Can I still create or amend a Will during lockdown?

Creating a new Will, or amending an existing Will is one of the hot topics during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it is very important that everyone makes the decision to ensure that their Will is up to date. But how do you create a new Will, or amend an existing Will during lockdown? The requirements for creating and amending Wills are contained in legislation that dates back nearly 200 years, to the Wills Act 1837. This Act requires that in order for a Will to be valid it must be…

Private Fostering – A short guide

In 2000, the country was shocked to the core by the murder of 8-year-old Victoria Climbié. She was privately fostered with her great aunt, who had arranged a fostering agreement with the child’s parents. After this tragic case, legislation was swiftly introduced to stop another tragedy by ensuring that vulnerable children were placed in safe, secure homes, regardless of the relationship of the carer to the child. It also means that local authorities now have to be a part of any private fostering arrangement, regardless of whether or not it’s…

Trick or Treat! – The legal lowdown on our most horrible holiday

Whether you regard it as an unwelcome American import, or the chance to be downright naughty for an evening and dress up as a little devil, Trick or Treat is part of the UK’s culture. Every October 31st you’ll see hordes of ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties (and at least one Captain Jack Sparrow, for some reason) of various ages, wandering the neighbourhood and demanding munchies with menaces. It’s adorable to open your door to a ghost, two fairies, and a skeleton all carrying pumpkins, but could offering these…

Who chooses whether your kids gets vaccinated?

For decades, vaccinations have been regarded as the most important form of defence against childhood illnesses like measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). And for decades, parents happily vaccinated their kids to protect them (and others) without question. Then, around 10 years ago, serious doubts began to be raised as to the safety of vaccines by the now-discredited Andrew Wakefield, who called into question the safety and validity of combination vaccines like MMR. Despite the research eventually being proven to be full of errors and, in fact, flat-out wrong, some parents…

Civil partnerships for heterosexual couples – an update

Big news for heterosexual couples who don’t want to get married – the law is about to change to allow you to apply for a civil partnership. It’s been a while coming, but one of the last areas of inequality in the world of formally recognised partnerships is about to be rectified. The choice to opt for a civil partnership rather than marriage has been closed to heterosexual couples ever since civil partnerships were introduced in 2004, when the Civil Partnership Act stated that only same-sex couples were entitled to…

Taking the children on holiday

A common question we get asked as family lawyers is whether a parent or a child's carer is allowed to take a child on holiday without permission. The purpose of this article is to provide some guidance on this issue. The first issue that you need to consider is whether you have Parental Responsibility for the child in your care. Parental Responsibility (PR) is defined in the Children Act 1989 as "all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation…

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