A successful event celebrating the roles of Women in Leadership took place at St Edward’s School, Cheltenham, in aid of The Nelson Trust. The evening focussed on female leaders from...
Preparing your personal life in 2023
As we look forward to 2023, you never know what the future holds. It is important to be prepared for any eventuality. Here is WSP Solicitors’ top tips for what you need to consider to have in place for the upcoming year.
Why should I register my property with the Land Registry?
The Land Registry has an electronic register of all registered properties in England and Wales. This register contains more than 26 million registered titles, but it is estimated that there are still approximately 15% of properties that are not registered. This means that the Land Registry does not know who owns these properties, nor are they aware of any charges, covenants, rights or restrictions, which may affect the properties.
It became compulsory to register properties in the 1990’s and you can arrange to have your property registered voluntarily, at a discounted rate. There are also a couple of ‘trigger events’ which can cause the property to be registered.
If you change the ownership of the property, by way of purchase or transfer of equity, the new owner will be required to register the property for the first time. If you own an unregistered property and wish to mortgage the same, you will be required to register the property for the first time, and the charge added electronically.
There are several benefits to registering your property:
It makes the title clear and concise
Unregistered title deeds can date back decades and are sometimes hard to read. There could be missing documents or poor-quality plans.
Upon registration, the Land Registry will ensure all relevant information, from the old documents, are contained in a one- or two-page document. If the entirety of an old document is relevant, reference will be made on the title and the document made available.
A Land Registry plan will also be made available. This will show the general location of the boundary to the property, but will not show the exact lines.
It makes the title quicker and easier to access
Land Registry records are public information and readily available online.
With unregistered deeds, their location is sometimes not known, and can take some time to locate. If they cannot be located, further delays can ensue.
If you are in dispute over a boundary, having the title readily available can sometimes make resolving the problem quicker and easier.
Proof of Ownership and Protection from Fraud
Having your property registered means you have government-backed evidence of your ownership, making it harder for fraudsters.
You will include a correspondence address when registering and the Land Registry will contact you, should any third-party application be made, which will affect your property.
We would highly recommend you register your property, if it is not already. Property is usually the biggest asset someone owns, and registering it can protect you!
Why do you should have a Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’) allows you to appoint people of your choice (known as attorneys) to make decisions in relation to your financial affairs and/or your health in the event you are unable to do so.
What are the different types of LPA?
There are two different types of LPA: property and financial affairs, and health and welfare.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA gives your attorneys authority to manage your finances. This type of LPA is flexible as you can choose if you wish for this to come into effect straight away or only if you were to lose mental capacity. It allows your attorneys to make decisions about buying or selling property, managing bank accounts or investments.
A Health and Welfare LPA allows your attorneys to make decisions about your medical and care needs. This may be simple things such as your living situation, day to day care needs or more complex medical decisions such as medication or life sustaining treatment. Your attorneys would only be able to take on this role regarding your health and welfare if you have lost capacity.
For an LPA to be valid, it will need to be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian.
What happens if I don’t have an LPA?
If you lose capacity without an LPA, your loved ones would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order to be your deputy and allow them access to your finances.
The deputy is court-appointed so this may be someone you would not have chosen or trusted to deal with your affairs. The process is time-consuming and is likely to be more expensive and may leave your loved ones a lot of stress.
An LPA is a cost-effective, efficient way of appointing someone you trust to manage your affairs if you were to lose mental capacity.
Legal tips for unmarried couples
The proportion of cohabiting couples has risen sharply in the last 15 years. In 2021, records show that 22% of couples who lived together were cohabiting rather than married or in a civil partnership. Couples living together should consider making a cohabitation agreement to protect their financial interests.
Why get a Cohabitation agreement?
When your relationship comes to an end, it can be difficult. There may also be complicated financial arrangements in place but if you are not married or in a civil partnership you will have no immediate legal rights if they separate. Both are therefore at risk of being treated unfairly or left with nothing when their relationship breaks down.
A cohabitation agreement can provide financial security, whatever the future holds. It can determine:
- Who owns what in your relationship?
- How will you co-parent your children if you break up?
- How responsibility for payment of household expenses, such as the mortgage, rent and household bills, should be divided.
- How things like property and assets brought into the relationship or acquired during it should be dealt with, including bank accounts, contents and personal possessions, cars, debts and so on.
If you live together for many years, you do not acquire common law marriage rights to your partner’s money or property. You could end up with nothing. Protect yourself and your family.
Negotiating your cohabitation agreement
We can help you negotiate and agree on the terms of your cohabitation agreement with your partner. We will make sure that your interests are fully protected. Ensure that the agreement covers all the issues, leaving no stone unturned.
Whether you feel your needs are straightforward or more complicated we are here to help. Get in touch today by using the contact form here or call us on 01453 847 200.