My partner has died what am I entitled to?
The answer to this question depends on quite a number of factors for example did your partner leave a will, were you married, divorced, in a registered civil partnership or just living together, did you buy property jointly, did you make substantial contributions whether direct or indirect to property that your partner bought and so on. It is nearly always worth seeking legal advice.
I have been cut out of a close relatives will, what can I do?
Whether or not the deceased left a will, the law does give certain family members and dependents the right to claim a share of the estate under the Inheritance Act 1975. The Rules are complicated and every case depends on its own facts. These sort of cases are normally brought by children who have been cut out of their mother or father's will sometimes for what looks like a good reason. They always need careful and experienced handling, given that they pit family members against each other.
My next door neighbours are having some major work carried out and I am worried that it is going to affect my foundations, what can I do?
You should be protected. Apart from anything else the Party Wall Act protects you (and your neighbour) provided the correct procedures under the Act are followed. The obligation is on your neighbour to do that and if he doesn't then he is wide open to a claim from you in the event that there is any damage to your property. You might also like to think about whether your neighbour has the correct planning consent and if his house is leasehold whether he has the permission from his freeholders to carry out the work. Your house is probably your most valuable asset and it would thus be advisable to speak to the property experts here at Wake Smith for advice and further assistance.
A neighbour is claiming to have a right of way over our paddock. We don't think he has. What can we do?
A lot depends on how he claims to have acquired such a right. He might say that there is something in his title deeds or yours which gives the right of way to him or he might claim that he has obtained it by a legal doctrine known as prescription which essentially involves acquiring such a right by regular use over a very long period of time. Whatever the situation, at Wake Smith our property team can advise you on what rights you have and indeed what rights your neighbour has and the best way to deal with the situation.
I am having some building work done on my house and the price is going through the roof/I am not happy with the standard of the work/the builders keep disappearing for weeks on end etc.
At Wake Smith we understand your house is probably your most valuable asset and that building works to your house can cause enormous disruption and be extremely stressful. The first thing we need to do is examine the legal relationship between you and the builders and the contractual terms that apply to that relationship and from that analysis it is usually possible to advise you of the best steps for you to take whether that involves sacking the builders and taking on a replacement company to complete the work or carry out remedial work (not a step to take without legal advice), or some other remedy.
I have got involved in a boundary dispute with my neighbour who claims that the boundary between our houses isn't where I say it is. He is behaving like he is in the right and I am in the wrong. What are my rights?
The exact boundary between two neighbouring properties can be notoriously difficult to pinpoint. Usually the answer is to be found by reference to a combination of what is in your title deeds and your neighbours title deeds and what it is on the ground. It is quite important to keep a sense of perspective because it is very easy to spend huge amounts of money arguing about a few inches, but whether that is a good use of money, only you can judge. At Wake Smith we have acted for hundreds of clients over the years who have had problems with the position of their boundary and we have a wealth of experience in this area.
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