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Buying your first home can be extremely daunting, but at Howells Solicitors, we believe it needn’t be confusing. Each month across the UK, we complete property purchases worth over £50million, carrying out each of these transactions quickly and efficiently. With this in mind, we thought that in order to help out those climbing onto the first rung of the property ladder, we’d share our wealth of experience and put together this simple guide.

When You Start Thinking About Getting on the Property Ladder

 

Saving for a Deposit 

Before you even start looking for a property, you will need to save up for a deposit to put towards its cost. When doing this, it’s helpful to have an idea of the cost of the home you would like to buy, so you will need to spend time researching what is available in the area you would like to live.

At the moment in the UK, you will need to save at least 5% of a property’s value before you can apply for a mortgage (usually as a part of the Help to Buy Scheme or the UK Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, which you can find out about here). Those who are able to save more, however, will have access to more competitive mortgages, and the average deposit for first-time buyers is 20%.

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As family structures become increasingly complex, understanding the rights and responsibilities of each person involved in a child’s upbringing can be difficult.

At Howells Solicitors, we have a specialist child care department dedicated to ensuring that each of these individuals receives the advice and support they need to ensure their interests are fairly represented. This week, we take a look at the difference between biological and legal fathers, and highlight the rights and responsibilities of each.

Legal Father Vs Biological Father

The male parent of a child is known as their father. A man can become a father either as a result of impregnating a woman (a biological father) or by gaining parental responsibility (a legal father). More...

 

Using legal terms is often unavoidable however to make the processes involved more understandable for our clients, we have compiled a ‘cutting the jargon’ glossary:

Abduction - Child abduction is when a person takes or sends a child out of England or Wales without the permission of those with Parental Responsibility or the permission from the court. If a person has a Residence Order or a Child Arrangements Order for a child they will not be acting unlawfully if the child is taken or sent out of England or Wales for less than four weeks without the appropriate consent.

Accommodated children - Parents may agree to having their child removed or ‘accommodated' by Children's Services under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, while an investigation and assessment is carried out.

Barrister - Barristers are legal professionals who specialize in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings, and giving expert legal opinions. More...

Once you have a Will, it is important to keep it updated to ensure it continues to reflect your circumstances. So any changes in your personal circumstances should trigger the review of your Will. Most solicitors will be happy to look at your personal circumstances ensure your Will is still appropriate.

Changing the provisions of a Will can be done in one of two ways either by:-

a. Making a codicil to your Will; or

b. Making a new Will

Howells Solicitors looks at the advantages and disadvantages of both, to help you decide how to proceed. More...

It is always difficult when a relative dies. You may be the deceased’s next of kin, but it is extremely helpful to know what if any legal rights you have.

Many people assume that being the next of kin means that you automatically have the right to make decisions and deal with the affairs of your loved one. However, this is not the case.

What are the Next of Kin’s legal rights?

As far as the law is concerned next of kin means nothing with the exception of children aged under 18. The next of kin of a child under 18 may be legally entitled to make decisions for or on behalf of the child.

The term usually means your nearest blood relative. In the case of a married couple or a civil partnership it usually means their husband or wife.

Next of kin is a title that can be given, by you, to anyone from your partner to blood relatives and even friends. It is also possible to name more than one person as your next of kin. This is a title that is primarily used in order for emergency services to know who to keep informed about an individual’s condition and treatment. More...

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