Family Law Inverness Latest News

Latest family law and divorce news and updates from Family Law Inverness. Telephone: 01463898650

Guardianship Orders and Powers of Attorney

A recent Court of Session case has demonstrated the importance of Power of Attorney and Guardianship Orders when someone becomes unable to take care of their affairs.

Mary Gallacher died on the 31 March 2011 at the age of 96. She had been suffering from advanced dementia at the time when she signed a deed of disposition to transfer the ownership of her home to other family members. Her niece, Shelia Ritchie, was the executor of the estate and sought a reduction of this disposition on the basis that her aunt was incapax (lacking capacity) when the property was transferred. The executor is the person nominated by the deceased to wind up the estate by making a calculation of the estate, paying debts and paying out to the beneficiaries in accordance with the will and succession law. Ms Ritchie argued that her aunt did not have the mental capacity necessary to grant the disposition due to her dementia.

After hearing evidence from various medical professionals, the Judge, Lord Clarke, ruled that Ms Gallacher did not have the necessary mental capacity to transfer the ownership of her home and granted a deed of reduction. Lord Clarke said, “The medical evidence given by the pursuer’s medical witnesses, I found to be compelling and persuasive both in content and in the manner of its presentation . . . the appropriate mental capacity in July 2007 for granting a disposition of the kind with which the present proceedings are concerned, did not exist.”

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New Scottish Government End of Life Care Proposals

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework for Action on Palliative Care has pledged that all patients in Scotland will be offered high quality end of life palliative care, regardless of their age, socio-economic status, diagnosis or where they live.

The framework is backed by £3.5 million of Scottish Government funds and aims to create a more open discussion of death, bereavement and end of life care. It addresses the need for patients to have the chance to discuss their end of life care before their condition deteriorates. Health professionals who work closely with patients and families will be offered improved training to help them give better palliative care.

The proposals have been met with support from various charities and health campaigners.

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The secret to finding love

The secret to finding love and sustaining a happy relationship is about being able to balance the books, not about how you look, according to consumer research conducted by NEST (National Employment Savings Trust).

The research, which surveyed UK adults in long term relationships or with recent experience of a long term relationship, found that almost half of us (45%) see good financial management as essential in our ideal long term partner. In fact ‘someone who manages their finances well’ comes ahead in the list of desirable qualities above some more obvious factors, such as good looks, wealth, the car they drive or whether they own their own home.

Once you’ve found The One, it seems managing your money is the way to keep them, with 89% saying ‘good financial planning’ is important for happy relationships.

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Many single parents are out of work

Of the 1.8 million single parent households in the UK, 650,000 – almost one in four  – are not in any sort of work, with the average single parent household claiming twice as much in benefit support as the average two parent household.

A new Policy Exchange report says that the proportion of lone parent households UK is the fourth highest in the EU – trailing only Estonia, Latvia and Ireland.

The paper found that the level of unemployed single parents can partly be attributed to when they had children. Over half (52%) of lone mothers who had their first child as a teenager (16-19) are not in work or looking for work, compared to 40% who had their first child aged 20-23 year olds, 29% of those who had their first child aged 24-29 and 19% who had their first child in their early thirties.

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Committee publishes report into same-sex marriage Bill

The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee has published its Stage 1 report into the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament in June of this year and covers the following key matters relating to marriage law:

- the introduction of same-sex marriage,

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