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Life Interest Trusts in Wills

Jessica  Latimer
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What is a Life Interest Trust? A Life Interest Trust is a Trust included in your Will and can be a way, in certain situations, of protecting your share of your house for future generations after you die. A life Interest trust is commonly used in...

Who takes care of unaccompanied minors when they enter the UK?

Jasmine Lees
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Unaccompanied minors are children who enter the UK and may be seeking asylum under the Refugee Convention and may also be known as ‘unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). These children may experience a number of forms of harm prior to their...

World Suicide Prevention Day

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10th September 2022 - World Suicide Prevention Day #WorldSuicidePreventionDay Suicide and mental health are often seen as taboo topics and something that people are often scared to talk about. This stigma around mental health and suicide needs to end....

What is an application for Exceptional Hardship?

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An application for exceptional hardship can be made when a driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points on their licence within any 3 year period, resulting in the Court determining whether they are to be disqualified from driving under the totting up...

Freehold vs Leasehold

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When purchasing a property in the UK, the property can be either freehold or leasehold.  The two are quite different and it is important to understand the differences when searching for a property to buy.  Here at Johnson Astills, we are here to...

Pensions and Life Insurance Policies?

Jessica  Latimer
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When making or reviewing your Will and your Inheritance Tax position, considering how you hold your pension and Life Insurance Policies is very important. At Johnson Astills , we provide a comprehensive Will writing service and place great importance on...

The Dangers of 'self-help' Financial Disclosure

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Acrimony and Hostility between parties in divorce and finance proceedings can often give rise to a lack of trust in the financial disclosure submitted by the opposing party. In some cases, this can cause many a mistrusting spouse to conduct their own probing...

Can my children live with their grandparents if I am not able to care?

Jasmine Lees
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When the Local Authority have concerns surrounding a parent (or carer’s) care of a child then the Local Authority may complete an initial viability assessment of the capability of any wider family members or friends to provide safe care for the child....

What is an Emergency Protection Order (EPO)?

Jasmine Lees
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An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is a time limited protective order for emergency situation whereby there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is likely to suffer significant harm on 3 grounds: The child is not removed (i.e. from a home address)...

Johnson Astills: an Award Winning 'Team of Fabulous Women'

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Johnson Astills: an Award Winning 'Team of Fabulous Women' https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/special-features/johnson-astills-team-fabulous-women-7346956 ...

Things to know when Selling your Property

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Selling your property, although may sound straightforward can often become prolonged and complicated. Not all transactions are the same due to several reasons but here at Johnson Astills, we are here to make the journey as smooth as possible. Here are some...

Regional Legal Aid Firm of 2022 at the LALYs!

Chelsea  Harris
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‘A Team of Fabulous Women!’ and ‘Leicester Legal Aid Legends’ : Johnson Astills declared the Regional Legal Aid Firm of 2022 at the LALYs! What are the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards (LALYS)? On Tuesday 12 July 2022, the...

National DoLs Court is being launched at the Royal Courts of Justice

Chelsea  Harris
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DoL stands for ‘Deprivation of Liberty’ and means that a person’s freedom is taken away from them. Being deprived of liberty will mean that a person is under continuous supervision and control and is not permitted to leave a certain place....

Things to Look out for when Buying a New Build Property

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A New Build Property is a property that has never been lived in before and has been recently constructed. Buying a New Build property is different from buying an older property, so it is important that you know what to look out for. Here at Johnson Astills,...

New Domestic Abuse Offences as of 7th June 2022

Olivia Peck
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Section 70 Domestic Abuse Act 2021, introduced offences of non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation, these offences came into force on 7 th June 2022. What is the offence of strangulation or suffocation? The legislation states that a person...

What can I do as an executor to make sure I find the most recent Will and details of all assets and liabilities in an estate?

Jessica  Latimer
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If you are acting as an Executor or Administrator you have a legal obligation to ensure you have found and dealt with all of the assets in the estate of the deceased and that you are proving and administering the correct Will. There are various searches that...

Sentencing for sexual offending involving a "sting" operation

Olivia Peck
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From 31 st May 2022, the sentencing guidelines for child sexual offences where no child existed or is harmed will be revised. What are the changes? The new guidelines coming into force provide Judges and Magistrates with guidance on how to sentence...

