OFT approves ‘toothless’ will-writing code

first_imgA new code of practice for non-lawyer will-writers which has been approved by the Office of Fair Trading is ‘without teeth’, probate solicitors have warned. The OFT approved a new code of practice drawn up by the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) last week. The OFT approval came as the Scottish government indicated last week that it would seek to introduce compulsory regulation of non-lawyer will-writers. Under the new code of practice, IPW members will have to pass an entrance exam and complete ongoing professional training. They will be obliged to provide consumers with a minimum seven-day cooling off period, and complete work within strict time frames agreed with the client. The code also gives consumers access to an independent redress scheme, and provides protection for any money paid by clients in advance, if the work is not completed. The IPW’s 190 members make up an estimated 20% of all the UK’s will-writing businesses. Members will now be able to use the OFT Approved code logo on business advertising and literature. Helen Clarke, chair of the Law Society’s wills & equity committee, said she applauded all attempts to improve standards and safeguard the public. ‘But a code of conduct is only as good as it can be enforced, and this code lacks serious sanctions. An IPW member who is expelled for misconduct can just carry on writing wills regardless,’ she said. Clients’ long-term interests would not be protected by the new code, Clarke added, because if a will-writing company went bankrupt, there would be no safety net. ‘When a law firm folds, the Law Society intervenes and the profession takes on the cost. The IPW code contains no such provision.’ Patricia Wass, chair of the Law Society’s probate section, said that the public did not always recognise the difference between a trained and qualified solicitor and a will-writer. She said: ‘Tax planning, assets held overseas, older people cohabiting – these are all parts of the complexity of modern life that can’t be learned on a short course of training. It’s a lifetime’s work, even for solicitors.’ Wass added that she supported the Scottish government’s decision to table an amendment to the Legal Services (Scotland) bill to introduce compulsory regulation of non-lawyer will-writers. She said she urged Westminster to adopt the same approach. Shefali Talukdar, head of private client at Manchester firm Clough & Willis, said the IPW code is ‘without teeth and lacks meaningful sanctions’. She added: ‘Only 20% of will-writers are members of IPW – which means 80% won’t be subject to the new code of practice. But it’s a step in the right direction.’ Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners chief executive David Harvey said: ‘Having a quality code of conduct is a good start, but we need to ensure consumers are fully protected. That means professional will-writers should be subject to both rigorous examination and a meaningful regulatory scheme.’ IPW chairman Paul Sharpe said: ‘It is crucially important that consumers receive the highest standard of service from properly trained and qualified professionals. With IPW’s OFT-approved code, consumers can tell at a glance that businesses will provide them with the highest standards.’ A Law Society spokeswoman said: ‘While a code of conduct is important in providing quality assurance, anything short of regulation is not providing the most appropriate safeguards for the consumer. ‘The consumer needs to be protected and know that any person writing their will is adequately trained, insured, protected against dishonesty, has a complaints and disciplinary mechanism in place, and remedies are available when needed. ‘These are all key elements that form part of the solicitors’ regulatory model. Solicitors have the training, knowledge and protections in place to ensure that consumers are provided with a professional service, with safeguards to protect the consumer in place. Until will-writing becomes a regulated activity, the same standards cannot be guaranteed by all will-writers.’last_img read more

SPI budgets 2012 fiscal year

first_imgBy SCARLET O’ROURKE Staff Writer [email protected] City of South Padre Island met Wednesday, July 20, to discuss the upcoming 2012 fiscal year budget.The council listened as City Manager Joni Clarke presented numbers for vari­ous departments. As the list went on, council members felt the need to postpone all decisions on the budget until they have had the chance to examine all aspects of each department more closely and get the final numbers that have yet to be reported.Of the numbers reveled in the meeting, it is report­ed that the excess reserve fund calculation is set at $826,823 with the current budget rough draft and the street maintenance fund was projected at $35,783. To see this story in print, pick up a copy of the July 21 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here. RelatedFrom the Desk of the Port Isabel City ManagerSpecial to the PRESS By JARED HOCKEMA Port Isabel City Manager The PRESS recently published an article about the City’s financial performance in Fiscal Year 2013-2014, in which the city incurred losses of $492,731 in the General Fund. This loss followed a previously-reported General Fund deficit of $889,176 in Fiscal…September 2, 2016In “News”SPI opts out of tax rate hikeBy CRAIG ALANIZ Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS The South Padre Island City Council held a public hearing for the 2012-2013 tax rate. The council approved the effective tax rate of .252701, which would bring in the same income as last year. The council did not feel a tax rate hike…August 30, 2012In “News”SPI City Staff cuts budget for upcoming yearBy ABBEY KUNKLE Special to the PRESS Considering that the fiscal year is nearing its end, the City Council met last week for a presentation from Finance Director Rodrigo Gimenez regarding the budget for the upcoming year. Gimenez started by covering the General Fund, which is expected to have approximately…June 26, 2015In “News” Sharelast_img read more

