Archive for January, 2018

How to Try and Ensure That Your Will Won’t Be Contested

Consideration has been given for the editing and publishing of this post

In the recent past, more and more people have taken will-related disputes to court, and the number is expected to rise. The increase in property value is one of the leading reasons why your family may contest your will and fight over the inheritance. You can, however, help to try and ensure that your will is never disputed by following the tips below.

1. Make Your Intentions Known Early

The reasons for the way you want your property divided in your will are numerous and are always known best by you. It could be that you trust one family member more than another or that you want to help a particular family member because he/she is financially unstable. Whatever your reasons are, you need to declare your intentions publicly and early to avoid any disputes that may arise. Members of your family will come to accept your decision over time once you make it known soon enough. The time of your passing will be full of a lot of emotions that can lead to several disputes concerning your will especially if some members feel like they were left out or that they received less than fair inheritance.

2. Make Your Will as Early as Possible

Do not wait for old age to begin making your will as it can be contested on grounds that you were not mentally stable. Ensure you create your will early enough when it is clear that you are of sound mind and that you can make informed decisions without the influence of others. When you make your will early enough, it is almost impossible to contest it since it is quite clear that you understood the consequences of your decision. Most people don’t want to make their will early because they are uncertain whether they might want to change it. This is, however, not an issue since you could always update your will at any time should you feel like. It is advisable that you make your will as early as possible and simply update it over time.

3. Include a No Contest Clause

You can include a no-contest clause in your will which states that anyone who challenges it will receive nothing. A no-contest clause is very efficient especially if someone was planning to go to court because they feel that they received less than the fair amount of inheritance. The possibility of losing everything will ensure that there are no will disputes. It is, however, paramount that you seek advice from professionals, for example The Inheritance Experts who offer free consults, when you want to include the no-contest clause since it is not enforceable in some regions and it may have certain exceptions that can render it useless. Inheritance disputes are always bound to spring up, and a no-contest clause can come in handy.

4. Review Your Will Periodically

Once you have made your will, it is essential that you don’t just throw it in your drawer without ever going through it again. When you consistently sit down with your lawyer and make a few tweaks or changes, then your family members will appreciate your efforts and are less likely to contest it. You could also make changes according to your financial situations and ever-changing family. Family members will also find it difficult to challenge a will that you have reviewed several times since it can be assumed that you put a lot of thought and time into every decision.

5. Transfer Assets While You Are Alive

One strategy that can ensure that your will is not contested is merely transferring your assets before you pass away. When you give away the inheritance early enough, there will be no assets left for anyone to claim and therefore there will be no dispute at all. This is, however, a risky strategy because you risk being left with no support. Whoever you give the inheritance to may just turn on you and take off to do what they please with the assets. Ensure you take a lot of factors into consideration before you decide on giving away your assets before your death because there could be severe consequences.

6. Ensure Your Will Is Detailed

One of the simplest ways to ensure that your will is not contested is including lots and lots of details. It is crucial that you stipulate why you want your assets divided in that particular order and your reasons for not giving everyone an equal share. State your reasons for each decision that you made and ensure that you are subtle about it. Do not use spiteful language because it just might be grounds to revoke your will as biased. Once you state your reasons positively and factually, it will be difficult to dispute your will.

7. Include a Capacity Report

We already discussed how a will can be disputed on the argument that you were not in the right state of mind especially if you are aged above seventy or if you had any history of mental illness. It is of added advantage if you could include a capacity report in your will to dispute any arguments of mental disability when writing your will. A capacity report is a document which states that you are able to write a will since you are of fit mind. You may feel that a capacity report is unnecessary at the moment, but it can help prove you were of a healthy mental state when writing the will and therefore make it indisputable.

8. Do Not Make Any Promises

It is crucial that you don’t promise any of your assets to anyone while you are still alive. A promise is binding especially if the person suffered any sort of detriment, including financial, in the hopes that they would get the promised inheritance. This case is especially prevalent in farming families where, for example, children might work on the farm with no pay but just the expectation that they will inherit the estate in future. If you fail to include any of the children in the will, then they could contest your will because they suffered detriment and are therefore entitled to the inheritance.

January 31, 2018 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

January 29, 2018 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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What to Do if Your Medical Negligence Claim Goes to Court

Consideration has been given for the editing and publishing of this post

While most medical negligence claims are settled before it goes to court, a fair percentage of them do end up going to court. This does not mean you are necessarily going to lose your case, nor should you panic. Here are a few tips on what to do if your medical negligence claim is litigated. We’ll also explain why these actions are necessary on your part.

Talk to Your Attorney

The first thing to do when you find out that your medical negligence case is going to court is not to panic. The second case is to contact your solicitor. The case may still be settled. In fact, many defendants pass a case to their solicitor to negotiate a settlement after court proceedings have started. If you’ve been trying to handle a medical negligence on your own or are unhappy with your lawyer, you should contact the patient claim line as soon as you ca.

Expect a Defence

Pre-action protocols before trial involve the defendant denying part or all of the medical negligence claim. It may involve a settlement offer, though they may not admit negligence. The case goes to court if you’re demanding settlement and don’t receive an offer, or if their offer is not sufficient. However, when you go to court, they have the right to file a defence of their claim. They can challenge any or all details of the case. Depending on the value of the claim and the complexity of the case, the case may be assigned to a County Court or High Court.

Be Prepared to Hand Over Documents

When the case goes to court, all parties will have to disclose any documents related to the case. If you’ve been claiming lost wages or costs for ongoing care, you’ll be obligated to hand over these financial records. Medical reports may need to be updated, and in some cases, this requires another round of medical tests. Statements must be disclosed to set out evidence that witnesses will give in the court hearing, though you may not actually be called to testify. The court can ask for any other actions necessary so that both sides have a fair hearing.

Be Patient

If a case goes to court, the time from when you call the patient claim line to the time the case is resolved is one and a half to two years. More complex cases involving several liable parties or difficult to prove injuries take more time. Even after going to trial, it will take weeks, possibly months, before a judgment is delivered. However, in most cases, it will take between 12 and 18 months from the time the action was started for the case to go to court.

Understand That There May Still Be a Settlement

When you call a patient claim line, you’re detailing the harm you’ve suffered, and you may be told a ballpark estimate as to the type of settlement you should receive. Going to court raises the spectre of losing the case.

However, the courts want to minimise the time they must devote to any case, so they try to have the two sides come together to work out as much common ground as possible. This reduces how much has to actually be addressed in the trial itself.

And there is a possibility that a settlement is worked out in this phase, though the court may still determine the amount of the settlement if the opponent simply admits a degree of liability. But the judge is always going to try to recommend mediation over a court hearing.

What Can I Expect at the Court Hearing?

First of all, a senior solicitor or barrister will start by presenting your case to the judge. Your solicitor will be present as well during the whole procedure. You and any witness you may have will proceed to be questioned by both your representative and the other party’s. Please note that the judge will have no idea about any settlement discussions you may have had with the other party.

Once all evidence is presented before the judge, he will assess them and give his verdict. If liability for the said incident happens to be disputed, the judge will address which party was responsible. If it’s the compensation amount that is in dispute, the judge will determine how much the other party should pay.

If your medical negligence case is going to court, then you should talk to an attorney. If you’ve been trying to fight the case on your own, you must have a solicitor at this point. Recognize that the other side has a right to request information and even additional tests as part of their legal defence. And understand that going to court doesn’t mean it won’t be settled prior to a trial or that the trial will be limited to merely deciding how much the other side has to pay.

January 23, 2018 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

January 15, 2018 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

January 8, 2018 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized