Kenyons support Good Divorce week

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I’m a proud member of Resolution, a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way.

Resolution membership is about the approach I take to my work. This means that as a Resolution member, I will always seek to reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation, support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first and act with honesty, integrity and objectivity.

I know from my twenty years working as a family law professional, that clients reach the best outcomes when they are helped to understand and manage the potential long-term financial and emotional consequences of decisions. This is why I use experience and knowledge to guide my clients through the options available to them.

As a Resolution member, I have signed up to a Code of Practice that will demonstrate to clients the approach I will always take. The Code promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of children.

If you decide to work with me, this means:

  • Listening to you, being honest with you and treating you with respect.
  • Explaining all the options and giving you confidence to make the right decisions.
  • Helping you focus on what’s important in the long-term.
  • Helping you balance financial and emotional costs with what you want to achieve.
  • Working with others to find the right approach and the best solutions for you.
  • Managing stress in what can be an already stressful situation.

Because I’m signed up to the Resolution Code, I work with a network of other like-minded professionals, including mediators, financial planners and family consultants, to make sure I’m helping my clients find the right approach for them.

Please give me a call to discuss how I can help you on 01405 813108 or email me rebeccak@ksandc.co.uk

Rebecca Kershaw

Solicitor and Family Mediator

 

Half Marathon success! Worksop Hallowe’en completed, what’s next?!

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Sarah Littlewood, Laura Scott, John Bysouth and Tony Henshaw all successfully completed the Worksop Hallowe’en half marathon run last weekend. For all concerned this was our first, and perhaps for some last, competitive half marathon. Far from being an easy half marathon this was even in the organisers words, an “undulating” course, although the scenery of Clumber Park help distract from the side splitting pain and blistered feet!

We would like to offer our thanks to all our supporters who have so far helped us to raise £435.00 with gift aid yet to be added to the total for the Eve Merton Dreams Trust. Just to remind our faithful readers The Trust is a Cancer Charity set up to help create a dream or wish for a serious or terminally ill cancer patient in Doncaster.

Tony Henshaw, partner at Kenyon Son & Craddock said:-

It was a great team effort.”

John Bysouth added:-

“We are delighted to see our efforts have raised the profile of the Charity in our local area and some vital funds to help such a worthy cause.”

Money has continued to pour in even after the event took place. Our donations page is active until 30 November. Kenyon Son & Craddock has pledged to match the final sum raised and we therefore urge anyone who wishes to donate to do so as soon as possible.

So what next for the intrepid four?

Sarah Littlewood was quoted this morning in defiant mood saying:

“This is the start of many. We are now in deep discussions for our next gruelling challenge, watch this space!”

Any suggestions will be gratefully received, and perhaps discarded depending how difficult they are!half marathon pic

Kenyons Family Mediation supports Mediation Awareness Week

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If you and your partner are separating or divorcing, family mediation can help you to settle practical issues, such as dividing your assets and arranging access to your children, in a way which works for everyone. It removes the need for these decisions to be settled in court or through solicitors, which can be stressful and costly; indeed, even if your case has already gone to court, mediation can help resolve any additional issues you might have.

In family mediation sessions, you and your partner will meet (first separately, then together) with an impartial and specially trained family mediator. You’ll explain what needs to be settled, explore the options available, discuss your individual and collective concerns, and consider ways of reaching agreement on the issues you need to resolve.

Your mediator will help you and your partner to reach well-informed decisions that are practical and seem fair to both of you, without taking a side or trying to influence your decision in any way. When you reach an agreement, the mediator will write it down in a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ so that all parties are clear on the outcome. If your decision needs to be legally enforceable, the terms worked out in mediation can be made legally binding in court.

Call Rebecca for a no obligation chat on 01405 813108 or email rebeccak@ksandc.co.uk

Mediation week

Charity Halloween Worksop Half Marathon

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Tony Henshaw, John Bysouth, Sarah Littlewood and Laura Scott have dusted off their running shoes (or bought their first pair!) to start training for the Worksop Half Marathon which is taking place on 30th October 2016. With just 11 weeks left they are all training hard to make sure they cross the finish line.

We have decided to raise money for a local Doncaster charity The Eve Merton Dreams Trust. The Charity do amazing things for people suffering with Cancer.  The Charity aims to help patients by funding essential illness related materials, granting a wish or fulfilling a Dream.

If you would like to sponsor us then please click on the link below. We appreciate any amount donated as it is all going to a fantastic cause.

Visit my fundraising page on BT MyDonate

For more information about the charity and to see examples of how your kind donations could be spent then please visit their website:

http://www.evestrust.co.uk/

Common Law Marriage – It’s a MYTH!

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There were 3.1 million opposite sex cohabiting couple families and 90,000 same sex cohabiting couple families in the UK in 2015. Together, cohabiting couple families account for 17% of all families in the UK which is an increase on previous years (Office of National Statistics).

Despite the increasing trend of cohabitation, many people still believe that cohabitants have the same legal rights as married couples. This is not the case and in fact they have almost no rights at all when it comes to inheritance. The main difficulty that arises with cohabitating couples is when one partner dies without leaving a Will.

When any person dies without a Will then the rules of intestacy apply. If you are not married to your partner then you have no legal entitlement to any of the assets held in their sole name.

It is also important to consider how the family home is owned. If the property is owned by you partner in their sole name, when they die, you will not be entitled under the rules of intestacy to any share of the property.

