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Russell and Russell Solicitors can deal with all the legal aspects of your new life together. Whether you’re buying or selling a property, looking to protect your assets, thinking about starting a family or want to leave your possessions to those you care about, we can help.

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Most of us don’t have George Michael millions, but as Kenny Goss Launches Legal Challenge on George’s Will, we are reminded that we should make sure our own affairs are in order.


The battle over George Michael’s estate is continuing with Kenny Goss, the late singer’s ex partner, making a claim on his fortune.
Mr Goss, who was with George for 15 years, is believed to be mounting a legal challenge to his Will on the basis that he supported the Careless Whisper singer through his most unsettled years.
The news follows recent reports about George’s partner, Fadi Fawaz refusing to move out of one of George’s London homes, preventing the singer’s family from concluding the probate process.
Although George is believed to have left his money and properties to his sisters, his Will can’t be carried out until probate has been granted and that can’t be settled until all assets within his estate have been accounted for. While Fadi remains in the Regent’s Park property, probate can’t be finalised.
Until then, the only people who have access to the contents of the Will are George’s solicitor, the executor of the Will (this could be the solicitor or a person elected by George) and named beneficiaries.
The question some people are asking is: do Wills stand for anything if they can be contested? While it’s a complex area of the law, the simple answer is yes.
Anyone can contest a Will, however, it can be an expensive process. It’s not available through legal aid so has to be privately financed. Equally, you can’t just contest a Will because you feel like it, you have to have documented evidence that ligitimises your claim.
A source has stated that Kenny doesn’t feel George’s Will reflects the contribution he made to their relationship. So, as the Will is still under wraps, it’s likely that Kenny could know he’s a beneficiary. To what extent that is is confidential until the Will is read.
The key here is that Kenny will have to prove that George meant for him to have a greater share of his fortune. 

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Published on - Mon, 18 Jun 2018

This is why wills are so important. Are your affairs in order?

George Michael’s Lover Preventing Singers Will Being Carried Out
The grieving relatives and partner of George Michael are locked in a battle over his fortune.
George’s sisters, Melanie and Yioda as well as his cousin Alex Georgiou, who was George’s PA and driver, are trying to block the late singer’s boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz from making a claim on his estate.
Following George’s untimely death in 2016, Fadi has been living free of charge in one of George’s houses just off Regent’s Park. Sources say George’s family has been courteous and generous to him, but as Fadi’s social media posts have become more disparaging of them, they’re keen to get him out.
Although George’s family are said to be averse to creating a media storm over the feud, the situation may soon come to a head as while Fadi remains in the property, the legal process surrounding probate is being prevented.
One of the reasons behind this could be that until all of George’s assets – his money, savings, properties etc. – have been valued, probate can’t be declared. This is the process of legally accepting a will as the last testament of a deceased person. So, while Fadi is holed up in Regent’s Park, and in dispute with his family, George’s will can’t be finalised and his wishes carried out.
What rights Fadi has is debatable. Legally, unless George left him something in his will, he has no claim to the property he’s currently living in or anything else belonging to George. Living together doesn’t give him the right to inherit or to property either.
George never spoke publicly about who he wanted to inherit his fortune, so until his will is made public, it appears no one can move on – financially or emotionally.

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Published on - Tue, 29 May 2018

Lawyers Warn of Divorce on Demand if Woman in 'Loveless' Marriage is Allowed to Leave. Does this apply to you?

Last week, the Supreme Court heard about a woman who wants to divorce her husband on the grounds that she is in a “loveless” marriage is being denied because, in the eyes of the law, his behavior isn’t viewed as bad enough to warrant ending the relationship.
Under British law, unreasonable behavior is one of the grounds for divorce and Tini Owens wants to end her 40 year marriage to her husband, Hugh on the basis that she can’t reasonably be expected to live with him. Mr Owens’ legal team, however, argued that if she’s granted her appeal to divorce, it will pave the way to a divorce on demand ideology.
In 2016 a family court judge ruled that Mrs Owens’ claim that her husband focused too much on work, didn’t give his wife attention or affection and was “unpleasant and disparaging” towards her, comprised “minor altercations of a kind to be expected in a marriage”. It was, therefore, deemed as not serious enough to grant her a divorce.
The case, however, has reignited family lawyers calls for a change in the law to allow ‘no-fault’ divorce. This form of dissolving a marriage proposes that couples can go their separate ways without having to place the blame for the breakdown in the relationship on one side or the other.
Although Mrs Owens appeal failed last year, her Barrister, Philip Marshall QC called on the Supreme Court for a “modest shift” in the interpretation of legislation. He claimed that the judge in the original case was too objective on the plea of unreasonable behavior, rather than viewing it from Mrs Owens perspective.
Mr Ownes’ legal team contested the claim, stating that Mrs Owens is seeking, in effect, to change the law, arguing that: “It is not a proper function of the Supreme Court to dilute or refashion a statute.” and that: “Parliament did not provide for divorce, either as a ground or as a fact leading to the ground, based on unilateral unhappiness.”
The court reserved judgment for a later date.

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Published on - Fri, 25 May 2018

MPs Call for Grandparents to be Given More Rights to see Grandchildren


Grandparents should have greater rights to contact with the grandchildren after divorce, according to MPs.
Politicians from across the parties are calling for an amendment to the Children Act so that it includes a child’s right to have a close relationship with their extended family, which would also include the rights of aunts and uncles to have contact with nieces and nephews.
At the moment, relatives who want time with a child must make a request to court to obtain permission to make an application. Once permission has been given, they can make an application to the court for a child arrangement order (CAO).
A COA allows the court to define the time that a child can spend with their relative. Such orders are always made with the best interest of the child being the paramount consideration.
Ministers discussed the issue last week, which highlighted the plight of many grandparents who find themselves shut out of the lives of their grandchildren after the parents divorced. Describing his constituents’ experiences, Conservative MP Nigel Huddleston said: “When access to grandchildren is blocked, some grandparents call it a kind of living bereavement.”
The Ministry of Justice has said it would consider the proposal, Children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi stated that while the government would consider any proposals that could improve the system, the guiding principle “has to be the wellbeing of the child”.
The rights of grandparents having access to their grandchildren was last examined in 2011 as part of the independent Family Justice Review. The report recommended that CAOs stay in place to “prevent hopeless or vexatious applications that are not in the interests of the child”.


Published on - Wed, 09 May 2018