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Thorneycroft News for November 2017

Sepsis: What is it and how does it occur?

27th November 2017

Here at Thorneycroft Solicitors our clinical negligence team have encountered individuals who have suffered a wide variety of injuries as a result of substandard medical care, as a result we believe it’s important to highlight as many conditions as possible as well as the risks they pose to people’s health, and finally how you can make a clinical negligence claim if you are a victim.

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What are the dangers of a DIY divorce?

27th November 2017

For the most part in today’s society, we are all very busy people. We want everything and we want it now. As a general rule, the public is feeling the squeeze as the cost of living continues to rise and so the temptation to grab a bargain where you can is almost insatiable, especially if it means you can grab that bargain from the comfort of your sofa at home.

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Can you make a clinical negligence claim for a hospital fall?

27th November 2017

A fall in hospital can be devastating. It can result in patients, who are already vulnerable, experiencing further injury, distress, pain and in some cases a loss of independence.

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How long do you have to bring a dental negligence claim?

27th November 2017

Becoming a victim of dental negligence can be devastating. It can leave you feeling self-conscious and often the experience can be painful and the cause of long-term dental issues.

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Great news for first-time buyers as stamp duty is abolished

22nd November 2017

There was great news for first-time buyers and conveyancing solicitors alike today as the Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced that the Government was abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers looking to purchase a home with a value of £300,000 or less.

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Know your rights if you are cohabiting but you’re not married

20th November 2017

There are several urban myths about “cohabitee rights”. With an ever-increasing number of couples choosing to live their lives outside of marriage, this blog covers some of the issues which cohabitees may face.

Living together outside marriage no longer carries the stigma it used to. Recent ONS statistics show that the second largest family type is the “cohabiting couple family”. This is where a couple are living together but are not married or in a civil partnership. Over the last decade, the cohabiting couple family has been the fastest growing family type, more than doubling in number from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million in 2017. This is most likely due to the fact that many couples now chose to live together rather than marry, or they live together first before they marry, especially if they are younger.

The question is, if you cohabit with your loved one, what are your legal rights should your relationship break down irrevocably or if your partner passes away? Many people have heard the phrase ‘common law spouse’ and believe that if you live with your partner for a certain amount of time and better still have children with that person, then you become a ‘common law’ husband or wife with the same rights as a married couple. This is simply not true. Here are some uncomfortable truths for you to consider if you are currently in a cohabiting relationship:

In the event of a relationship breakdown

Your home is likely to be your most important asset. The law assumes it is owned by whoever is named on the Land Registry title, so if your name is not on the title deeds, you would need to show that you and your partner agreed that you would have a share and you acted on that or that you made direct financial contributions, perhaps by contributing towards the deposit, or by helping meet the mortgage payments. This requires evidence which can be hard to gather and costly.

If you are the father of children born before 1 December 2003, you will not have Parental Responsibility. If your children were born after that date, you will only have Parental Responsibility for them if your name is registered on the birth certificate. If you do not have Parental Responsibility, you can only acquire it through a written formal agreement with the children’s mother or by obtaining an order from the court.

In the event your partner dies

Unless you are a ‘joint owner of your home, you will not receive a share of it. If you own as “beneficial joint tenants”, the property will pass to you, but if you own as “tenants in common”, you will retain your share but your partner’s share will go into his or her estate. Unlike where the couple is married, a cohabitant is not recognised as next of kin, so unless he or she has provided for you by making a Will, you will not be entitled to any of the estate. Assets and property belonging to your partner will go to the next of kin i.e. children, parent, siblings or potentially another spouse if your partner has yet to be divorced.

In the unfortunate event that you are left with nothing, your only option would be to make a claim against your partner’s estate which can be stressful, costly and time-consuming, so to avoid all of this it is essential that you both make comprehensive Wills and that you should also consider a cohabitation contract, which is an enforceable agreement which confirms what will happen to assets should you separate.

Chris Bowen, Family Lawyer with Thorneycrofts comments that people livings in cohabitee relationships have little or no legal protection if they separate. This area of law needs an urgent overhaul but until that happens, it is all the more important to get legal advice about setting up home with your partner so that you do not find yourself at a disadvantage if your relationship fails or your partner dies.

For further information or advice on cohabitation agreements, Wills or any of our services then please call our family law team who will be happy to advise you on your legal rights on 0800 1979 345.

Writing a ‘living will’ could soon become compulsory

20th November 2017

A High Court judge has been praised for suggesting that people should have to make an advance statement of wishes otherwise known as a ‘living will’ in case said person suffers a serious incapacitating illness or injury.

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5 common estate planning mistakes to look out for

20th November 2017

Ensuring you have taken the time to prepare a will to suit your personal and financial circumstances, will minimise the stress and complications for your family and friends.

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Crash for cash: What is it and is it an issue?

14th November 2017

With Birmingham being named a ‘crash for cash’ hotspot and numerous towns and cities in the North West being named in the list of the top 30 cash for crash locations in the UK, we’ve looked at what crash for cash means and whether it is still a problem.

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How the Spinal Injuries Association can help you

13th November 2017

Here at Thorneycroft Solicitors, we have seen first how charitable organisations can have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of those who have suffered serious injuries.

That is why we are proud to be one of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) corporate members.

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