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Considerations when buying a heritage property

Jehangir Asghar
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When many of us think about heritage properties, we think of buildings associated with our architectural past: a castle, stately home or elegant Georgian townhouse perhaps. But new developments, such as barn and warehouse conversions, may also be heritage...

Moving with the times

Jehangir Asghar
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There is little more dispiriting than when a house purchase or sale falls through, especially if money has already been spent on surveys and searches and you had thought that you were on the home stretch. Such was the case with Mr & Mrs P, who were...

Why would anyone want a postnuptial agreement?

Glynis Wainman
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The discovery of an affair, concern about an expected inheritance being squandered or pressure from family or associates to protect your business interests are all possible reasons you might consider making a postnuptial agreement. Like a prenuptial...

Unite against dementia for Dementia Action Week

Ben Jones
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This year, Dementia Awareness Week has changed to Dementia Action Week and takes place from 21 to 27 May. We are joining The Alzheimer’s Society in encouraging everyone to unite and make a change by taking action against dementia (no matter how...

Putting your legal affairs in order

Ben Jones
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In later life, spending quality time with family and friends is a much more appealing prospect than putting your legal affairs in order, but planning for the end of your life will be of huge benefit to loved ones.  In May 2018, Dying Matters Awareness...

Paying a deceased relative's debts

Ben Jones
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When a person dies someone needs to sort out their affairs.  Very often, responsibility for doing this falls on the person’s relatives, either because they have been named as an executor in the will or because they have been given permission...

Government passes anonymous voting registration for domestic abuse survivors

Glynis Wainman
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Around 12,000 victims currently living in refuges will now be able to register to vote anonymously since the government passed legislation designed to protect victims of domestic abuse. Previously, domestic abuse survivors could only register to vote...

How to own your home - joint tenants or tenants in common?

Jehangir Asghar
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When property is purchased by two (or more) persons in joint names there are two ways in which the property can be held:- Joint tenants By this method the purchasers own the property jointly as a whole so that if one party predeceases the other, then...

Glossary of conveyancing terms

Jehangir Asghar
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A glossary of conveyancing terms: Absolute title This is one of the four classes of title that the Land Registry can give to freehold or leasehold land or property.  This class proves without doubt who owns the land and is the most preferred class...

Wish your grandchildren could live with you?

Glynis Wainman
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It may come as a surprise to learn that grandparents have no automatic right to see their grandchildren.  They do, however, have the right to ask the court’s permission to spend time with them and to even have them live with them in appropriate circumstances. Glynis Wainman provides an overview of the process in the second of a two-part series of articles.   

How to extend a lease on a flat or buy a share of the freehold

Jehangir Asghar
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If you live in a flat, the chances are you will have a lease.  Extending the length of this or converting it to part-ownership of the freehold could greatly improve the future value of your property, as Jay Asghar explains.

How to apply for a grant of probate

Ben Jones
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When someone dies, you usually need to obtain a grant of probate to deal with their affairs. Ben Jones explains the process and your options when you cannot agree who should apply.

Conveyancing quotes: what you need to know

Jehangir Asghar
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Getting a quote to deal with the legal side of buying a home or buy-to-let property can be a confusing process. Jay Asghar, residential property lawyer with Hancock Quins in Watford explains what to look out for to ensure you get the best deal.

Can my landlord evict me?

Jehangir Asghar
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Over a third of us live in rented homes and one fifth of those who rent do so from a private landlord.  But what happens if your landlord wants their property back? Jay Asghar explains what to do when your landlord gives you notice to leave.

Securing the right to see your grandchildren

Glynis Wainman
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It may come as a surprise to learn that grandparents have no automatic right to see their grandchildren.  They do, however, have the right to ask the court’s permission to spend time with them and even to have them live with them in appropriate circumstances. Glynis Wainman provides an overview of the process in the first of a two-part series of articles.   

Does your will take advantage of the new inheritance tax allowance?