Sexual Offences & Sexsomnia (Sex while you sleep)

Helen Johnson
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WHAT IS SEXSOMNIA?  Sexsomnia is sexual behaviour while asleep. It is recognised in both sleep disorder and psychiatric classifications. Sexsomnia occurs when the brain is disassociated or partially disassociated and covers a wide range of sexual...

Blood Alcohol Testing: Is PEth is leading the way?

Chelsea  Harris
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You may be asked to engage in blood alcohol testing. This has now become an essential part in providing an insight into an individual’s alcohol consumption and providing an evidential picture within proceedings before the Family Court. In Family cases...

Tips for First Time Buyers

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Purchasing a property is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make and doing it for the first time can be daunting. Here at Johnson Astills, we are here to make the journey as smooth as possible.  The process can be time consuming and...

WHAT WILL SHOW UP IN MY DRUGS AND/OR ALCOHOL TEST?

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If the Local Authority has concerns about your suspected alcohol or substance misuse, they may well ask you to agree to be tested. There are several different ways to test for alcohol or substance use, each of which will be further explored within this...

Angel Lynn - Coercive Control

Rhian Williams
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Angel Lynn was in an abusive relationship with Chay Bowskill. On 17 th September 2020, Angel was kidnapped by Bowskill. Bowskill was captured on CCTV chasing Angel down a street following an argument. He was seen to grab her from behind and she was forced...

What will happen when my child is ready to leave Local Authority care?

Chelsea  Harris
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Once a Care Order is made at Court, this Order remains in place until a child reaches 18 years old. Once a child reaches adulthood, the Care Order will cease to have effect. The Local Authority have a duty to support young people who have been subject to a...

Caught driving whilst using a mobile phone?

Olivia Peck
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New legislation comes into force on 25 th March 2022 that prohibits the use, while driving a motor vehicle, of hand-held mobile telephones or other interactive communication devices, when performing an interactive communication function. This widens the...

No-fault divorce: Important dates

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The no-fault divorce is to be introduced on Wednesday 6 th April 2022. The Government have now published key dates, including cut off dates in relation to existing applications under the existing legislation . We have been notified by HMCTS   of...

Putting Children's voices at the heart of reform. A report by Dame Rachel De Souza, Children's Commissioner for England January 2022.

Chelsea  Harris
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The report completed by Dame Rachel De Souza is dedicated to the children in care, who have voiced their experiences. These children have shared their thoughts and personal experiences in the hope that change can be brought for the children who follow in...

WHAT SPEED CAN I DO BEFORE I GET A SPEEDING TICKET?

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The moment of dread. Did I activate that speed camera? Will I receive a ticket in the post? According to the latest official data 74% of all motoring offences are speed related and can be a major contributing factor to deaths and serious injuries on our...

What is Coercive Control?

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Coercive Control is a form of abuse, as set out in Section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. Controlling behaviour is defined as a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependant by isolating them from their sources of support,...

Impact of divorce on Wills & LPAs

Jessica  Latimer
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According to the latest figures the current rate of marriages ending in divorce in the UK is 42%. When going through divorce proceedings it is important to review and consider your Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorneys , and the implications divorce has...

Almost 100,000 children could be in Local Authority care in England by 2025

Julia Shaikh
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The County Councils network (CCN) say more needs to be done to assist keeping families together. If this is not achieved soon, Local Authorities could spend up to £3.6bn more a year placing children in care by 2025, compared to 2015. If these trends...

What happens if my children are separated in foster care?

Jasmine Lees
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A BBC article dated 26 th January 2022 shone a light on the separation of siblings upon children entering the foster care system. The article highlights that around 45% of sibling groups are split up into different placements when the Local Authority become...

Are Local Authority Leicester City Council Children's Services Department meeting the needs of families and their children? Update 2022

Chelsea  Harris
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We previously wrote about the first Social Care Annual Report that was released from Ofsted in 2013. This report identified that a vast majority of Local Authorities were inadequate, and some child safeguarding services were struggling to meet basic...

I have a meeting with social services, can a solicitor attend with me?

