Data protection breaches can result in monetary penalty notices being issued –what are these and how can your business avoid them?
A Monetary Penalty Notice is a notice requiring a data controller to pay a fine set by the Commissioner. The amount of the MPN determined by the Commissioner must not exceed £500,000. When can an MPN be issued? In order to issue an MPN the Commissioner must be satisfied that: The data controller (the person who decides the purposes for which and how the personal data can be processed) has seriously contravened the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003; and The contravention was likely to cause substantial damage or distress, and either the contravention was deliberate; or the data controller knew or ought to have known that there was a risk that the contravention would occur, and that it would be likely to cause substantial damage or distress, but still failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it from happening. In ... Read More »
- September 2nd, 2014Family Business Succession and Planning.
I’ve recently finished an E-book soon to be published on Family Business succession and planning. One of the key elements of the book is the importance of planning. Planning succession and managing the implementation are cornerstones of a successful transition of a business (any business) to new owners, and particularly so when we’re facing a transition to the next or new generation in a family business. Whether Tax or Business and family efficacy are the dominant motivators can have an important impact on the structure of any plan. Do we know our tax reliefs BPR (Business Property), and FICs (Family Investment Companies) from our FLPs (Family Limited Partnerships)? The family business shouldn’t need to (you’re busy enough running your business and worrying about handing it on), but your advisers certainly should. There are many examples of where a transition was not successful ... Read More »
- September 1st, 2014Employment Law Update for the week ending 29 August 2014
It’s time for MLP’s quick round up of the key talking points in employment law for the week ending 29 August 2014. News Consultation on closing potential loopholes in the proposed ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts: The Government has launched a consultation (which will be open until 3 November 2014) on the potential loopholes which employers may try to use to avoid the proposed exclusivity ban in zero hours contracts. The consultation also seeks views on penalties and remedies. The results of the consultation will be used to determine the necessity for further regulations to deal with avoidance of an exclusivity ban when it comes into force. The use of zero hours contracts is still perfectly valid and can offer vital flexibility to both businesses and employees. If you would like to discuss the use of zero hours contracts within your business ... Read More »
- August 29th, 2014The Current State of the Property Market
Where are the regional property hotspots? We’ve witnessed the ongoing growth of the UK housing market in recent months but is it beginning to lose momentum? June saw a rise of 1% according to data collected by Nationwide but despite UK house prices rising more than twice as much as predicted in 2014, there was a definite slow down in July (0.1%) -the slowest rise in 15 months – which perhaps heralded the early signs of a potential flatline in certain regions, or at least that’s what Savills might have you believe. So, which parts of the country have been witnessing the biggest changes? Savills has revised its forecasts for London, saying strong growth this year has left less capacity for further mid-term growth in some markets. This follows on from a 26% jump up from Q2 2013 to the same period in 2014. Prices ... Read More »
- August 27th, 2014Pre-nuptial agreements are not binding
Although the government is yet to legislate to give pre-nuptial agreements automatic legal recognition in England and Wales, the courts have for several years adopted the position that those who enter into agreements freely, with a full understanding of the consequences, will be held to those agreements unless it can be shown that it is unfair in the circumstances to do so. The default position is therefore that the agreement will be binding. The courts in England and Wales have a very wide discretion when deciding how marital assets should be decided on divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership. This can give rise to uncertainty and encourage couples to litigate. A prenuptial agreement can help to reduce the anxiety and cost of a divorce by setting out a clear path for the division of assets in the event of a permanent ... Read More »
- August 21st, 2014Considering selling or merging your PR or Digital Agency?
We act for a significant number of PR and Digital Agencies and from our experience of mergers and acquisitions over the years, I set out the top 6 questions you need to ask yourself when selling or considering merging your PR or Digital Agency: 1. Is selling your PR or Digital Agency business the right choice? Different circumstances may be involved including: retirement of the business owner; a desire to realise some of the growth of the business through your hard work and strategic input; or to raise capital to fund the next stage of growth and capital investment. You will also need to consider whether the business owner(s) will sever all connections with the company, post sale, or continue to work with the business and the Purchaser following the sale? Answering these questions will help identify the type of purchaser or exit (trade competitor, investor, venture capital ... Read More »
- August 20th, 2014Financial claims are extinguished by decree absolute – Common Misconception
Here is the third in our series of common misconceptions around family law. This week we are tackling the issue of financial claims being extinguished by decree absolute. In a time when increasing numbers of people are applying for a divorce without legal representation, more and more are neglecting to obtain a financial order at the conclusion of the divorce. I have personally advised people who were under the impression that the decree absolute, as well as dissolving the marriage, also prevents their former spouse from bringing a financial claim. In one case, the husband had applied for and obtained the divorce. Following the death of his mother several years later he stood to inherit a small but significant amount from her estate. His ex-wife was aware of this and the next thing he knew a letter arrived through his door from ... Read More »
- August 20th, 2014Dealing with grief when a loved one dies
“I’ve nothing against death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens….” Woody Allen. Grief is the natural process of reaction and adjustment to loss and change. The most significant loss we all have to deal with at some point is the death of a loved one. Styles of grieving Bereavement counsellors recognise that there are two main ‘styles’ of grieving. ‘Intuitive’ grievers tend to want to talk about their feelings and share their experience with others in a similar situation, such as a support group, for example. The intuitive style of grieving tends to be more common amongst women. ‘Instrumental’ grieving is a way of coping that tends to be more common amongst men. Instrumental grievers prefer to keep their feelings private and spend time alone. They may channel their emotions through physical activity, work or dealing ... Read More »
- August 19th, 2014Companies reveal gender pay gap
It’s time for MLP’s quick round up of the key talking points in employment law for the week ending 15 August 2014. Employment law news Just four companies reveal gender pay gap under coalition scheme: A coalition initiative to encourage hundreds of companies to disclose differences in pay for male and female staff has recorded just a handful of participating firms, new figures show. Think, Act, Report was launched amid great fanfare by the coalition nearly three years ago as a major business-led initiative that would help challenge the difference through transparency. But while more than 200 firms signed up to the initiative’s principles, only four have published their gender pay gap, and only two of those included different pay grades, which was the target of the scheme. Labour plans to address equal pay in manifesto: The Labour Party is likely to place a commitment to equalise ... Read More »
- August 13th, 2014Steps to avoid bribery when client entertaining
6 Practical steps to help avoid liability under the Bribery Act 2010 1. Top level commitment All senior managers and directors must understand that they could be personally liable under the Bribery Act 2010 for offences committed by the business. It is important that senior management lead the anti-bribery culture of a business. This is important as a business can avoid conviction if it can demonstrate that it had adequate procedures in place designed to prevent bribery. 2. Risk assessment Consider all the potential risks the business may be exposed to. For example, certain industry sectors (such as construction, energy, oil and gas, defence and aerospace, mining and financial services) and countries are associated with a greater risk of bribery. Think about the types of transactions the business engages in, who the transactions are with and how the transaction is conducted. High-risk transactions include: procurement and ... Read More »