Ben Jones
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Nobody wants to see their hard-earned cash go to the tax man when they die, but until recently if your estate was worth more than £325,000 you faced the prospect of having to pay inheritance tax at a rate of 40 per cent.  There were, and continue to be, ways to reduce your potential liability but none are straightforward.  The good news is that, as of 6 April 2017, new rules were introduced which should allow most people to reduce their inheritance tax liability with a bit of forward planning.

Pros and cons of remortgaging your home

Jehangir Asghar
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With the recent rise in interest rates, for the first time in 10 years, you may be thinking about shopping around for a better mortgage deal.  Jay Asghar, residential property solicitor with Hancock Quins Solicitors in Watford answers some of your questions about remortgaging your home.

Government refund available for powers of attorney registered between 2013 and 2017

Ben Jones
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If you registered a power of attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, you could be entitled to a partial fee refund. Ben Jones, wills, probate and trusts specialists with Hancock Quins Solicitors in Watford, explains what to do if you believe you are eligible 

Facing a driving ban? 12 points on your licence?

Tony Irving
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Facing a driving ban? 12 points on your driving licence? Advice on speeding offences from motoring offence specialist solicitors at Hancock Quins in Watford.

How to propose a prenuptial agreement

Glynis Wainman
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How to propose a prenuptial agreement? Essential advice for couples thinking of getting married from Hancock Quins Solicitors in Watford, Hertfordshire. 

Using settlement agreements to resolve employment issues

Tony Irving
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Settlement agreements are often used to short-cut dismissal procedures, but they need to be handled with care and take account of the new rules on national insurance contributions from April 2018, as Tony Irving, dispute resolution lawyer at Hancock Quins in Watford, Hertfordshire, explains

How the risk of flooding could affect your house purchase

Jehangir Asghar
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If you are buying a house, it is a good idea to consider the risk of flooding at an early stage. Jay Asghar, residential property expert at Hancock Quins, looks at the implications of flood risk on property and how a conveyancer can help.

Does your will need a New Year health check?

Ben Jones
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The start of a new year is an excellent time to take stock and get your life in order. If you have not already made a will, then now is the time to do so. Even if you have made your will, you should not assume that you have done all you can to put your affairs in order. Ben Jones, wills and probate solicitor at Hancock Quins, explains why if you do not regularly review your will it can easily fall out of date.

New year, is divorce on the horizon?

Glynis Wainman
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For most family practitioners, January is one of the busiest times of the year with couples whose marriages are breaking down putting matters off until the New Year. Glynis Wainman, family law solicitor at Hancock Quins Solicitors in Watford, Hertfordshire, looks at the most important things that a couple should consider if they are contemplating divorce or formal separation

The Bank of Mum and Dad: top tips when lending money to your children

Jehangir Asghar
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If your children or grandchildren are struggling to get onto the property ladder you may have considered offering them money to help.  If you have, you are not alone.  According to a recent report by Legal and General, family and friends in the UK...

Affected by Alzheimer's: three-step plan to get your legal affairs in order

Ben Jones
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Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and affects millions of people around the world.  Receiving a diagnosis can be devastating and immediate thoughts will inevitably turn to treatment and healthcare support.  However, it is also...

New rules on debt recovery may delay payment of consumer debts

Tony Irving
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New rules on the procedure businesses must follow when trying to collect debts from individual customers could mean that you have to wait 90 days or more before you can issue court proceedings.  

Agree Christmas arrangements for children now

Glynis Wainman
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Christmas is a magical time of the year for children.  There is the anticipation of the presents they may receive, the relief of having a few weeks off school and the excitement of seeing friends and family.  The hopes of what Christmas may bring...

Efficient conveyancing service when helping clients to move home in Watford

Jehangir Asghar
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At Hancock Quins, our efficient conveyancing solicitors and lawyers love helping people to move home in Watford, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.  Here are some of the nice things our happy clients have to say about our fast conveyancing service,...

Good news for first time buyers in Watford: changes to stamp duty land tax.

