Legal: - via our panel of solicitors, architects and letting agents
· Standard Terms and Conditions for or Purchase
· Supply Contracts
· Distribution and Agency Agreements
· Franchise Agreements
· Confidentiality Agreements
· Building Contracts
· Lease Renewals
· Landlord and Tenant Issues
· Commercial Property Leases
· Possession Claims
· Planning Issues
· Residential and Commercial Property Development
· Freehold and Leasehold Acquisitions and Disposals
· Joint Venture Agreements
· Option Agreements
· Site Assemblies
· Property Development and Management
Agriculture like any other business is a specialist industry and demands specialist advice. Whether you are an owner or tenant farmer, there are so many aspects of your business which nowadays require genuine knowledge on complicated issues which arise from time to time. When making any decisions regarding your business, it is important to consider the implications on the business as a whole and to consider every aspect from milk quotas to security of tenure.
It is more important than ever that you have the benefit of a solicitor who understand the problems and difficulties that face the farming community and have spent many years resolving the wide and varied problems that occur.
Our panel solicitors have the strength and depth to assist in resolving the most complicated farming issues and the experience and knowledge to deal with the associated problems.
Their Agricultural Teams specialise in:
· Farming Sales and Purchases
· Farming Contract Disputes
· Contract Farming
· Agricultural Tenancies
· Mineral Rights
· Notice to Quit
· Milk Quota Issues
· Single Farm Payments
· Succession Wills and Probate
· Partnership Agreements and Dissolution
· Inheritance Tax Planning
Our panel Solicitors will supply you with confidential high quality expertise, which combines accessibility and local knowledge. A complete range of services is available, from administration of company affairs through to mergers, acquisitions and sales.
Their Corporate and Commercial Specialists have combined to provide a “one–stop” legal services consultancy for local businesses. They work alongside specialist accountants and involve local expertise to ensure our clients obtain a full and complete service under one roof.
They are equipped to assist the smallest sole trader through to the largest of companies. Both business types are equally important to them. Whether you need advice on terms and conditions, health and safety, they will do our utmost to provide you with the best solutions.
· Business Start-Ups
· Contracts for Services
· Company Flotation’s
· Company Law
· Company Registrations
· Company Secretarial
· Copyright & Patents
· Employment Law
· Franchise Agreements
· Joint Ventures
· Management Buy – Ins / Buy Outs
· Mergers, Acquisitions & Sales
· Partnership Agreements
Our panel solicitors regularly act for businesses and private individuals, both making and objecting to licensing applications.
They understand the commercial pressures placed on a prospective licensee and offer a complete package working in conjunction with architects, planners and internal designers to ensure that the licensing process runs as smoothly as possible. In some circumstances, they offer a highly competitive fixed fee for their work.
In addition to traditional liquor licensing, they can also assist with Hackney carriage and taxi licensing.
Licensing applications require specialist attention. In view of the reforms and regulations governing Restaurants, Pubs and Clubs, gaming machines and Off Licences, it is essential your application meets stated criteria to ensure your business transactions continue without interruption.
They have many years of expertise in this department, advising and guiding clients through licensing tribunals whilst overcoming application obstacles.
We recognise that there is no substitute for experience and make every effort to relieve you of the pressures involved in buying or selling a house. Our panel of solicitor’s objective is to ensure the transaction runs as smoothly as possible and to provide a friendly and personal service to each of its clients from beginning to end.
Their state of the art case management system ensures that speed and efficiency enable them to complete your transaction with the minimum of fuss and enables you to have up to date information as to the progress of your matter.
They offer a hands-on approach with the backing of the latest technology to ensure objectives are achieved.
Their residential conveyancing solicitors specialise in:
- Buying or Selling Private or Leasehold Property
- Remortgaging Property
- Building your own Home
- Buying a New Build
- and Purchase of Building Plots
- Equity Release and Transfer of Equity
- Deeds of Gift
- Problems with Leases, Rights of Way and Boundary Disputes
- Probate Sales and Purchases
- Inheritance and Tax Planning
- Estate Planning
Our panel solicitors deal with preparation of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, administration of estates and estate preservation. They recommend to all our clients of whatever age or status that they should make a Will. It is reputed that only 1 in 3 of the population has made a Will which means that when two thirds of the population dies, next of kin will have to be located and will be responsible for the administration of the estate. This does not automatically result in the husband or wife of the deceased party inheriting the whole estate. There are restrictions laid down under the rules of Intestacy.
Their Service to You:
- They advise all our clients on Powers of Attorney, in case of hospitalisation or mental incapacity, at the same time as drawing up a Will.
- They see our clients and take instructions face to face, making sure those they wish to inherit ultimately receive the benefit to which they are entitled.
- Assist in the administration of estates, including computation of Inheritance Tax and in circumstances when the situation appears appropriate, varying the original Will by means of Deed of Variation.
