You and the law!

You and the law!

Brushes with the law are definitely something to be avoided – as, of course, are legal fees.  Fortunately, there are certain alternatives and here we look at five of the top legal issues which tend to arise at some point or other:

Bereavement

Unfortunately bereavements are inevitable and can lead to all sorts of stress; particularly at a time when grief is still raw and important decisions need to be made.  Whilst a good funeral director will usually advise on the legalities that need to be followed, it’s also a good idea to employ a probate solicitor to ensure that issues such as the deceased’s Will and estate are properly managed. Ordinarily, their fee will be deducted from the estate – meaning that you won’t have to pay upfront – but always be sure to ask the question and ensure that all associated issues, such as inheritance tax, are taken into account.

Consumer law

Consumer law tends to affect us all at some point or other so it’s always handy to know where to go for advice.  In most cases, organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau are a good starting point and you’ll also find some useful resources online.  That said, for more serious issues, you might want to consult a solicitor.  Prior to doing so though (and with a view to saving on legal fees), try and resolve the issue yourself first – perhaps by using the company’s complaints department or by speaking to a senior member of staff.  Remember, if you enter into any sort of agreement (e.g. a mobile phone contract), you legally have 14 days to change your mind – and don’t let them try to tell you any different!

Family law

Family issues can often be sensitive.  Whether they relate to divorce, custodial arrangements, powers of attorney or even restriction orders, they tend to arise due to stressful situations so it’s important you get impartial advice.  Whilst the police will deal with the more serious ends of family law issues, you’re most likely to need a solicitor for matters such as separation, child care arrangements and so on.  Again, it’s advisable to resolve as much as you possibly can from the outset.  Most solicitors offer an initial free interview so be sure to shop around but remember the cheapest quote isn’t always the best.

Motoring

The key to any motoring issue is to get the right insurance.  Whether it’s your fault – or that of another driver – you need to be sure that you’ll get the right advice and, where necessary, referral to a specialist solicitor.  Unfortunately motoring incidents often mean medical treatment and if that’s the case, you need to make sure that you’re fully covered – particularly if it means you having to take time off work for hospital appointments.  Prior to taking out any motor insurance policy be sure to ask as many questions as you feel necessary and look closely at the terms and conditions.  For example, if your car is written off, will your insurers provide you with a courtesy car until it’s fixed?  Will they cover any legal expenses etc.?  If you’re not sure – ask.

Property

 Most of us find ourselves having to deal with properties at some point or other – whether it’s through the purchase or sale of a property; or even entering into a tenancy agreement.  Given the very nature (and value) of these transactions it’s always advisable to seek appropriate legal advice – particularly if you’re committing to an actual purchase.  Don’t find yourself caught short for the sake of saving on legal fees.  In terms of property, it’s simply not worth the risk.