Inheritance or No Inheritance?

rule chaneAn update on the long-overdue review of the Intestacy Rules

On 29 October 2009 the Law Commission published a consultancy paper reviewing the law of intestacy. The report is the first step to the proposals being formed into a new Bill and then perhaps an Act of Parliament.

A change to the intestacy law is long overdue, as the rules are substantially the same as they were in 1925. Society, of course, had moved on a great deal over that time, both in terms of our finances (we are much wealthier as individuals) and our social structures (people often co-habit rather than marry). Under the existing rules many people do not really understand what will happen to their estate where there is no will. People believe that everything automatically goes to their spouse or partner, but that is not necessarily the case.

Two of the main problems with the existing rules are:

Still Room for More Paralegals, Says NALP

NALPLaw students have been urged to consider a career as a paralegal in the wake of a campaign to warn them to think twice when considering qualifying as a solicitor.

The paralegal profession is still growing despite the recession, providing job opportunities for graduates, Amanda Hamilton, the chief executive of The National Association of Licensed Paralegals, said “Students can qualify as a paralegal. There is still room for them in the jobs market. They do not need a training contract and it costs them less money.”

Her advice follows the launch of the Law Society’s campaign to warn of the risks in terms of time and cost that the decision to become a solicitor carries with it.

What Next for the Lisbon Treaty?

Lisbon TreatyWe’ve been hearing about an official constitution for Europe for many years now. In fact, at one time Tony Blair promised the country a referendum on it when he was Prime Minister back in 2004; but when both France and the Netherlands voted against it, the national vote was cancelled.

Ever since then, the Labour Government has not made any renewed efforts to allow the country to vote on an issue that is potentially more important to the UK than most other EU states. It all boils down to the fact that the UK does not have an official written constitution at present. If and when the Lisbon Treaty does come into force, this will mean yet another element to add to the already confusing constitution of this country.

What Will the Lisbon Treaty Mean?

Project Management

Project ManagementEverybody does projects: whether it’s simply going on holiday, developing a complicated new product or anywhere in between. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re particularly successful. Using some project management skills, tools and techniques can significantly increase your chances of not only achieving what you set out to achieve, but also making sure that it’s more likely to be beneficial in the long run. So here are the top ten tips for improving your management of projects:

1.  Get help. Managing projects often requires knowledge or skills we don’t have. Find some people who do to help you.

Managing Deadlines

Managing DeadlinesDeadlines are a common everyday occurrence in our busy lives. We’re either trying to meet them or chasing others to achieve theirs. And trying to work to too tight a deadline can affect the quality of your work or cause you to make errors. The following top ten tips will help you meet your deadlines and also help you manage others to meet theirs. Some tips apply to both!

1.  As soon as you are given a deadline for a task, put it in your diary and then work backwards from that date to ensure that you achieve it on time. If necessary, put stage reminders in your diary too. For example, if you have to put together a report for your manager by Friday, put a reminder in your diary for the previous Monday to check that all the components are available for you to work with.

Home Information Packs - Fit for Purpose?

New provisions added to Home Information Packs (HIPs) may be too little too late.

Home Information Packs (HIPs for short) have been part of the residential conveyancing market for just over two years, but some industry experts have already written them off as an expensive failure. The introduction of HIPs was widely considered to have been badly managed from the start. One of the most high-profile examples of mismanagement was the last-minute removal of the compulsory requirement for a home condition report. Many experts at the time complained that the report was the one document that could have made a real difference to the value of a HIP. To decide if the critics are right, it is worthwhile revisiting what the government’s main objectives were for the packs.

Helping Legal Secretaries Every Step of the Way

Helping Legal Secretaries Every Step of the WayThe Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs is delighted to have launched the ILSPA Legal Secretary Jobs Board, which specialises in Legal Secretary jobs throughout the UK. 

ILSPA has been helping people with their legal secretarial careers since 1990 and we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary next year. The Institute was originally founded to promote excellence and professional recognition of Legal Secretaries and PAs. Our Membership base has grown over the years and we now provide qualifications, support, advice and career guidance to trainee and experienced Legal Secretaries. ILSPA has Students and Members throughout the UK and overseas.

Citizen’s Arrest: Best to Leave Well Alone?

Under s.24A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (as amended by the Serious Organised Crime Act 2005), it states that a member of the public may perform a citizen’s arrest on a person who is expected to be in the middle of committing an indictable offence, or when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person is about to commit such an offence, or when the person has already done so.

In other words, an individual member of the public can only arrest another person if they have committed an offence that would be deemed as serious. Indictable offences are those that would be passed on to the Crown Court for trial by jury, as the Magistrates’ Court would not have the power to try such a crime.