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Proposed increase in Probate fees

Proposed increase in Probate fees

Under current proposals the Probate application fees are set for a major overhaul from April 2019.  These are however not set in stone and no start date has been fixed.  We wait to see whether the proposals are approved and implemented.  The Court fees for Probate are currently £155 if the application is made by a Solicitor and £215 if the application is made personally. The proposed new Court fees are:   Value of estate (before inheritance... Read full article

Judge suspends Home Office removals policy

Judge suspends Home Office removals policy

On Thursday 14th March 2019 the High Court suspended the Home Office removals policy of ‘removal windows’, which enables the forcible removal of migrants from the UK, often without access to legal representation. This proceeding was brought by the charity Medical Justice, which assists migrants suffering mistreatment in immigration detention. Medical Justice sought permission to apply for a judicial review of the Home Office Removal Notice Window (RNW) policy, and in addition an injunction prohibiting the Home Office from relying on it pending the outcome of... Read full article

Afghan interpreters will be able to bring their family to the UK

Afghan interpreters will be able to bring their family to the UK

The Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid announced on 7 March 2019, that Afghan interpreters who relocate to the UK will be able to be joined by eligible family members. Under the current rules, the interpreters and their families are required to travel to the UK at the same time for the family members to qualify for relocation. Some interpreters were unable to travel to the UK with their family members; thus, have been separated from their wives, partners and or children. This change which is due to come into effect on 6 April 2019 will help facilitate the reunion... Read full article

Inheritance Disputes: A Rise in Wills Being Challenged

Inheritance Disputes: A Rise in Wills Being Challenged

According to a recent survey, a quarter of British adults are willing to challenge a relative's Will in court if they disagree with the division of the estate. The number of inheritance disputes reaching the High Court each year has soared to a record high due to the intricacies of modern family life and rising property prices. Some 116 cases were brought in the High Court under the Inheritance Act last year compared with 15 in 2005 - an eight-fold increase in the annual figure. In July 2015, the Court of Appeal (Ilott v Mitson) awarded an estranged daughter... Read full article

Right to Rent Scheme update

Right to Rent Scheme update

Last year, a small charity called the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) together with the support from Liberty and the Residential Landlords Association challenged the Right to Rent Scheme laid out in sections 20-37 of the Immigration Act 2014. Earlier this month, the High Court ruled that the Right to Rent Scheme was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This ruling has sparked controversy since its publication from politicians, journalists, lawyers and human rights groups. However, the Minister of State for Immigration,... Read full article

Changes to Stamp Duty Land tax (SDLT) returns

Changes to Stamp Duty Land tax (SDLT) returns

From 1st March 2019, the period allowed in England and Northern Ireland for filing a Stamp Duty Land Tax return and paying the tax reduces from 30 days to 14 days. The 14-day window for filing the SDLT return and paying tax will apply to: all land transactions with an ‘effective date’ on or after 1 March 2019; and all land transactions with an ‘effective date’ before 1 March 2019 but that did not become notifiable to HMRC until 1 March 2019 or later. The deadline is 14 calendar days and therefore includes non-working days. Failure to... Read full article

Domestic Abuse Draft Bill

Domestic Abuse Draft Bill

On 21st January 2019 the Government unveiled its much-awaited draft domestic abuse bill. Until now in England and Wales there has been no single dedicated law or policy in respect of domestic abuse. There have been over the years some significant steps in the right direction such as an updated definition of domestic abuse in 2013, introducing coercive control as a stand-alone offence in 2015 and updating the criminal sentencing guidelines in 2018 which recognise the seriousness of domestic abuse. Despite this the lack of a unified legal framework and policy, progress... Read full article

Are you facing a marriage or relationship breakdown?

Are you facing a marriage or relationship breakdown?

When the exception of 2017, figures from the National Office of Statistics show divorce rates continue to rise with 42% of marriages ending in divorce. Divorce continues to be one of the most stressful periods in a person's life. Research also shows that the post-festive season is the time most divorces are initiated. With this in mind the Alsters Kelley family team look at how the process can be made as stress free as possible for all concerned. If there are dependent children involved in the breakdown of the marriage, try and explain the situation to the... Read full article

Increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge from 8th January 2019

Increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge from 8th January 2019

The Government announced its plans in October 2018 to double the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) a fee which is paid by migrants seeking entry clearance and or leave to remain in the  United Kingdom (UK) for 6 months or more . The IHS is a contribution to the National Health Service (NHS) and it was first introduced by the Government in 2015. This payment is in addition to the visa application fee, which is mandatory.  The planned increase to this fee was approved by Parliament last year and it was initially anticipated that the increase would take effect... Read full article

Stacey qualifies as a Costs Lawyer

Stacey qualifies as a Costs Lawyer

Coventry & Warwickshire law firm Alsters Kelley solicitors is celebrating after one of its trainees qualified as a costs lawyer. Stacey Brown, who works within the Family Care department, first joined the firm in 2008 in the accounts team before joining the Costing department in 2012. Stacey's role is to maximise recovery of legal aid costs.  This includes drafting Legal Help Bills, High Cost Case Plans, Client and Cost Management System E-bills and Bill of Costs.  She also deals with all aspects of the assessment procedure and challenging Legal Aid... Read full article

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Proposed increase in Probate fees

Under current proposals the Probate application fees are set for a major overhaul from April...

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