- Provide assistance to clients who not only wish to prepare Wills, but who also wish to preserve their estates and to minimise their Inheritance Tax risk.
- Liaise with your accountants and financial advisors (if appropriate) on all issues relating to estate preservation.
What Happens If I Die without Having Made A Will?
If you have not made a Will, then you are deemed to have died “intestate” and under the rules of intestacy the whole of your estate would not necessarily pass to your spouse or civil partner and/or children on death. The rules are somewhat old-fashioned in this regard and, although recently amended to recognise same sex couples, they provide little security for couples who are not married or who have not entered into a civil partnership. If, therefore, you are living with a partner and you die without having made a Will, then, under the rules of intestacy, your partner would not benefit.
Is It Costly To Draw Up A Will?
Once we know all the relevant facts, we always try to provide an estimate of our cost in advance of the preparation of the Will.
Is There An Ideal Time When A Will Should Be Drawn Up?
We recommend that anybody who owns property, or who is married, or who has children, or who is in employment should draw up a Will irrespective of age. A Will can be used not only to ensure that your wealth and assets pass to the people you want them to, but also can be used to try and reduce any potential tax liability on death.
Is It Advisable That Your Spouse Or Partner Also Draws Up A Will?
This is most important, because if one party dies without having made a Will, the surviving spouse or partner would not necessarily inherit the deceased’s estate. Indeed, if you are not married but you have a partner, it is most important that you both have Wills prepared.
If I Am A Partner In A Business Or Have A Share Holding In A Company, Can These Be Transferred Under A Will?
The answer is simply “yes”. There are obviously Inheritance Tax issues that apply on the transfer of a business on death. However, subject to certain criteria it is possible for you to transfer your business assets on death. Again, this is certainly an issue that should be discussed with your Accountant and/or Financial Advisor.
Once I Have Made My Will Can I Ever Change It?
A Will can be changed at any time. Minor alterations can be dealt with by way of a Codicil which is effectively a small appendix to the Will, or the Will can be re-drawn if your circumstances have changed and you want major alterations to be made to the original Will. In any event, we will recommend that you review your Will at regular intervals, possibly every two to three years or as your circumstances change.
Will There Be Any Tax Payable In The Event That I Die?
This depends partly on the value of your estate at the date of your death; partly on any lifetime measures that you have taken (after receiving legal and financial advice) and partly on how you’re Will is drafted. At the moment, gifts between spouses are exempt from Inheritance Tax; there is also a personal tax allowance available up to the tax threshold which changes annually. If you die and gift the whole of your estate to your spouse, there will be no tax payable.
Should I Discuss My Will With Anybody Either Before Drawing It Up Or After I Have Signed It?
If you are going to appoint guardians to look after your young children on your death, then obviously it is advisable to discuss this issue with the people you propose to appoint as guardians.
What Should We Do Next?
The first thing we would recommend that you do is to make a list of all your assets and liabilities.
Secondly, we would suggest that you write on a sheet of paper the full names and addresses of everybody who is likely to be mentioned in your Will, whether as guardian, beneficiary, executor etc.
We can assist you with all areas of probate disputes. If, for example, you are a child of a deceased person, or have been maintained by a deceased person and have not received any benefit in the deceased person’s Will, you may have a claim against the estate. Alternatively, if you believe that the deceased’s Will is defective for any reason, you could challenge the validity of the Will. Please contact us if you feel you have a claim against a deceased person’s estate.
What is the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection is a branch of HM Court Service and has jurisdiction over the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
What is the role of the Court of Protection?
The Court of Protection has powers to deal with all matters that relate to persons who are over eighteen years of age and lack the requisite capacity to deal with their finances, personal welfare and other matters such as being capable to make a Will. The Court can appoint a Deputy to deal with that persons affairs and/or personal welfare, Grant an Order for a Statutory Will to be drafted on behalf of the incapacitated person, appoint new Trustees in their place and authorise certain gifts. Personal Welfare issues can cover where a vulnerable person should live and how they are cared for.
The Court of Protection will also decide upon whether the person concerned lacks mental capacity before deciding upon making an Order.
The first step before an application to the Court of Protection therefore would be to obtain a Medical Certificate to ensure that the route of the Court of Protection is applicable as opposed to the person being able to sign a Power of Attorney.
Who can apply to the Court of Protection?
Anybody can apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy but usually it would be a family member. The same persons can also apply for a Statutory Will and all other relevant applications. The appointed person would have to be over the age of eighteen years.
If a Lasting Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney has already been created by the person who has been deemed to have lost capacity then the Court of Protection will not need to be involved. This is something that we advise upon.
How we can help?
Our panel can deal with all Court of Protection Applications ranging from the preparation of papers for the appointment of a Deputy to deal with financial affairs and personal welfare to the removal of the incapacitated person as a Trustee and drafting Statutory Will applications.