Jehangir Asghar
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One of the biggest announcements from chancellor Phillip Hammond’s autumn budget was the immediate scrapping of stamp duty land tax for first-time buyers purchasing homes worth up to £300,000. This has come as welcome news to the UK property...

First meeting with your divorce solicitor

Glynis Wainman
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Divorce and separation lawyers in Watford explain what will happen at the first meeting with your divorce solicitor and some of the information you may want to take with you.

Cohabitation Awareness Week - 27 Nov to 1 Dec 2017

Glynis Wainman
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The focus of this year’s Resolution Awareness Week is on the inequality of legal rights for cohabitees; couples living together who are not married. There are some 3.3 million cohabiting couples in the UK, but many are still unaware of their lack of...

Autumn budget 2017: quick guide hot off the press

Tony Irving
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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has delivered the Autumn Budget, and once you get over the eye-watering £3 billion set aside to help us prepare to leave the European Union the news for ordinary people and businesses is broadly...

Excellent service for our wills and probate clients

Ben Jones
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Our wills and probate solicitors and lawyers at Hancock Quins Solicitors in Watford work diligently and efficiently to help anyone making a will, lasting power of attorney or applying for probate.  Clients tell us that it is our attention to detail and...

Kind words from the happy clients of Hancock Quins Solicitors in Watford

Leigh Holden
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It is always lovely to hear from clients who have been pleased with the excellent quality of service and legal advice from our solicitors and lawyers in Watford. At Hancock Quins, we pride ourselves on the personal touch we offer. That is why we have so...

Phantom withdrawals from your bank account?

Tony Irving
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If you have noticed a mystery item on your bank statement, such as a phantom withdrawal, getting a response from your bank can sometimes be not only frustrating but can have serious consequences for your livelihood, business and personal relationship.

British citizens with foreign assets - does your will need updating?

Ben Jones
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If you own property on mainland Europe, you need to make sure that your will includes appropriate provisions. Since August 2015 the EU Succession Regulation (EU 650/2012), also known as Brussels IV, has been in force. Although the UK did not sign up to the...

The importance of getting a financial order on divorce

Glynis Wainman
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Glynis Wainman, divorce solicitor at Hancock Quins Solicitors in Watford explains why the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Wyatt v Vince should be considered by divorced or separated couples as a cautionary tale.

A guide to tenancy deposit schemes

Tony Irving
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If you are about to move into new rented accommodation, make sure that your deposit is properly protected.

Taking the risk of money laundering seriously

Glynis Wainman
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Money laundering is defined as “the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses” and “the process by which criminal proceeds are sanitised to...

Estate planning for care home fees

Ben Jones
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Concerns about protecting a client’s savings from the liability to pay for care home fees remains one of the most common concerns of clients who see us for estate planning advice. In the case of a married couple, one of the best ways to ensure that as...

Thinking about relocating or travelling abroad with children after divorce?

Glynis Wainman
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Where do you live? What country? The questions seem to be fairly simple, and most people should be able answer without too much thought. However, what if you were told that for the purpose of the Children Act 1989 you lived in England and Wales? That is the...

How to own property jointly

Jehangir Asghar
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With more people joining forces to get onto the property ladder, Jay Asghar explains the alternative ways to own property jointly. In English law, there are two main methods of joint ownership of land namely: joint tenancy; and tenancy in...

The benefits of a lasting power of attorney

Ben Jones
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A lasting power of attorney is a very powerful document that you use to give someone the right to manage your affairs. You decide who to appoint and decide the terms of their appointment. It must be registered with a court before it can be used which keeps...

Protect yourself against property fraud

Jehangir Asghar
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Property fraud can take the form of the property being mortgaged or sold without your knowledge and consent.  There are certain measures you can take to try and protect yourself against property fraud. Anyone who owns a home, or is in the process...

Be charitable! Inheritance tax reduced rate for gifts to charity

Ben Jones
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From April 2012, estates qualify for a reduced rate of inheritance tax on the whole estate if 10% of the estate (excluding the inheritance tax nil rate band) is left to charity. The normal 40% inheritance tax charge is reduced to 36% on the...