If you own the property jointly and believe that should one of you die the other inherits the property automatically, this may not be the case. There are 2 ways to own your property jointly ; as Joint tenants which is where the property will automatically pass to the surviving owner, or  as Tenants in Common where each owner owns a specific share in the property and it doesn’t automatically pass to the surviving owner. It will pass in accordance with the Will or if no Will under the rules of intestacy. You may want to check the ownership of your property if you are unsure.

It is therefore extremely important that both cohabitants make a Will expressing their wishes should one of them die.

If no Will is in place and the surviving cohabitant believes they should be entitled to some or all of their partners estate then they can bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.  There is no guarantee that a claim would be successful and in order to protect your loved one from any unnecessary worry and costs our advice is to make a Will to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

If you would like to discuss making a Will then please call either Sarah Littlewood who works between our Thorne and Wakefield offices or Laura Scott who works between our Goole and Thorne offices on 01405 813108.

 

Dementia Awareness Week 15th to the 21st May 2016

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Dementia is an illness which we are all becoming increasingly aware of due to the escalating age of the population.   Dementia Awareness Week is the campaign run by the Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the United Kingdom.

At Kenyon Son & Craddock we are aware of the difficulties that families can face when a loved one is diagnosed with Dementia.  We are keen to promote the importance of making provision for your future.   We advise all our clients of the importance of preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Will, to ensure that your wishes are carried out during your lifetime, and following your death.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is an important aspect of planning for your future.  They allow you to appoint someone who you trust to deal with your affairs if you become incapable, for whatever reason, of dealing with them in the future.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (known as a ‘LPAs’) are now widely considered as being as vital as having a Will.   There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare. The Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows the person or people you choose (your ‘Attorneys’) to deal with your finances such as your bank accounts and home, on your behalf.  The Health and Welfare LPA allows your Attorneys to make decisions about your care should you be unable to make these decisions yourself.  Your Attorneys can only use the Health and Welfare LPA should you lose mental capacity.

In order for your Attorneys to use the LPAs they must first be registered with a government body, the Office of the Public Guardian.

If you have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney and you become mentally incapable to make one in the future, through accident or illness, it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint someone (known as a ‘Deputy’) to deal with your affairs. The application to the Court is complex and costly and you will not be able to choose your Deputy.

Wills

Making a Will is also a vital part of planning for your future. It allows you to state how you wish all of your assets, which include your personal items, bank accounts, home, and anything else which you own at your death, to be dealt with when you pass away. It is a common misconception that all assets pass automatically to the surviving members of your family if you do not leave a Will. Government legislation, The Intestacy Rules, dictate how your estate is dealt with if you do not leave a Will (known as dying ‘Intestate’), and this may not be in accordance with your wishes.

In order for your Will to be valid it must be properly drafted and executed. It is important to instruct experts to make your Will, who can also provide advice on inheritance tax planning and later life issues.

Dementia Awareness Week

If you plan now, all the provisions will be in place for you and your family to give peace of mind and security for the future.

If you have any questions or wish to put provisions in place please contact Sarah Littlewood or Laura Scott who specialise in dealing with Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney

Laura Scott joins our Wills and Probate Team

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We are delighted to welcome Laura Scott to our Wills and Probate team.

Laura qualified as a Solicitor in September 2015 having trained at a firm in Doncaster and lives locally. Laura specialises in dealing with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection matters and administration of estates. She is an Associate Member of Solicitors for the Elderly, an independent group which specialises in the niche area of legal services for older and vulnerable people and their families and carers.

Laura works in both our Goole and our Thorne Office and if you would like to contact her please telephone 01405 813108 (Thorne) or 01405 720850 (Goole) or e-mail her at lauras@ksandc.co.uk

Rebecca Kershaw accredited as Law Society Mediator

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Kenyon Son and Craddock are delighted to announce that their Family Mediator, Rebecca Kershaw, has had her mediation skills recognised by the Law Society. Rebecca, who is also a family solicitor, has been certified as a member of the Law Society’s Family Mediation Scheme, which means she has achieved the high level of skill and experience required by the scheme and will be added to their ‘Find a Mediator’ database. Rebecca mediates in children and financial cases in and around the Thorne and Goole areas and is happy to talk to potential clients about whether mediation is suitable for them and whether legal aid may be available. For a free, no obligation chat call her on 01405 813108.

Don’t underestimate the value of having a solicitor on your side

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If you are facing court proceedings it can be tempting to ‘go it alone’ and save on the costs of a solicitor. But this could increase the stress of the case and produce a worse outcome than if you had legal representation, according to research by charity Citizens Advice.

According to the report, the stress, responsibility and loneliness of going to court without representation can mean ‘litigants in person achieve worse outcomes compared with their represented counterparts’.

It also showed 90% of people who had acted for themselves found the experience negatively affected their health, relationships, work or finances. Some lost their jobs due to the pressure, while others got into debt due to court issues, including paying for photocopying and travelling to and from court.

The charity said the rise in litigants in person was mainly due to clients being unable to afford a lawyer due to reduced funding for those going to the family court following the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) in 2013.

The charity said it was only after people had been through the process of going to the family court on their own that they realised the value of having a lawyer, with 70% saying that instructing a professional would have benefited their court experience.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: ‘For people representing themselves in the family courts, whether in a divorce case or to keep the legal right to see their children, the workload to prepare can be unmanageable. The stress of making your case against qualified barristers and navigating complex court processes without the right guidance can make existing mental and physical health problems worse.’

Here at Kenyon Son and Craddock we aim to help you through each step of the court process. We provide fee packages to suit you, so that you can pay a fixed fee or an hourly rate for the work you want us to do. Give us a call on 012405 813108 to see how we can help and take away some of the stress of court proceedings.