Legal News Round-Up: Commercial Property, Residential Conveyancing and William Shakespeare's Probate

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 here.

According to Legal Futures, residential conveyancing got more complicated last year:

"Property transactions in England and Wales got more complicated in 2013 as lenders more frequently introduced complex changes for conveyancers participating in their panels of approved lawyers, a year-end review of The Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook by Lexsure Ltd. shows. The London-based company helps solicitors better manage their firm’s risk."

Big news for will writers has arrived with the fact that The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) has unveiled a code of practice for will writing for its members. We will most certainly be having a look at the code as we continue to ensure we are able to offer the best and most ethical will-writing service we can offer. Click here to find out more about the story.

We also spotted this article giving some reasons why expats should make sure they have a will. In truth, their reasons - which include family squabbles and misunderstandinds - apply to everyone. Read the article, which appeared in iExpats, here.

And to finish off, something a bit more light-hearted. The National Archives have now published more than 1 million probate records from the 14th to the 19th century, which can be viewed using (though the site does require a subscription). Highlights include the fact that William Shakespeare bequeathed to his wife his "second-best bed", that Handel left money behind so that someone could build a monument to him and that Sir Francis Bacon gave his servant £800,000 (i.e. a lot of money) as well as hay, firewood and timber.

And that's all for this week. If you have any questions or need advice on any of the issues mentioned in this news bulletin or any of our other services please get in touch. Thanks!

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