Andy Ruiz Jr blames ‘three months of partying and celebrating’ for defeat to Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia

first_imgANDY RUIZ JR has admitted “three months of partying” was to blame for his one-sided defeat to Anthony Joshua.Back in June the Mexican delivered one of boxing’s biggest ever shocks when he floored AJ four times on the way to a seventh-round stoppage win.Andy Ruiz Jr admitted he had not prepared properly for the fight as he lost to Joshua on pointsCredit: Richard PelhamBut on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia, it was a very different Ruiz Jr standing toe-toe-toe with Joshua – weighing 15lbs heavier for a start.And speaking after the fight, Ruiz Jr admitted his preparation was to blame for the tame loss.The 30-year-old said: “Three months of partying and celebrating affected me, what can I say?“Being overweight, I wasn’t fluid enough, I wasn’t moving the way I wanted to move.“I think if I’m lighter I’m going to let my hands go and be a completely different fighter.”DIDN’T LISTEN TO COACHESHe was then asked what he’d do differently if granted a rematch with Joshua. He replied: “Listen to my coach. Listen to my dad. And take it more seriously.“I’m OK, I’m just a little disappointed. I should have listened to them.“I tried to do the training on my own. I should have listened to them more.“There’s no excuses…the partying and all that stuff got the best of me.“For being out of shape I did pretty good, I took all his shots.“I got him a few times. If we’d have gone toe to toe. For the trilogy I know I’m going to be a lot better.”Andy Ruiz was easily outpointed on his big night in Saudi ArabiaCredit: PA:Press AssociationAnthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr. 2: Round by Round What’s This “Trick” Called? Comment Down Below!! 10 INCREDIBLE Space Launch Failures! Amazing Controlled Building Demolition You Probably Haven’t Seen Before Funny animals make you happy and laugh funny animal compilation Travel Diary // Vietnam 2017center_img Source: Boxing – thesun.co.uk Rebekah Vardy scores an impressive penalty in six-inch heels Top 5 Best Budget Hotels In Dubai under AED 400 a night. People Slammed By Massive Waves 4last_img read more

