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Personal and Business Legal Services in Solihull

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child contact

Child Contact – Resolution Without the Court Battle

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It is always an emotional time when parents cannot agree contact arrangements regarding the children.  This has the potential to harm the children who may be exposed to their parents’ arguments, as well as not knowing from one week to the next which parent they are going to stay with.

These disagreements often come at a stressful time when the parties are separating or divorcing and emotions are running ‘high’ on both sides.  

We try to work with our clients to focus on what is in the best interests of the children and exploring the options for a balanced contact arrangement that works for both parties.

The parties do not need to go running to the Courts for a resolution.  Often this can lead to further strains on an already tense situation.  We can arrange mediation sessions for the parties to attend and seek resolution with the help of a trained family mediator.  This is a far quicker and cheaper option for all involved.

We will also seek to address any concerns with the other party and explore options for reaching an agreement in correspondence, or by way of the parties attending a meeting at our offices.  

Importantly, parties can now record any agreement reached into a Consent Order which the Court will consider and seal, making it binding on both parties.  This gives protection as to the agreed arrangements for both parties without having incurred significant legal fees in battling through contested hearings at Court which can often leave both parties with legal fees of around £10,000 or more.

If you would like to discuss any child contact issues you are experiencing, then please contact us on 0121 270 2700 and speak to one of our Family Solicitors.  Alternatively, please fill in the contact form below and we will get back to you shortly.

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keys handed over in close-up to someone with building they have bought in background

Should you buy the Freehold of your home?

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If you own your home on a leasehold basis, it could revert to the freeholder in the future with you losing out financially.  A lease means you only own the property for a certain number of years. As the lease gets shorter there are consequences. If you have not already bought the freehold of your property, there are some good reasons why you should.

  1. The shorter the number of years left on your Lease the more difficult it can be to sell.

 

  1. The same applies if you want to remortgage to get a better rate of interest or to raise money to improve the property or to seek an equity release. Lenders usually require at least 75 years remaining on the lease.

 

  1. As the Lease of your property gets shorter, the cost of buying the freehold will increase.

 

  1. Many people leave the purchase of a freehold until they are actually selling their property. This is unwise as it can take time to negotiate the best price especially if your freeholder knows you are trying to sell!

 

  1. If you buy your freehold you no longer have to pay annual ground rent.

 

  1. If you wish to build an extension or make a structural change to the property you no longer need a freeholder’s consent. [You do still need to comply with planning requirements and building regulations].

 

  1. If you want to pass your property on to your children they have certain limited rights to acquire the freehold whereas if you have owned your property for 2 years or more you have a legal right to buy at a fair price.

 

As you can see from the above there are lots of good reasons for buying your freehold and there is no good reason not to buy it. 

 

How much will it cost?

 

One of the key questions is what is the correct value of your freehold? Your freeholder will offer to sell at a price; you will probably not know whether that is a fair price. We work with Tony Brunt, a local surveyor who specialises in freehold negotiations. He will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you pay a fair price.

 

We are happy to have an initial discussion without charge. We can then tell you the procedure and costs.

 

Please call Alison Bates or Tony Lynch at this office on 0121 270 2700 fill in the contact form below and they will be in touch to discuss with you.

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contesting a will

Disputing a Will or Contesting Probate

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It can be challenging enough dealing with the financial affairs and final wishes of a loved one after their death. This process, known as probate, is made far more difficult when it is contested.

Contested probate is any dispute relating to the administration or distribution of a deceased person’s estate. This could be a dispute over the validity of a Will or part of a Will, interpretation of specific clauses in the Will or even making a claim to obtain a share of a deceased person’s estate when the Will does not provide for this.

Contested probate matters may also include dealing with difficult executors or feuding beneficiaries.

Pearcelegal offer a free consultation to help you understand the best way of moving forwards if you are faced with a disputed probate situation.

Fill in the form below or call to speak to one of our Solicitors on 0121 270 2700 to arrange a no obligation session. 

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Rachel Ison

Rachel Ison Qualifies as a Solicitor into our Private Client Department

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We are delighted to announce that Rachel Ison has now completed her training contract and has qualified as a Solicitor, specialising in Private Client matters including Will writing, Probate and Tax Planning.

After joining us in 2016, initially as an administrative assistant, Rachel started her training contract, experiencing all aspects of the firm including conveyancing, litigation and family work before deciding to specialise in private client matters.

Rachel joins Graham Pearce and Hayley Palmer in our experienced team to provide advice and support tailored to the particular needs of each matter.

If you would like to discuss preparing a new Will, need help with probate or would like to review any tax planning requirements, please contact Rachel on 0121 347 6214 to arrange a free initial consultation.

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HS2 Homeowner Payment Scheme

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The Homeowner Payment Scheme is for eligible property owners living near the planned HS2 route in rural areas. Those who are eligible will receive £7,500, £15,000 or £22,500 depending upon the distance from the HS2 route. If you have received an in-principle acceptance from the Government that you are eligible for payment under the discretionary scheme, then you will require a Solicitor to act on your behalf before you can receive any payment.

Have you received notice that the planned HS2 line will impact upon your property and that you are entitled to a payment under the HS2 Homeowner Payment Scheme? ? If so, we can assist you with the formalities to ensure that your payment is received as soon as possible and in most cases we will limit our fees to that which you are entitled to recover from the Government.

For further details, please call 0121 270 2700 and ask to speak with a member of the Litigation Department.

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Higher rates of Stamp Duty on purchases of additional residential properties from 1 April 2016

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From 1 April 2016, there will be higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on purchases of additional residential properties. This means that if you are purchasing a holiday home by the coast, a second home or you are Landlord snapping up ‘Buy to Let’ properties, from 1 April 2016 you will have to pay a higher rate of Stamp Duty at 3% above the current SDLT rates. To put this into perspective, a purchase at £150,000 completed prior to 1 April 2016 will attract Stamp Duty of £500 but a purchase at £150,000 completed post 1 April 2016, will see Stamp Duty payable at £5,000. Remember though, the higher rates of Stamp Duty are only applicable if you a buying a property in addition to your main residence, so if you are just replacing your main home (which is being sold), the higher rates will not apply to you. If the property you are purchasing is intended to replace your main residence but it has not yet been sold, the transaction will be subject to the higher Stamp Duty rates but a refund is available to you if you sell your previous main residence within 18 months. Whatever your situation, Pearcelegal can advise you appropriately and assist you with your purchase and Stamp Duty formalities in a friendly, timely and professional manner.

 

 

 

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