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We have entered those few weeks of the year when the sun comes out and the temperature rises – causing office work to become at best uncomfortable and at best unbearable. The good old British Summertime!

With forecasters predicting the heat wave to continue into August, the question regarding what amounts to acceptable office attire is being pondered the length and breadth of Britain.

 Of course, it varies greatly depending on your working environment: whether or not you are customer facing; the industry in which you work, health & safety requirements of your role etc. Clearly, a customer-facing environment will generally have a less relaxed approach to worker attire during the summer months than say, the construction industry.

Whilst there are legal limits on minimum working temperatures, currently 160C or 130C for those doing physically exertive work, there are no such maximum working temperatures. 

Keeping work comfortable

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A will is how you specify what you want to happen to your assets after your death.  It is therefore very important to review and update your will to make sure that it remains relevant to your circumstances, so that it properly and fully records your wishes and that it is suitable for your financial situation and family composition – both of which are likely to change over time.  

Why you should keep your will up to date

Regularly updating your will ensures that there is a record of your decision-making as to what you want to happen to your assets when you’re gone. It could protect your intended beneficiaries if someone wants to challenge your will and make a claim on your estate. 

A will prepared many years ago may be valid, but significant periods of time often incur significant life changes. That could mean that someone important may be excluded from receiving assets from your estate. 

That may not be the case, but it would be clear to show that you chose not to do so by you having an up to date will.

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care home fees

The Welsh Assembly Government has set a deadline for claims for the refund of care home fees paid between 1st April 2003 and 31st July 2013 to be made. The deadline is 31st July 2014.

Any person who has been contributing to the costs of care home fees from either their income (including state pension or other benefits), or savings, between the above mentioned dates may be entitled to a full or partial reimbursement. The law says that if the primary reason for being in a care home is because you have a health care need rather than social care needs, the full cost of your care and accommodation should be paid by the NHS.

In Wales, Health Boards are regularly being forced to repay millions of pounds to care home residents and/or their families. Howells Solicitors have acted for some of these families and recovered huge amounts of wrongly paid fees.

For further information on the services provided by Howells Solicitors, check out our specialist elderly client solicitors. More...

interest only mortgage

The latest in our FAQ series concerns a girlfriend who is worried that her partner is in over his head over an interest-only mortgage.

Q: Two and a half years ago, my boyfriend bought a flat using an interest-only mortgage. However, he could only really afford the house because he was consistently getting good bonuses at work. A year into his mortgage, the bonuses started drying up and since then he’s been overspending and using credit card debts to pay for his mortgage costs.

However, because there’s not enough money coming in he has missed two credit card payments. He’s reassured me that his situation will change in six months when his fixed rate deal expires and he can increase his interest-only mortgage and pay off his debts.

Am I worrying over nothing?

A: No you are not. I think your boyfriend may have underestimated how much the mortgage market has changed over the last year or two. The criteria that must be fulfilled to get a loan is now much stricter. More...

 

law gazette

 

Laith Khatib, private client specialist solicitor at Howells Solicitors, was recently invited by the editor of the London Gazette to write an article for the first official public record and the newspaper of the Crown. 

In the article, entitled ‘DIY Probate: The Dos and Don’t’s, Laith explains the potential pitfalls of do-it-yourself probate are and what anyone considering DIY probate should know before they commit to this important duty.

Some of the aspects that Laith said should be considered included:

•    The deceased’s financial affairs
•    The length of time before the estate should be distributed
•    Whether to distribute the estate if it may be contested
•    Whether to carry out bankruptcy searches
•    What to do about probate if there is no willMore...

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr).
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes andrea.c@howellslegal.com