In today's Autumn Statement, chancellor George Osborne announced that stamp duty will be reformed from midnight tonight (i.e. the new reform will start on Thursday 4th December) and will operate along similar lines to the system introduced in Scotland.

It's great news for many people buying a home or thinking of buying a home, who could save thousands as part of the reform. In his statement, Osborne said that 98% of homeowners in England and Wales will pay less after the changes.

In tangible terms, the reform will mean that anyone buying a house with a value between £125,000 and £937,500 will pay less stamp duty, with only people who buy homes worth more than £937,000 paying more in tax. For instance, a saving of £4,500 would be made on a home worth £275,000 and a...

We are extremely excited to have found out that Sarah Edmunds Legal was chosen as one of 18 Top Legal Tweeters That You Should Follow on Twitter, according to Flagship Consulting. Furthermore, they stated that our Twitter account was a "compelling example of a youthful, exuberant and accessible law firm." You can read their article here.

Are you making a will, or thinking about writing a will? Here, Sarah talks you through some of the things you should be thinking about when the time has come to make a will.

 

One of the aims at Sarah Edmunds Legal is to make understanding law as simple as possible. Videos are a great way of doing that, so recently we produced a video to explain the basics of what's needed in a will. We are hoping that if you're in the process of drawing up a will this video will help you in the process.

And, as always, if you need professional help with writing a will - which we really do recommend - then please get in touch.

New changes were introduced today, Tuesday 22nd April 2014, to speed up the way that family law courts work.

The most obvious changes will be the creation of a single Family Court for England and Wales, as well as provisions from the Children and Families Act, which will be implemented.

The reaction to the changes has been mixed. Justice Minister Simon Hughes MP said that "this year's changes mark a significant moment for the family justice system", adding that the new Family Court "will create a much simpler system, with all levels of judge being able to sit in the same building and greater flexibility for cases to be allocated to the right judge from the start."

His view differs to that shown by The Law Society who welcome the benefits of the changes but feel they are undermined by the legal aid cuts.

The Law Society president Nicholas Fluck...

It was to our great surprise to discover that at the weekend we had been ranked in the first ever Convey100, a brand new social media influence leaderboard just for conveyancers in the UK.

We frequently use Twitter and Google Plus for sharing news about ourselves and our industry and it's so great to receive some recognition for what we are doing.

You can see the Convey100 leaderboard in full at tmgroup.co.uk/blog/page/Convey100

As this is the first ever leaderboard we are hopeful we can climb even higher in the future! Here is our current ranking:

Conveyancing Leaderboard

One of the best surprises we've had recently was to be awarded Legal Tweeter Of The Week by the good people at Elephant Creative.

They gave us the Legal Tweeter Of The Week award (which was for our @SELEGAL Twitter account) for a variety of reasons, scoring our account for factors such as level of interaction, engagement and frequency of tweets; biography; aesthetics, quality and consistency of Twitter page; content and multi-media; and Twitter experience. We scored really highly in all categories, getting a 33/40 overall score in the process.

Here's one of the quotes from the report, assessing the overall Twitter experience:

"It’s a refreshing change to see a real, authentic and genuinely charismatic Twitter account....

In the latest of our legal news blog we take a look at various stories that have caught our eyes over the last week, including stories about commercial property, residential conveyancing, wills and probate, and even a nice story about William Shakespeare's "second best bed" to finish things off.

So, let's start with that commercial property story. This week the Financial Times' Kate Allen wrote that commercial property investment has hit a historic high:

"Britain’s commercial property market has begun to boom over the past year, with the value of investment flowing in more than doubling year-on-year to a level only just below that seen before the 2008 economic downturn."

You can read the read the rest of that article...

This year looks set to be a hugely significant one for lasting powers of attorneys (LPAs). As you may know, a Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA for short, is a legal document which allows you to appoint someone to make decisions about such things as property, finances, health and welfare. The reason it's to be featured in the news is because the process of completing LPA forms digitally began in 2013 and looks set to consolidate further in 2014.

The reason for switching the LPA process to digital is simple. It is part of a larger scheme for what the Government calls "digital by default", which is summed up well by Computer World. They say that the Government will save £500m in 2014 and that these savings will directly be passed on to the...

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