Legal Matters: Hopkins Solicitors gives you advice on employment, divorce and wills

Hopkins Solicitors are an established firm in Mansfield specialising in all types of law.

By News Reporter
Monday, 24th February 2014, 12:22 pm

Here they provide information about employment law as well as wills and dealing with divorce.

In the last few months, my boss has completely turned against me, criticising and shouting at me for everything I do. I get the feeling my boss it trying to make me quit but I don’t know why. I’m really worried – what can I do?

The first step you may want to take is to raise a grievance with your HR Manager or another appropriate manager. Raising a grievance and speaking to someone else about your employer’s behaviour may be all that’s needed to resolve the situation.

However if nothing changes after you have raised a grievance, you may decide that your only option is to resign. If this is the case, it’s important to seek legal advice beforehand to find out whether you will be able to bring a claim of constructive dismissal against your employer in an Employment Tribunal.

If you do not want to resign, another option which may suit both you and your employer is to terminate your employment using a Settlement Agreement. This would involve you agreeing to terminate your employment in return for a final settlement payment. This would however mean that you forfeit your right to bring any further claims against your employer.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to get some advice from an Employment Law solicitor who can take you through the options and help you find the best way forward. At Hopkins, we can meet with you for a fixed fee meeting and talk through the problem and the range of solutions available.

My Dad recently died and when his Will was read, I found out that everything had been left to my sister. I had a really good relationship with my Dad and saw him regularly so I’m really shocked by this. I’ve got a feeling my sister might have put pressure on him when he made his new Will recently - she’s got debt problems. What can I do? Can I challenge the Will?

Legally, your Dad is allowed to leave his Estate (his property and assets) to whomever he chooses, and isn’t obliged to leave it to his family or distribute it equally.

However, you clearly have concerns about how your Dad’s Will was made, so if you are thinking about challenging the Will the first step would be to have a look at it and see how it was prepared. Was it written by a solicitor? Was it signed and witnessed?

If it was prepared by a solicitor, they should have made sure that your Dad was not influenced by anyone when making his Will. They should have seen your Dad alone both when he gave his instructions and when he signed the Will. If this wasn’t the case, the solicitor may be negligent and you may be able to challenge the validity of the Will. At Hopkins, we are experienced in handling Will disputes. We can help you write to the solicitor who prepared the Will and request further information about how it was prepared. We can also find out whether a letter to explain your Dad’s decision was included with it, although you need to be prepared for information which may upset you.

If the Will was prepared correctly and no challenge can be made to the preparation and execution of the Will, then you might have a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. We can help you with this complex area of law and provide the advice that you need to make such a claim.

Me and my wife are getting divorced. We’ve got 3 kids and we’ve agreed that we don’t want them to see us going through a ‘divorce battle’. Plus we’ve not got the money to spend on legal fees. Is there another option? I’ve heard the word ‘mediation’ mentioned but don’t know anything about it.

Mediation may well be the right approach for you. Mediation would prevent you and your wife going to Court, and would help to reduce the financial and emotional damage that can often be associated with a divorce.

The process of mediation involves both you and your wife meeting with a trained Mediator at a neutral location, either together or separately. The Mediator would work with you to find your own solutions to the issues caused by your divorce. They would help you both to plan the way forward and agree on what’s best for you, your children and your finances.

Mediation would allow you to stay in control of the divorce process and outcome, rather than having the Courts decide for you. It could help you to preserve your future relationship with your children’s mum and overall, help you to make the best of a bad situation.