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Plans to increase probate fees have been halted

Until recently the Ministry of Justice has pushed ahead with its plans to increase the fees for probate from May 2017. The Grant of Probate is not necessary for all estates in England and Wales, but it is the authority that enables the Executors to deal with someone’s possessions after he or she has passed… Read the rest of this post (No Comments)

How can I protect my Will?

Fraudulent and disputed Wills are very serious cases. One example was recently reported of a deceased man who lived alone in a Cardiff suburb, whose estate was valued at £320,000, just under the inheritance tax limit of £325,000. Three women came forward, who claimed to have found his handwritten Will while cleaning his house. In… Read the rest of this post (No Comments)

New higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Substantial changes to SDLT will be coming into effect from the beginning of April and there is already a lot of confusion over its implications. Buyers will need to pay an additional 3% on residential property, irrespective of whether they are second homes or buy-to-let properties. The changes will apply to completions that take place… Read the rest of this post (No Comments)

Human rights and the practicalities of life and death

A recent Court of Appeal judgement attracted a great deal of attention in the press. It concerned the practice of placing ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders among the medical notes for treating those with terminal illnesses. Hospital staff are now legally obliged to consult and inform the patient’s family before issuing a Do Not Attempt Cardiac… Read the rest of this post (No Comments)

Plausibility and defensive medicine

Lord Saatchi has called for the law relating to cancer treatment to be changed.  He has introduced a draft Bill, which has sparked off a great deal of controversy.  It is intended to amend the existing law, but he has raised issues of principle that seem to extend beyond his original intentions. To what extent… Read the rest of this post (No Comments)

‘All-inclusive’ medical holidays

Medical treatment carried out abroad may bring many benefits. A friend of mine once checked into a public hospital in Bucharest for a minor complaint and was diagnosed with bowel cancer that the NHS had missed. It saved his life. According to a recent report, a retired banker received proton-beam therapy to remove a prostate… Read the rest of this post (No Comments)