May 2018 - MLP Law

Reasons Why Everyone Should Have a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney

It is so important for everyone to have a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in place; no matter how old you are or how straightforward you think your circumstances are. Here are a few reasons as to why you should have these documents in place…

  1. LPAs – Next of Kin Don’t Have Legal Authority

There are two different types; one for Property and Financial Affairs, and one for Health and Welfare. Your next of kin do not have legal authority to make decisions about these matters if you lose capacity. You could lose capacity at any age for a number of different reasons; an illness, an accident or on a temporary basis if you are in a coma or having an operation.


  1. LPAs for Business Owners

You can have separate Lasting Powers of Attorney for your Personal Financial Affairs and your Business Financial Affairs, and choose different people to act. If you are uncontactable, travelling, incapacitated due to an illness or accident, then you will still need someone to act on your behalf to make day to day decisions about the Business i.e. signing off pay-roll, paying tax to HMRC to avoid penalties, etc. The LPAs can be drafted in a flexible way to suit your requirements.


  1. Wills for Unmarried Couple

If you are unmarried and if you die without a Will then your girlfriend or boyfriend is not legally entitled to receive any of your own assets. You need to do a Will specifically providing for your other half


  1. Wills for Young Families

If you have young children, your Will can appoint guardians and trustees to look after them and the money if something happens to you.


  1. Wills for People with Children from Previous Relationships

A Will can ensure that your partner is provided for after your death and guarantee that your assets will definitely pass to your children from a previous relationship after your partner’s death.


  1. Wills for People with Vulnerable Beneficiaries

If you want to leave money to your children, grandchildren or other beneficiaries, but you are concerned about them receiving a lot of money in one lump sum, you could consider including a trust in your Will to help the beneficiaries manage the money. This can also help to preserve the beneficiaries’ entitlement to means tested benefits.


  1. Asset Protection & Divorce

If you want to leave money to your children, grandchildren or other beneficiaries, but you do not want money to pass to their spouses or civil partners, or if they are going through a divorce, or bankruptcy proceedings, then you can leave money to a trust to act as a buffer between the money and the beneficiary so there is a less chance that the money will be included in bankruptcy or divorce proceedings.

A ‘pre-nup’ for your commercial contract – dispute resolution clauses

In the heat of agreeing a contract which promises all things positive, few want to think about what will happen if it goes wrong. Hopefully nothing will but if you do need a ‘divorce’, how and where that divorce or dispute is dealt with can make a huge difference.
Dispute resolution clauses are often buried at the end of the agreement and are rarely negotiated. But they can be the difference between being able to enforce your rights or not.
What do they cover?
• Where the dispute will be decided – which country’s courts have the right to decide the dispute. Remember if you are dealing with a Scottish or Northern Irish business, those countries have different courts and laws to England and Wales.
• How the dispute will be decided – which country’s laws will apply and will the dispute go to court or arbitration. This matters as it affects how a decision can be enforced amongst other factors.
If your business is based in England, it is usual to provide that the English courts to have exclusive jurisdiction and for English law to apply.
Arbitration or litigation?

These are the 2 most common methods – neither prevent the parties from trying to resolve the dispute first and indeed this is encouraged.

It is vital that the dispute resolution clause is clear. If you want arbitration and never want to go to court, the clause must clearly say so. If there is any ambiguity, you may face a dispute about how the actual dispute should be determined!

If you are concerned about the wording of any of your existing agreements or need to speak to someone about one you may soon be signing, our experts will be happy to help. Please call us on 0161 926 9969.

Do I need a visa to work in the UK?

Prior to starting a job in the UK, an employer must check that you have the right to work in the UK. You will have the right to work in the UK if you are a British Citizen, an EEA citizen, or someone who is “settled” in the UK having indefinite leave to remain. In other circumstances, you will need to hold a visa that allows you to work.

What visa allows full time, permanent work in the UK?

The main visa specifically for work in the UK is Tier 2. This visa is available for individuals who are being employed by an employer who holds a sponsor licence in a job at or above a specific skill level. Appendix J to the Immigration Rules sets out what jobs will be considered skilled enough for this visa.

If an employer wishes to sponsor someone, they will also have to pay at least the minimum salary set by the Government, which can vary role to role. In many cases where recruiting someone from abroad the employer will have to have first advertised the role in the UK to show no settled worker can do it. The advert must run for at least 28 days and there are requirements on the employer to keep copies of the advert and all recruitment documents.

Currently, it is difficult to obtain a Tier 2 general visa if you are outside the UK. That’s because the number of places for new entrants on this visa is restricted. For individuals looking to come to the UK on a Tier 2 visa, the employer must request a restricted certificate of sponsorship from the Home Office. These are allocated on a monthly basis, with jobs which are difficult to fill or those which are highly paid taking priority.

When an employer has been granted a restricted certificate of sponsorship, it will then allocate that to the individual and this is what then enables the individual to meet the points requirement for a Tier 2 visa. Other points must be gained from having adequate maintenance and being able to prove an acceptable level of English language skills.

Do any other visas allow work in the UK?

Aside from the Tier 2 route, there are other visas which allow work in the UK but generally either the grounds for obtaining these visas is limited, or the work scope itself is limited.

Tier 2 Intra-Company transfer is a slightly easier route for individuals who are working for a company abroad which also has a UK office. However, this route has a higher minimum salary threshold and cannot lead to settlement in the UK.

Students on Tier 4 visas can normally work for 20 hours term time and full time during vacation periods but they should not fill permanent vacancies.

Tier 5 is an option for individuals looking to come to the UK for a short period of work, usually as a internship. This route can allow someone to work for a year, or two years in some instances. Generally, the routes under Tier 5 require a sponsor, or are for people between 18 and 30 who hold certain nationalities.

Individuals who hold a Tier 1 exceptional talent visa are allowed to work freely in the UK but the bar for this visa is high and requires the individual to be a world leader, or future world leader, in one of a number of specified fields, including the arts, sciences, and digital technology.

If you want more information about the contents of this blog, please contact our business immigration specialist Charlotte Ashton 0161 926 1592 or email

Making a Valid Will – What are the Formalities and Who can act as a Witness?

We often get asked who can act as Witnesses. The law says that any adult with capacity can act as a witness. It doesn’t matter if the witness lives in the UK or not and the witness does not have to read the Will. However, you should choose your witnesses carefully and your witness should not be a beneficiary, or a spouse of a beneficiary, under the Will otherwise they will lose their gift or entitlement under the Will. The Will would still be valid if a beneficiary, or spouse of a beneficiary, acts as a witness, but the beneficiary would lose their entitlement under the Will.

We are also often asked if an informal note, email or conversation recording intentions for a Will would be valid before finalising a Will. The law is clear in so far as a valid Will must be in writing, made by an adult with capacity and signed in the presence of two witness who are both over 18. However, the Law Commission is currently considering whether the law about making a valid Will should be updated particularly as the law about making a valid Will is dated 1837.

The Law Commission is considering whether the Court should be able to recognise an expression of intentions for a Will made in a text message, email or other electronic method. This would only apply in situations where an individual dies unexpectedly without a valid Will and there are lots of potential issues that still need to be carefully considered. For the time being, and even if this does progress, then it is still extremely important to have a valid Will in place to avoid complications and potentially costly disputes following death.