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Employment Law FAQs

It is important to gain independent legal advice from a solicitor as settlement agreements involve employees giving away important legal rights.

Settlement agreement usually bring to an end all employment, contractual and common law claims.

Once you have signed a valid settlement agreement you will no longer be able to bring the mentioned employment claims in a Tribunal. You should discuss any potential claims with your employment solicitor to ensure you are happy to waive these by signing the agreement. Your solicitor will be able to ensure you are receiving adequate compensation and that the final settlement is agreeable to you.

You can refuse to sign the settlement agreement – it is up to you whether you agree to sign this. However, usually there is a financial incentive to sign. Without any financial incentive your solicitor will usually advise you not to sign away your employment rights. If you are in a redundancy or disciplinary process this may be followed through as a result of not signing the agreement. In this instance however you will be able to still bring any employment claims you may have. There are very strict time limits on which you can bring a claim, so the need to commence with any claims with ACAS as soon as possible.

Yes you can negotiate the amount on offer in the settlement agreement to ensure all legal costs are covered.

Wills FAQs

Unfortunately your estate does not always automatically pass to a partner or spouse. Unmarried partners without a will may not be recognised as a beneficiary. In cases where you are married or in a civil partnership, your spouse does not necessarily receive the whole of your estate. Your children, children from previous relationships or other family members may be entitled to a share of your estate upon your death. At times this can result in the family home being sold – highlighting the importance of preparing a will to ensure that everything is dealt with amicably and with no problems.

Any person who is 18 years of age or older can make a will. Armed forces who are on active duty can make a will once they turn 17 years of age.

It is recommended that an independent person is present as a witness when you sign your will – someone who is not a family member or beneficiary of your will. This is to ensure that the witnesses are impartial.

In cases where a beneficiary dies before you we can review your will to determine if any alterations need to be made.

Executors are the people who are responsible for administering your estate in accordance with the terms in your will. The role of executor can be time consuming and stressful, particularly during this difficult time, so you have the option of naming a professional executor.

Probate FAQs

Probate involves three main stages. Firstly investigating the extent of the estate, secondly completing tax returns and applying to the court for the grant from the probate registry, and finally collecting in the assets, paying any debts of the deceased and distributing the remaining estate.

As the probate process can be complex and take some time, people often allocated a firm of their choice to help ease the pressure. An executor or next of kin who applies for a grant is personally liable for any mistakes or incorrect distributions of estate. The process involves extensive legal and tax knowledge as there are numerous complications that may arise including will disputes. At the Legal Practice we can help to give you peace of mind to deal with any probate matters to ensure the estate is being dealt with efficiently and as required.

Elderly Client Law FAQs

An LPA is made by the person before they lose mental capacity and they appoint who they wish to act on their behalf. A deputy is made after somebody loses capacity.

Divorce FAQs

If there are no complications, the divorce process generally takes between 4-6 months depending on how busy the Courts are.

A Decree Nisi is a Court Order that says the petitioner (person who filed for divorce) can get a divorce providing that a good reason to divorce is given. It will also give the earliest date that the divorce can end.

The Decree Absolute is a Court Order that ends the marriage and can’t be issues for a minimum of 6 weeks from the date of the Decree Nisi. This allows time to deal with financial issues before your divorce.

An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree to the divorce and do not try to defend it. This is also known as undefended divorce.

If your ex partner will not agree to an uncontested divorce your only option is to wait for 5 years of separation at which time you can start divorce proceedings without your ex agreeing.

A Decree Absolute ends your marriage from a legal perspective but will not end financial commitments that exist between you and your ex spouse. In order to cut financial ties you need to apply to the Court for a Financial Order, even if you do not have any assets – as it will act to protect your interests in the future.

Conveyancing FAQs

Unfortunately we are unable to give you an answer to the above until contracts have been exchanged. Until contracts have been exchanged any party is entitled to withdraw from the transaction. Factors that affect the length of time the process may take include the length of chain of buyers and sellers and whether a buyer is using cash or a mortgage.

With property purchase you must satisfy yourself by inspection and survey that the property is in suitable condition. It is the responsibility of the buyer to be satisfied that the property is in good condition and worth the asking price. Prior to the exchange of contracts the survey must be done as once contracts are exchanged the transaction becomes legally binding and you must complete. You will become liable to a penalty for example forfeiting a deposit and damages for breach of contract if you do not complete.

Prior to exchanging, we will require written confirmation that your lender will provide the funds you require and upon what terms.

The exchange of contracts is the point at which the agreement to buy and sell becomes binding on the parties. Both parties sign a separate copy of the contracts which are then exchanged usually by solicitors who are acting on their behalf. At this point the completion date will be set. Failure to complete on the agreed date once you have exchanged means you will be in breach of contract and can be sued.

Once all enquiries have been answered and all conditions have been met, correspondence will be sent with the contract explaining clearly as to what the title consists of. The contract and any associated documents will then need to be signed and returned to us. Once the signed contracts have been given to us, we can go onto the next stage of exchanging contracts.

At the point where contracts are exchanged, a deposit is paid over to the seller’s as a down payment on the property. If you do not complete the purchase on time, the seller can keep this deposit as partial compensation. 5% is the usual minimum deposit that the sellers conveyancer will ask for.

Your mortgage must be paid up until the agreed completion date and your existing lender will provide us with the figure required to redeem your mortgage up to the time of completion. Do not cancel your mortgage payments. In terms of your new mortgage offer, details should be provided of when to start paying your new mortgage.

Once you have completed, any outstanding monies will be forwarded to you via cheque or bank transfer on a sale ensuring that all payments are made to estate agents and mortgage lender to redeem any loans (if applicable).

For sales, all fees will be paid on completion including our fees, estate agent fees and the redemption of any mortgages. This will be displayed in our completion statement which we will provide for you prior to completion. For purchases, we will prepare and send to you a final completion statement for approval. Once agreed, we will then ask you to send us the outstanding balance (if required) to complete the transaction including legal fees, any out of pocket expenses and the lender fees before completion. The deposit will be needed in cleared funds before exchange of contracts.

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