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Keeping you abreast of important everyday legal issues

This is where you can find some useful background information on a range of legal areas covered by KWW’s specialists. Please remember, the law has a habit of changing, so always check with us for the very latest legal position.

Surrogacy – understanding the options

The number of parents having a baby using a surrogate in England and Wales has almost quadrupled in the past 10 years. Parental orders, which transfer legal parentage from the surrogate, rose from 117 in 2011 to 413 in 2020. Two-thirds of applicants are now mixed-sex couples often in their 30s or 40s. There’s a

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Legal considerations around holiday homes

Summer is in full swing and it is not uncommon to want to prolong that holiday feeling and dream of investing in a holiday home which allows you to return to your favourite spot more frequently. Holiday home ownership has boomed recently and in 2021 second homes accounted for more than 24,000 purchases. Many of

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Pros and cons of putting conditions on gifts in wills

Deciding who should inherit from you in your will, how much they will get and in what shares, are big decisions to make. This can be made more difficult if you have particular concerns about a beneficiary and whether the inheritance could be at risk. “Second marriages, family disagreements, or children who have a lot

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End of the line for ground rents

The Government has announced that the abolition of ground rents in residential leases will come into force on June 30, 2022. The move is one of the main provisions of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 (LRGRA 2022) which applies to all new residential long leases being granted and voluntary lease extensions where the

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Transferring property between partners

Your home is often your most important asset, and you may be lucky enough to own other property such as a holiday home or a buy-to-let investment.  Over time, if your personal circumstances change, you may want or need to transfer a share in a property. This could be the transfer of a share in

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Paying inheritance tax when estate funds are tied up

When applying for probate in regard to an estate which is subject to inheritance tax (IHT), the Probate Registry requires tax to be paid before the grant of probate application. This can prove difficult as most financial institutions will not pay out sums to executors without first seeing the grant, but there are ways to

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Bank of Mum and Dad can make property dreams come true

First-time buyers today must find, on average, a deposit equal to a year’s salary. With almost half relying on parental assistance, the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ has never been so popular. House price affordability and the phasing out of the Help to Buy scheme make this trend set to continue. “It is natural to

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Hidden costs of leasehold property

If you are buying a new home, should you avoid leasehold properties? It’s a fair question, says Ade Ajani, a specialist on the KWW Solicitors conveyancing team. “There are definitely more issues with a leasehold home than a freehold one,” says Ade. “However, this does not mean you should discount a leasehold property. While there

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Divorce law: Changes for the good

The divorce law in England and Wales will change next month (April 2022), says Susannah Burley of KWW’s Family Law department. The new law replaces the provisions in the Matrimonial Causes Act which came into force in 1973. Any divorce that is due to go through under the current law must be submitted online by

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Life interest trust: How it works

Karen Starkey and Jack Haskew of our Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate team, field some of the key questions about life interest trusts, which are becoming increasingly mainstream. Q: What exactly is a life interest trust? Karen Starkey: A life interest trust is an arrangement whereby your Will provides for one beneficiary during

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