The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
The legislation governing the creation of wills is 180 years old this year, and, surprisingly, much of it does remain useful and applicable. However, there have been significant changes over the course of the last two centuries, meaning that some aspects are outdated.
Unsurprisingly, technological advancements have impacted on how documents are generated, communicated and stored; something that the legislators back in 1837 could not have imagined or accounted for. More importantly, society has developed a better understanding of mental health and mental capacity. Despite this, the case law that determines whether a person has the necessary capacity to make a will is Banks v Goodfellow of 1870.
Today, the Law Commission has launched a consultation, "Making a Will", which you can find here, and will be open until 10 November.
The areas that this consultation aims to address include:
- Around 40% of adults in England and Wales have not made a will. The Commission would like to hear from both professionals and members of the public to understand why people fail to make a will;
- Understanding the difficulties experienced by families when, after someone passes away, a dispute arises over the validity of their will;
- A proposal to reduce the minimum legal age to create a will from 18 to 16; and
- A potential change to the law on “ademption”.
As solicitors, the proposed change to the law on ademption is particularly welcome. If a testator makes a gift of property that they no longer own at the time of their death in their will, the gift fails and the beneficiary is disappointed. This failure of a testamentary gift is known as ademption.
Unwittingly, many attorneys create this problem. In the instance that a person’s house is left to a specific beneficiary in their will, but their attorney sells their house to pay for their care home fees, the gift can no longer take effect on death.
Under the current law, if the attorney wishes to avoid the gift being adeemed, they must make a specific application to the Court of Protection for authority to sell. The proposed change in the consultation is to create an exception in the law if the assets have been disposed of due to events beyond the control of the testator.
If you have any questions in relation to this consultation, you wish to make a will or lasting power of attorney, or need advice as an attorney, please contact Sheree Green or our Personal Planning Team on 0121 214 3728. To find out more about the other services we offer at Anthony Collins Solicitors, please visit our website.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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