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Legal Advice with Russell & Russell

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.

We’ve nine offices across the North West; in Bolton, Atherton, Bury, Chester, Farnworth, Horwich and Middleton. And, because anything can happen at any time, we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call us on 0800 103 2600 or visit russellrussell.co.uk

Did you know that new research has shown that hundreds of thousands of people could end up having to pursue their own personal injury litigation for road traffic accidents?

Personal Injury Reforms Could Mean Victims of Road Traffic Accidents Foot Legal Bills
New research has shown that hundreds of thousands of people could end up having to pursue their own personal injury litigation for road traffic accidents.
The study, which was commissioned by lobbying group, Access to Justice revealed that 80% of road traffic accident claims settled by solicitors over the past year were for less than £5,000. Although the Ministry of Justice has yet to confirm it, this is below a new threshold outlined in plans put forward by the government to introduce reforms to personal injury compensation claims.
Currently, the point at which solicitors are able act on behalf of victims of road traffic accidents is set at £1,000. Under the new proposals, however, the limit will rise to £5,000, leaving claimants with the prospect of having to pursue their case through the small claims court themselves. At the moment, it’s not clear what the government has in mind to help people who want to bring a claim as it’s anticipated that many people won’t be able to afford the cost a solicitor.
The research carried out by Capital Economics analysed cases supplied by 58 law firms, which had settled 171,939 RTA claims between them in the previous year, accounting for almost a quarter of such cases. The average value of damages was £3,029. The figures were investigated alongside the government’s Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), which recorded 780,324 motor claims in 2016/17.
Access to Justice believes that the limit should be set at £2,000 to match the limit being suggested by the government for other types of personal injury claims. A spokesman for Access to Justice said that a £5,000 limit would “open up the floodgates to the injured public being targeted by an increase in unqualified claims farmers and cold callers”. He also stated that a £2,000 limit would reduce the number of claims registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit a year by around 140,000, which the group has estimated will save insurers around £400m a year.

More information available at

https://www.russellrussell.co.uk/

Published on - Wed, 09 Aug 2017

Did you know that a person with dementia living at home, who has less than £23,250 in capital will be means tested? Read more below...

Dementia: Making Arrangements with a Lasting Power of Attorney

The Conservative party’s proposal to increase the threshold on what people would pay for adult social care in the run up to the general election didn’t go down well with many voters.

Dementia is the leading cause of death in the UK and as the population ages, the cost of care will become an increasingly thorny issue, regardless of which party is in power.

While the healthcare needs of dementia patients can be treated by the NHS, much of the care that is needed is with day-to-day living, such as eating, washing, dressing and household chores. These tasks arne’t covered under the NHS, so those affected need to decide whether they go into residential social care, a nursing home or continue to live at home with the support of their families and carers.

As it stands at the moment, if a person has less than £23,250 in capital, councils pay for all or part of their social care based on a sliding scale, following a financial assessment. If a person is in residential social care, or a nursing home, the value of their home is included within their capitol, but if they have a dependent, liable relative living with them, it isn’t. If the local authority is able to offer a deferred payment option, paying for their care can be put off until after their death so that the costs are taken from their estate, or the sale of their home, but there are complex criteria for eligibility to this.

A person with dementia living at home, who has less than £23,250 in capital will be means tested. This is a difficult calculation which takes into account a person’s assets, including their home in some circumstances, to identify what contribution they can make towards their care. If they need more than four home visits a day, it’s usually deemed that care would be more cost effective and they would be better suited in residential social care or a nursing home.

With all these factors in mind, it’s important to ensure that you have all your arrangements in order should you develop dementia. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that gives a person, or persons, nominated by you (your attorney) the authority to make decisions on your behalf.

A property and affairs LPA allows your attorney to handle your finances, such as any property and savings you may have, paying for care fees or arranging the sale of your home if necessary. One thing to be aware of with a finance LPA is that your attorney isn’t allowed to have been declared bankrupt.

A welfare LPA addresses your personal well-being. It outlines what medical treatment you should receive or where you live, for example. You can even give your attorney the power to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment on your behalf.

If you’re interested in drafting your LPA, Russell and Russell offers a free no obligation consultation to guide you through the regulations and to discuss what’s right for your circumstances.

https://russellrussell.co.uk/

Published on - Thu, 03 Aug 2017

Plans to increase the small claims limit for personal injuries in road traffic accidents.Read on...

Government set to increase small claims limit

The Government has announced it is pressing ahead with plans to increase the small claims limit for personal injuries in road traffic accidents. It intends to raise the threshold for claiming compensation from £1,000 to £5,000 in an attempt to “crack down on the compensation culture epidemic”.

The new provisions are being tabled under the Prisons and Courts Bill and if it’s passed, it could become law as soon as October. Many personal injury solicitors, however, are opposed to the move, which they believe will adversely affect innocent victims of road traffic accidents as they will be liable for their own legal fees if they pursue a claim for compensation below the new limit.  

The proposal will be brought in along with other measures designed to reduce compensation pay outs. These include introducing fixed tariff caps which will see a significant reduction in the amount of compensation paid out to whiplash victims. For example, whiplash injuries lasting up to three months will decrease from around £1,600 to £225. The cuts continue for injuries lasting six months – down from around £2,250 to £450 – and just £765 for people suffering with injuries lasting up to nine months.

The Ministry of Justice claims that by making these changes average insurance premiums will fall by around £35.00 per year, although many personal injury lawyers state that insurance companies profits are continuing to grow and the savings from this latest round of legislation won’t be passed on to motorists.

Click here for more details about this and other issues

https://www.russellrussell.co.uk/

Published on - Wed, 26 Jul 2017

First divorces since same sex marriage made legal.. Read more about this below..

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released information relating to the number of divorces since the introduction of same sex marriage in March 2014.
In 2015, the first divorces of same sex couples took place. 22 couples – 12 female and 10 male - parted company.
Unreasonable behavior was cited as the leading grounds for divorce, accounting for 77% of cases. This, however, includes sexual relationships with someone other than a spouse as adultery is only legally recognised between people of the opposite sex.
The average age of couples who divorced in 2015 was 42.1 years for men and 33.7 years for women.
Speaking of the findings, Amanda Connor (pic above), head of family law at Russell and Russell, said: “Sorting out the finances in a divorce can be complex and, in certain situations, quite acrimonious so it’s worth drawing up a pre-nuptial agreement. It may not be very romantic, but it helps avoid any potential conflict should the relationship break down in the future. Even if a couple chooses to cohabit rather than marry, we’d strongly recommend they consider getting a cohabitation agreement, so if they do go their separate ways, there’s no argument about who gets what.”

Read more about the wide range of services they provide at https://www.russellrussell.co.uk/

Published on - Wed, 19 Jul 2017