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Seven New Year Legal Resolutions

  • January 6, 2016
  • Mike Massen
  • Comments Off on Seven New Year Legal Resolutions


So, the New Year is here and the time to trot out the same old resolutions about going to the gym, writing that novel or finally giving up smoking.

How about setting some goals that you may possibly be able to achieve and can have a benefit way beyond doing half a dozen sit ups before heading to the bar?

Here are a few things that you may want to do that have a legal flavour to them that may save you a lot of money and a lot of heartache:

Make a will: If no will is in place the only person who may benefit is the lawyer. Most estates can be covered by a straightforward will that will cost between £200-300. If there is no will and there is a dispute over the estate, then you can add another ‘0’ to this figure to get it sorted out. So really you have to ask yourself – who do you want to get your money? Your kith and kin or some bloody lawyer’. Thought so – so make your will today. For all the advice you need on making a will call Gail Sandford on 0113 224 7813

Lasting Power of Attorney: If you get to a stage where ill-health prevents you from making decisions about your health and financial affairs then you will want to make sure that your affairs are conducted in accordance with your wishes. A Lasting Power of Attorney gives you the power to plan for your future when you may lack the capacity to do so for yourself. For all the advice you need on making an LPA call Gail Sandford on 0113 224 7813

Thinking of buying to let ? Do it now. From April 2016, buyers of buy to let properties or second homes in England and Wales will have to pay an additional 3% on each stamp duty band.

The table below shows the difference in the rates of duty that will become payable. Take for example a buyer purchasing a property for £150,000, if that buyer acts now then he will pay only £500 stamp duty. If he waits until April then he will pay £4,500.

Given that the estimated length of a residential property transaction is between 6 and 8 weeks, if you are considering purchasing a second home then we would suggest you act now.


Buy-to-let and second home Stamp Duty tax bands
Brackets Standard rate Buy-to-let/second home rate (April 2016)
Up to £125,000 0% 3%
£125 – £250,000 2% 5%
£250 – £925,000 5% 8%
£925 – £1.5m 10% 13%
over £1.5m 12% 15%
Source: HMRC


For all your conveyancing needs call Emma Wardle on 0113 224 7815

Know Your Rights – If you are to be interviewed either on an informal basis or under caution pursuant to either S9 or S12 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act by the police, or authorised body such as DWP, Trading Standards, Health and Safety Executive under caution then you are entitled to free legal advice. You should therefore request a solicitor be present during any questioning. For assistance with such matters call John Goodwin on 0113 390 7882.

Are you an employer? If so make sure that you have a recovery clause in all employment contracts. If an employee of yours is off work as a result of the negligent actions of a third party then you may wish to include a clause in your employment contracts that allows you to recoup from the wrong doer wages paid to an employer whilst off sick. To make sure your employment contracts work for you call Ian Steel on 0113 390 7888.

Bring that claim now – if you have a potential personal injury claim but haven’t got round to dealing with it yet then you should. There are plans a foot to increase the small claims limit of claims to £5000. This means that if your injuries are worth less than £5000 no legal costs can be recovered and so you may not get a contribution to the costs of your claim from the wrong doer, making what you have to pay more. You may even struggle to get legal representation for these type of claims. There is no date set for this increase but it is thought imminent. So best to err on the side of caution and get your claim started. For advice on a personal injury claim call Mike Massen on 0113 224 7804.

Ask Cohen Cramer Solicitors for any legal help you need – we have the skills and experience to make sure that you get the quality legal service that you deserve.


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