GHP Insights

News, Q&As and Press Releases From Our Team

Q&A - Can anything be done about my abusive partner during COVID lockdown?

Q: Since the lockdown began my partner has been going out every day to the supermarket and bringing back booze which he sits and drinks. Then he gets nasty with me. He has always been verbally abusive towards me, but this is the worst ever and now he is hitting me too because he knows he can get away with it as I am stuck in the house and no-one sees me. I have thought about calling the police when he is at the supermarket, but even if they come what can happen while we are in lockdown? I am terrified I would just make things worse for myself. What can I do?

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Q&A - Does a Will become invalid if a beneficiary also acts as a witness?

Q: Recently my father died and my stepmother, whom I got on well with, died a month later. I had helped them write a Will after they married six years ago, using an online guide we found, so I know they both left their estates to one another and then to me. However, having searched the house I cannot find it. Now my stepmother’s sisters are claiming the Will would have been invalid anyway, as I was the only witness to it as well as being a beneficiary. They claim that the entire estate is therefore theirs. Is this correct?

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Lawyer reports cases of employers already looking to use COVID-19 as excuse to ‘let workers go’!

The Head of Employment Law at one of the region’s largest independent law firms has reported being approached several times in the past couple of weeks by workers seeking advice about bosses who appear to be using COVID-19 as an excuse to get rid of them.

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Q&A - Is my employer using COVID-19 as an excuse to get rid of me?

Q: It is no secret that my wife is medically vulnerable, however her condition is not one that puts her into the ‘at risk’ category for contracting Coronavirus. I was therefore completely taken aback when my employers started talking about ending my employment with them because they said they could not be responsible for putting her at risk. I argued that she is not at risk but so far they have not said they are changing their minds. I think they are just using this as an excuse to get rid of me. What can I do?

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Q&A - Is it still possible to get a divorce during COVID-19 lockdown?

Q. This lockdown has shown me that I can no longer tolerate my husband. All he does is sit around the house all day in his pyjamas and I am responsible for looking after the children and keeping the house clean and tidy. It’s not fair. We have been married for 5 years but it has been this way for a while and spending so much time with him has shown me that the relationship is going nowhere. I want a divorce. Can I still do so or are the Courts and law firms shut down?

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Q&A - Is it still possible for me to make a Will during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Q.  I am 73 years of age and I lost my husband 3 years ago. It had always been my intention to make a will following his death, that would ensure our estate was distributed fairly between my children and step children. However, I sadly never got around to it and now I am concerned that I may have left it too late since I am currently self isolating. Is it still possible for me to make a will?

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Law firm mothballs 50th anniversary celebrations

The coronavirus pandemic has forced one of the region’s largest and longest established law firms to mothball celebration plans to mark 50 years of service to local and wider communities. Safety is far more important than celebrations they say.

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Solicitor warns ‘homemade’ Wills with ‘car bonnet signings’ could be invalid!

Local solicitors have issued a warning following media reports that people fearing the effects of coronavirus are downloading Will forms from the internet and getting them signed on car bonnets.

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Lawyer warns even more support is needed for region’s mental health sufferers in isolation

Leading mental health lawyers have warned that whilst the current lockdown across the region is clearly in the best interests of people’s physical wellbeing, it is also causing additional problems for those with mental health issues.

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Q&A - How do we appoint someone to handle our affairs on our behalf?

Q: My husband and I are housebound due to health problems, but we have a niece whom we trust implicitly, who visits us regularly. We would like her to assist with handling our finances, including making trips to the banks on our behalf. A friend said if we set up an ‘Enduring power of attorney’ we could legally appoint our niece as a deputy to help us. Otherwise, if we lost mental capacity without setting one up, we would have to wait for the court to appoint someone to act on our behalf whom we didn’t know.  What do we need to do?

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