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Private Clients Update 12

Monty Python star suffering from severe form of dementia

Monty Python star Terry Jones has been diagnosed with a severe variant of dementia called primary progressive aphasia.

It affects his ability to communicate and so he is no longer able to give interviews. The National Aphasia Association describes the disease as a neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become impaired.

A spokesman said: "It commonly begins as a subtle disorder of language, progressing to a nearly total inability to speak, in its most severe stage.”

Mr Jones was part of the successful Monty Python comedy team in the 1960s and 70s and went on to direct their films, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. He has won numerous awards for his work.

Kathryn Smith, director of operations at the Alzheimer's Society, said: "We are deeply sorry to hear about Terry Jones's diagnosis of dementia and are thinking of Terry and his family during this time."

Research has shown that dementia is the illness people in their 50s and above fear the most because it brings loss of control. Apart from all the obvious trauma and heartache, there is the practical problem of who should manage your affairs if you are no longer able to do so yourself.

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Moped rider awarded £716,000 after road accident

A man who was seriously injured while riding a moped when he was 16 has been awarded more than £700,000 compensation.

The accident happened as he was riding through a junction controlled by traffic lights, which were on green at the time. He was hit by a car turning right across his path and suffered several fractures to his right leg, which required years of complex surgery and care.

He also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and experienced flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks and anxiety symptoms.

He developed a phobia of going out and of travelling in a vehicle. Before the accident he had hoped to pursue a sports related career but this was no longer possible, which added to his depression. He was also very self-conscious of residual scarring. He underwent significant counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.

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Woman wins appeal over settlement at end of civil partnership

A woman has won the right to challenge a financial settlement agreed after the break-up of her same-sex relationship. She says her former partner lied about the extent of her wealth.

The Court of Appeal heard that Helen Roocroft from Bolton had been in a civil partnership with property developer Carol Ainscow. They separated in 2009 and Roocroft accepted a financial settlement of £200,000.

Ainscow died in 2013 aged 55. Roocroft then discovered that her former partner had misrepresented the extent of her wealth. She began proceedings to seek a higher settlement from Ainscow’s estate but her application was rejected by the High Court. It held that her application was doomed to fail.

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Father and son in legal dispute over ownership of house

When family members buy a property together it is advisable to draw up documents outlining the extent of each person’s share, together with their rights and responsibilities.

Failure to do so can lead to disputes as occurred in a recent case before the Court of Appeal.

It involved a father and son who decided to buy a house where they both could live. The property was put in the son’s name and both contributed towards the deposit. The mortgage payments were then paid by the father.

Several years later, the father travelled to India where he suffered a stroke. While he was away, the son sold the house leaving his father homeless.

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