GHP Insights

News, Q&As and Press Releases From Our Team

Q&A - Who can deal with estate if sole executor and beneficiary dies?

Q.     We lost my aunt to covid at Christmas. She left a homemade will appointing my mother as her sole executor and beneficiary. Due to her ill health, I assisted my mother in administering the estate. Unfortunately, before she could benefit from the estate, my mother also passed away. My aunt owned a property which must now be sold, but who can deal with my aunt’s estate now that my mother has passed away?

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Q&A - What to do when beneficiary threatens claim against executor for misappropriation of funds

Q:    My brother and I are beneficiaries of our father’s Will, though I am sole executor. For three years before our father died, I also had sole power of attorney over our father’s affairs as my brother lives abroad. After taking over the handling of our father’s finances I had to pay out considerable sums for essential repairs on his house, which had been badly neglected. I considered this essential, to increase the property’s value should funds be needed to pay for his care. As it turned out, I moved in to look after him.

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Q&A - Should I apply for an Attachment of Earnings Order for owed maintenance?

Q:    I went through a particularly acrimonious divorce four years ago and my ex-husband was very bitter about having to pay maintenance. Then in Summer 2020 he lost his job and stopped paying. I threatened to take him back to court as I knew he had a good payout. He then said he would start paying again and settle any back payments when he got another job. I agreed to give him some time and he got another job in May this year – a very good job. I hoped he would reinstate the payments and pay the back payments, but he hasn’t done so. I have heard he is planning to move away. Should I apply for an attachment of earnings order for what he owes?

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Q&A - Selling our home and mum’s, to buy one house. How best to do it?

Q:    My dad died of COVID last year and mum became so lonely that we have decided she should come and live with us. We plan to sell her house and ours and buy a bigger house so that we can all have our own space. If we keep our mortgage as it is now, then mum can put the extra out of her sale proceeds. In which case, should her name be on the deeds? Or would it be better for us to increase our mortgage and charge mum rent to make up the difference in our monthly repayments?

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Q&A - If I sign a 5-year lease for my new business venture, can I get out of it?

Q:    During COVID lockdown I could not work as a mobile beauty therapist. As I did not qualify for government funding, I started making cakes and selling them through my Facebook page. Things went well and I expanded into take-away pastries, light meals, and a local delivery service. Now I want to get premises and open a shop. I have found a former café complete with equipment, but it means taking on a five-year lease. Could I get out of the lease if things don’t work out?

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Q&A - Hospital blunder left me unable to give birth. Can I claim compensation to pay foreign surrogacy costs?

Q:    I was given a shock diagnosis of cervical cancer at the age of 28 and had a hysterectomy. Before surgery I had my eggs frozen as I had no children but had always wanted a large family. After recovering from the surgery, I began to question what had happened, as my cervical smears had always been fine. I made a complaint and after an investigation the hospital accepted errors had been made and my tests were wrongly reported. If appropriate action had been taken, there was apparently a 95% chance of a complete cure.

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Q&A - Would husband’s lockdown gambling debts be considered in a divorce settlement?

Q:    While he was furloughed, getting paid but not working, my husband started gambling online. He ran up huge debts we cannot afford, has become a social moron and sits glued to his computer saying nothing to me or the kids. If I divorce him, will I be responsible for half his gambling debts, or would those be taken into consideration and give me a bigger financial settlement?

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Q&A - Does compensation for injury affect eligibility for state benefits?

Q:    I made a claim for compensation following quite severe injuries I suffered in an accident last year. The insurance company has now made me an offer of £30,000, but says it is unable to tell me whether the pay-out will affect my state benefits. Before I accept the offer, please can you explain the situation?

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Q&A - Can a worker be sacked for refusing to wear a mask during the Covid crisis?

Q:    I run a small family business selling building products to local tradesmen. It has been really difficult trying to enforce Covid regulations with customers over the past year. Eventually we had to close the gates and use a ‘call before you collect’ system so that people queued outside our premises and it was not our responsibility if they did not want to wear a mask. Now we have a different problem, namely staff who are refusing to wear a mask when interfacing with customers because the customers don’t bother. Can we sack staff if they refuse to wear a mask?

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Q&A - Constructive Dismissal or Unfair Dismissal? What is the difference?

Q:    Since returning to work after being furloughed during the COVID lockdown, everything changed, and I became increasingly unhappy in my job. I felt like I was trying to do my job and they were not letting me. A few weeks ago, it all came to a head, and basically, I was “let go” after a row with management, during which I was accused of having become too difficult to continue my employment with them. I was so upset that I walked out. When I tried to return, I was told my job was gone. Have I got a case for Constructive or Unfair Dismissal, and what is the difference?

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