Mike Mussina elected to Baseball Hall-of-Fame

first_imgIn an expected move Tuesday evening, former Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Mike Mussina was voted into the baseball Hall-of-Fame.The question now becomes, “will he go in wearing an Orioles hat?” If the answer is yes, he will join Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Earl Weaver, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. in being inducted as an Oriole.The official Orioles press release is below:MIKE MUSSINA ELECTED TO THENATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAMEMIKE MUSSINA was tonight announced as the 23rdplayer, coach, or front office executive with modern-day ties to the Baltimore Orioles to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.Mussina, 50, played 18 Major League seasons from 1991-2008, including his first 10 seasons with the Orioles. He currently holds the best all-time winning percentage by a qualifying Orioles pitcher with a minimum of 140 decisions (.645), and ranks among the club’s all-time leaders in strikeouts (second, 1,535); wins (third, 147); ERA (fifth, 3.53); starts (fifth, 288); innings pitched (sixth, 2009.2); shutouts (eighth, 15); and complete games (10th, 45).A five-time American League All-Star (all with Baltimore), Mussina won seven Gold Gloves, including four with the Orioles, and finished inside the top six of Cy Young Award voting nine times, seven with Baltimore. As a member of the Orioles, Mussina led the American League with a .783 winning percentage (18-5) in 1992; wins (19); shutouts (four); and walks per 9.0 innings (2.03) in 1995; games started (36) in 1996; and innings pitched (237.2) in 2000. He tossed three one-hitters with the Orioles and struck out 15 batters in a game twice. In six career postseason starts with the Orioles, Mussina went 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA (12 ER/42.2 IP). He was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2012.Mussina ranks 20th all-time in Major League history with 2,813 strikeouts, tied for 32nd in wins (270), 33rd with a .638 winning percentage (270-153), and 34th in games started (536). Mussina, a Williamsport, Pa. native, was originally selected by the Orioles in the first round (No. 20 overall) of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft out of Stanford University.Mussina will be formally inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame during the ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y. on Sunday, July 21, at 1:30 p.m. ET.Six Orioles have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame with an official plaque depicting them in an Orioles uniform, including FRANK ROBINSON (elected in 1982), BROOKS ROBINSON (1983), JIM PALMER (1990), EARL WEAVER (1996), EDDIE MURRAY (2003), and CAL RIPKEN, JR. (2007).Mussina joins HAROLD BAINES and LEE SMITH as 2019 inductees to have played for the Orioles. Baines played parts of seven seasons (1993-95 and 1997-2000) with the Orioles, batting .301/.379/.502 (638-for-2121) with 99 doubles, 107 home runs, 304 runs, and 378 RBI over 666 games. In 2,830 career Major League games, he hit .289/.356/.465 with 2,866 hits, 488 doubles, 49 triples, 384 home runs, 1,299 runs, and 1,628 RBI. Smith pitched one season (1994) for the Orioles, going 1-4 with a 3.29 ERA (14 ER/38.1 IP) and a Major League leading 33 saves in 41 appearances, while being named an All-Star. In 1,022 career appearances, he went 71-92 with a 3.03 ERA (434 ER/1289.1 IP), 1,251 strikeouts, and 478 saves. He retired as baseball’s all-time leader in saves, and currently ranks third all-time.Other Hall of Famers with modern-day Orioles ties include ROBIN ROBERTS (1976), GEORGE KELL (1983), LUIS APARICIO (1984), HOYT WILHELM (1985), REGGIE JACKSON (1993), ROBERTO ALOMAR (2011), TIM RAINES, SR. (2017), VLADIMIR GUERRERO (2018), JIM THOME (2018), HAROLD BAINES (2019), and LEE SMITH (2019), managers DICK WILLIAMS (2008) and WHITEY HERZOG (2010), and executives LEE MacPHAIL (1998), PAT GILLICK (2011), and JOHN SCHUERHOLZ (2017).Sixteen others to have played or managed for the Orioles in the early days of Baltimore’s rich baseball heritage are also enshrined in the Hall of Fame including FRANK “HOME RUN” BAKER, CHARLES “CHIEF” BENDER, ROGER BRESNAHAN, DAN BROUTHERS, WILLIAM “CANDY” CUMMINGS, ROBERT “LEFTY” GROVE, EDWARD “NED” HANLON, ROGERS HORNSBY, HUGHIE JENNINGS, WEE WILLIE KEELER, JOE KELLEY, RUBE MARQUARD, JOE “IRON MAN” McGINNITY, JOHN McGRAW, WILBERT ROBINSON, andGEORGE HERMAN “BABE” RUTH.Please follow and like us:last_img read more

Spain police seize tons of cocaine among pineapples shipped from Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s 3-pronged strategy scores high against drug trafficking, says Coast Guard chief Costa Rica’s ‘Macho Coca’: A fishmonger accused of being a drug lord Colombian family arrested with 3 kilos of heroin and cocaine in their stomachs Venezuela national guard chief accused in US drug trafficking indictment MADRID — Spanish police seized 2.5 tons of cocaine hidden among pineapples on a ship from Costa Rica in one of the biggest ever seizures of the drug, they said Wednesday.The cocaine was stuffed in 2,296 packages hidden among the fruit in a shipping container that arrived at the Mediterranean port of Algeciras. It was tracked and seized later at a warehouse near Madrid, police said in a statement.The authorities gave no estimate for the street value of the cocaine but online newspaper El Confidencial estimated it was worth over 150 million euros ($200 million).“This is one of the biggest seizures carried out in European Union ports,” the police statement said.Police arrested six people in the Madrid suburb of Valdemoro, where the alleged drug traffickers are accused of storing the cocaine in a warehouse.The authorities located the drug shipment in Algeciras thanks to a tip-off and tailed traffickers as they transported the cocaine to the warehouse.Spain’s close ties to Latin America have made it the key entry point for cocaine from the continent bound for Europe.Roughly 4.5 metric tons of cocaine with ties to Costa Rican has been seized in the last 24 hours, Public Security Minister Mario Zamora said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more