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There may be lots of reasons why social services are inviting you to a meeting. For some of these meetings, you may be entitled to legal representation, meaning a solicitor can attend the meeting with you and give you advice about the issues discussed. ...

Many people will know that it is an offence to have an offensive weapon in a public place but did you know that it can be a criminal offence to have this in a private dwelling?

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The increase in crimes of this nature has led to the implementation of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 specifically Section 46. This came into force on the 14 th July 2021. This section made amendments to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 which included banning...

No fault divorce: what is it?

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The first working day of January is usually referred to as ‘Divorce Day’. This is because, historically family solicitors receive the greatest number of enquiries about starting divorce proceedings. This year, however, there is speculation that...

Plan to reform Human Right Act

Julia Shaikh
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The government established the Independent Human Rights Act Review in December 2020 to examine the framework of the Human Rights Act. The review looked at how it operates in practice and whether there was a need for change, with consideration being...

What happens if the police want to speak to me?

Olivia Peck
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If the police wish to speak with you under caution it is extremely important that you understand your legal rights. Even if you are not under arrest or placed in police custody you still have the right to free and independent legal advice. Voluntary...

What does 'risk of sexual harm' mean?

Jasmine Lees
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In November 2021, the NSPCC confirmed that a record number of people had contacted their service due to concerns around child sexual abuse, with nearly 5,000 calls made within a 6 month period. There are concerns that the risk of this type of abuse has...

Police Targeting Drink Driving at Christmas

Olivia Peck
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The Christmas season is coming... As the Christmas season approaches the party season gets underway. You may see Christmas drink drive campaigns starting to appear from local police forces, which will mean that once again police will be targeting drink...

The Importance of Making an LPA

Jessica  Latimer
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In a recent study sent to the Ministry of Justice it has found that during the pandemic there has been a significant reduction (26.5%) in the registration of LPAs for both Health and Care and Property and Finances. This statistic is of concern, bearing in...

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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Thursday 25 th November 2021 marks the launch of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, consisting of 16 days of activism across the UN and concluding on 10 th December, which will be International Human Rights Day. This campaign, led by the UN...

What is a Life Interest Trust

Jessica  Latimer
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A Life Interest Trust is created by a Will and is commonly used by married couples as a way of protecting each other’s respective share of the property on first death. Situations where this may be appropriate are where there are children from previous...

Time limit for charges for Common Assault

Rhian Williams
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There is currently a six-month time limit for a charge to be brought against someone for common assault. The BBC recently revealed that 13,000 cases in England and Wales have been dropped in the last 5 years, due to exceeding the time limit. Currently,...

What can I expect when I start divorce proceedings?

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Deciding to start divorce proceedings can be a very overwhelming experience and you can often not know where to start. The following article explores the different steps involved in the divorce procedure and provides assistance on the process. Provided that...

Social Services have asked me to sign and adhere to a Written Agreement and Safety plan, should I sign?

Chelsea  Harris
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Written agreements and safety plans are intended to provide clarity about the way that the Local Authority and your family will work together to ensure that your children remain safe whilst in your care. A safety plan is usually a personalised document that...

What is a Residential Assessment Unit?

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Where concerns have been raised about a parent’s ability to provide safe care for their child, a residential assessment may be considered as opposed to a community-based assessment to assess if they can parent the child safely and appropriately with...

World Mental Health Day

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10 th October 2021 – World Mental Health Day. #pinitforformentalhealth Mental health is something that people are often scared to talk about or feel silly for doing so. This should never be the case. The conversation around mental health is always...

Land Registry Update 2021 - The Future

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This year HM Land Registry have introduced several innovative improvements to the registration and application process with a view to adjust and adapt to become more accessible to the public. This is mainly due to the need of the conveyancing process to be...

I only threatened to share the image - I didn't actually do it - why do I have to go to Court?

Zara Cowan
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Many will know it is already an offence to disclose a private sexual film or photograph in which another person appears without the consent of that person. Earlier this year and because of the Domestic Abuse Bill, a new offence has been created under...

Change in Court fees

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Generally, when an application is made to the Court a Court fee is required. As of 30 th September 2021, the HMCTS have raised their Court fees in respect of Family matters. Therefore, the Court fees are now: Divorce Petition       ...

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