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Glasgow solicitor struck off

William Meechan, a1 solicitor responsible for a litany of failures has been found guilty of professional misconduct as a result of numerous failures, including dealing with executry [estate] proceeds in such a way as to conceal a client’s financial position when she was claiming state benefits, and failing to issue a fee note to an executry before deducting his fees from the estate account.

The Tribunal could not accept that a would address the serious nature of this conduct as significantly as the honesty and trustworthiness of the Respondent demonstrated that the Respondent was not a fit person to be a solicitor. The Tribunal unanimously concluded that the appropriate disposal was to strike the name of the Respondent from the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland.

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Can your Will be challenged?

Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, a will can be challenged if the deceased failed to provide reasonable financial provision for a spouse, cohabitee, dependant or child. Where a claim is upheld, the beneficiaries named in the will receive less than they were originally bequeathed.

A well-drafted will and a ‘statement of reasons’ can often help to avoid claims under the act or help to defend such a claim in court. A statement of reasons should be carefully drafted by the practitioner, and signed by the testator.

Litigation of this sort is becoming more prevalent partly due to ‘no win no fee’ agreements and peoples increasing financial needs. Where a claim is brought even if ultimately no award is made the administration of an estate can be delayed by up to three years. It is therefore essential where any potential claimants are being exclude by Will that a statement be prepared to help prevent any future litigation.

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LTT will replace SDLT in Wales

From April 2018, Land Transaction Tax (LTT) will replace UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in Wales. To provide stability and reassurance to businesses and the property market initially LTT it will be consistent with the current UK tax, retaining its key elements concerning partnerships, trusts and companies, and reliefs and exemptions.

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that Stamp Duty receipts would rise from only £145m in 2013-14 to £231m by 2018-19 — the year when control of the tax will be devolved. Although at £170,000 the average house price in Wales is lower than UK average of £267,000, according to the latest Office of National Statistics figures there has been no proposal to lower the threshold at which tax becomes payable. This lower limit currently stands at £125,000.

Decisions on tax rates will be made closer to April 2018, including an additional rate on second homes.

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40% boost in care home fees

Following a government-commissioned review nursing homes have received a 40% boost in the fees they receive for work carried out by registered NHS nurses. The government has increased the standard NHS-funded nursing care (FNC) rate from £112 to £156.25 a week, as recommended by audit firm Mazars, based on its assessment of the “reasonable cost” of funding the service.

Congratulations Ursula!

Ursula Minshall one of Dunham McCarthy’s Senior Estate Planners has completed the first part of her STEP Diploma for the Administration of Estates. After much hard work and determination we are proud to share her achievement of passing the exam (with flying colours).

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