Help for Separated Couples with Children (and it’s free)

The process of family breakdown – and having to adjust to living in separate homes – is difficult for adults and children alike.

A free information session for separated parents is soon to be offered in Moray (in Elgin) for the first time, through AVENUE.

The one-off Parenting Apart Groups will help separated parents to:

  • understand what they and their children are going through
  • help their children cope better
  • work together as parents
  • plan for the future

How does it work?

You sign up for a one-off 3-hour session, which you attend together with other parents who are in similar circumstances (group sizes may vary but will probably be of about 4-6 people). [Read more…]

Why Your Solicitor Gets A Contaminated Land Report when Buying a House

Every year in the UK, we dump about 50 million tonnes of waste in the ground. This would be enough to fill a football stadium like Hampden Park to the brim – 50 times over!

A landfill site at Dunbar in East Lothian takes much of Edinburgh’s rubbish and it has won awards for its high standards. Regulations require the use of barrier layers – such as plastic, clay and soil – to ensure safe storage of the waste. The risk of leaks of toxic fluids and gases has to be managed for generations to come.

The manager at Dunbar is a local man. He has a vested interest in maintaining standards for the benefit of his community. The staff maintain clear records of what has been buried and where. It’s information which will be essential for the council planning departments of the future – when, say, they have to decide if a proposed building development should go ahead on the affected land.

The problem is that security of storage and record-keeping was not always this way.

In the past, considerations like the environment – and even public health – were left out of account when deciding whether a big hole in the ground was a suitable place for a landfill site. The modern regulatory system only came into force as recently as the 1990s. [Read more…]

How Best to Protect Yourself Against the Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s

If the question is whether we would like to live to be at least 80 years old, most people’s answer would be “yes”.

That’s certainly the response neuroscientist and novelist, Lisa Genova, received from the TED conference audience she asked in April 2017. We all have a hopeful expectation of living into old age.

Lisa then asked her audience to project themselves into their futures and imagine that everyone in the room is 85 years old.

In that scenario, every second person probably has Alzheimer’s dementia. And, if you take the view that “I won’t be one of the ones with Alzheimer’s”, well, you’re still potentially affected by it – as a carer for someone with the condition.

So, on one view, this scary and upsetting disease is unlikely be avoidable for any of us.

On the other hand, given that Lisa’s talk is entitled “What you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s”, it’s a relief to know that the remainder of what she says is devoted to explaining why we are not powerless in the face of Alzheimer’s. Why it’s not the case that Alzheimer’s is our brain’s inevitable fate, if we are fortunate to live long enough. [Read more…]

Moray Foodbank is Grigor & Young’s new nominated charity

According to one definition, food poverty occurs when individuals and households are unable to obtain an adequate, nutritious diet. This may be because they cannot afford to buy healthy food or because there is a lack of readily accessible shops.

13 Million people live in poverty in the UK. Every day, people are forced to go hungry. It could be due to delays in benefits coming through or because they have received an unexpected bill which is beyond their means on a low income.

Over 40,000 people volunteer at foodbanks across the nation and some of them channel their efforts into Moray Foodbank. [Read more…]

What Happens To Your Digital Assets After Your Death?

Our digital life will last beyond our own life.

As our lives become more and more digitised, we are creating a new category of personal property, that is, digital assets. This includes online accounts, photos, music and emails.

There are three areas generally identified – to think about and prepare for – when it comes to your digital and online life:

  • Digital assets with financial value, such as online banking, PayPal, online shopping accounts and cryptocurrencies (for example Bitcoin);
  • Digital assets with social value, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles; and
  • Digital assets of personal significance, such as Cloud storage, Flickr, YouTube and iTunes.

[Read more…]

Evicting tenants from residential property

If you have let out domestic property to tenants and now wish to recover possession of the property, we can help. We know what procedures are required when evicting tenants from residential property has become necessary.  It may be that we set up a lease for you in the first place but, even if we did not, we can still help. Most residential tenancies are set up as Short Assured Tenancies.

To qualify as a short assured tenancy, there are certain requirements.

For example, the lease must be for a period of at least 6 months. There is also a special form (Form AT5) which must be served on the tenant no later than the commencement of the tenancy notifying them that the lease is a short assured lease.

To be able to advise you on your right to recover possession of the property, we will need to see (at least) the following documents:

  • the lease,
  • Form AT5 (served at the outset of tenancy), and
  • any notice to quit or “section 33” notice you have served.

[Read more…]

3 Reasons why you should make a formal Complaint before considering claiming for Medical Negligence

“Mustard & Young, Scavengers, Elgin”.

This is how the firm of Grigor & Young was addressed in a letter from a James Robertson of Nairn in March 1911. (At that time, the partners in Grigor & Young were a Mr Mustard and a Mr Young.)

Acting on behalf of the Provost, Magistrates and Councillors of the Royal Burgh of Forres, Grigor & Young had apparently been trying to recover a debt from Mr Robertson.

There are literally two sides to this story.

On one side of a piece of lined paper is a handwritten note, headed “Nairn, 25th March 1911”. It is addressed to: “James Robertson, Esq, Bowling Green, Sea Tarf Merchant and Contractor, 7 Academy Street, Nairn.” The note is from a Sheriff Officer to Mr Robertson, telling him that a previous formal request for payment was now withdrawn. [Read more…]

7 Steps In Making An Application For Guardianship Of An Adult With Incapacity

We get a lot of enquiries about applying to be appointed as legal Guardian to an adult who has some form of incapacity.

With our ageing population, we are seeing increasing need for appointment of guardians to people who are suffering from some form of dementia.

However, the need for a guardian to be appointed can arise at any age.

It may become necessary due to a stroke or heart attack, or as the result of an accident. Children with life-long incapacity may well require the appointment of a guardian on reaching age 18.

In this article, we refer to the adult with incapacity as ‘the Adult’.

If you are considering applying for guardianship, we find it is generally a good idea for you to be in touch with the Social Work Department of your local council at an early stage. In Moray, that would be The Moray Council. [Read more…]

Why Should You Leave Something to Charity in Your Will?

Statistics quoted by the Institute of Fundraising indicate that, though 58% of the UK population give to charity during their lifetime, only 7% leave a bequest or legacy to charity in their will (mentioned in this pdf download, entitled “Legacies (in 60 minutes)”).

The problem with considering leaving something to charity in our will probably stems from our general reluctance to talk about death and money in the same sentence.

There are various reasons why people choose to leave money or property to a charity in their will.

  • They may be an existing donor of the charity.

[Read more…]

Why you might need a power of attorney

A Law Society of Scotland video provides an explanation of the importance and benefits of creating a power of attorney with the help of a Scottish solicitor.

If you or a loved one want to give someone you trust permission to make decisions about your money and property (or health and personal welfare), a solicitor can help you to create a power of attorney.

A power of attorney is a document which allows you to nominate someone else to take care of your affairs in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.

There are 2 types of power of attorney.

The first kind is called a “continuing” power of attorney. It permits the nominated person to take care of your money and property.

The second type is a “welfare” power of attorney. It covers matters related to your health and personal welfare.

Why should you consider having a power of attorney?

It’s something we should all consider because it provides real peace of mind in a variety of situations. [Read more…]