hose old round pounds are no longer le­gal spend­ing money, although a few re­tail­ers will still ac­cept them. For, de­spite pub­lic­ity, we still have mil­lions in our homes, pock­ets and cars. Banks have said they will con­tinue to ex­change the coins well into the fu­ture.

But you don’t have to be an econ­o­mist or the na­tion’s big­gest su­per­mar­ket to know that ‘ev­ery lit­tle helps’. And it’s not just find­ing an old pound coin in a long-for­got­ten bag.

Your home costs money to run. But there are big sav­ings you can make.

Whether you have a smart me­ter or not, you can prob­a­bly pay less for gas and elec­tric­ity.

A quar­ter of a cen­tury af­ter shop­ping around for power came in, more than half of all house­holds never or rarely switch providers – with mil­lions stuck on ex­pen­sive stan­dard vari­able tar­iffs. What­ever you pay, it’s the same stuff through the pipes and wires.

The Govern­ment has pledged to do some­thing about stan­dard vari­ables but you don’t have to wait. Chang­ing to a cheaper tar­iff is easy – there are sev­eral switch­ing firms, in­clud­ing Which? Switch, where a few ba­sic de­tails en­tered into a web­site (most have phone lines as well) should pro­duce a deal that could save hun­dreds a year.

In­sur­ance com­pa­nies take ad­van­tage of those who just re­new year af­ter year. So a com­par­i­son site should be the first port of call. Be­yond that, look at what you are cov­er­ing. You might still be pay­ing for valu­ables which you no longer have. And what about that ‘le­gal ex­penses cover’? Hardly any­one ever uses it and many may have some­thing sim­i­lar through other or­gan­i­sa­tions such as trade unions or char­i­ties.

You can save a lot by in­creas­ing the ‘ex­cess’ – that’s the first slice of the claim you pay your­self. Premi­ums drop dra­mat­i­cally if you can af­ford £500 in­stead of £100.

There are other ad­van­tages – if your com­puter is ac­ci­den­tally dam­aged or lost, you can up­grade to the new model you want rather than the one the in­surer sends. And you won’t face higher premi­ums next time be­cause you ‘have made claims’.

The same goes for phone cover – un­less you have top of the range mobiles (where you pay top of the range premi­ums), the main has­sle of los­ing a phone is fail­ing to back up con­tacts, photos, mu­sic and other data. In­sur­ance won’t pay for that, any­way.

Don’t for­get the mort­gage – get­ting off the ex­pen­sive stan­dard vari­able rate could save you enough to pay for Christ­mas – and that’s only two months away.

And per­haps New Year as well. Which? Mort­gage Ad­vis­ers can help out here. didn’t reg­is­ter an in­ter­est in the prop­erty when it was bought. pro­ceed with the di­vorce with­out her hus­band’s ap­proval. If it can be shown that the hus­band is liv­ing with an­other woman there will be a pre­sump­tion that he is com­mit­ting adul­tery, although a cheaper op­tion may be to con­sider amend­ing the ba­sis of the pe­ti­tion to un­rea­son­able be­hav­iour. This may be com­pli­cated and you should con­sider see­ing a so­lic­i­tor. will file for bank­ruptcy if we take the mat­ter fur­ther. IT’S very com­mon in th­ese cir­cum­stances for the builder to lodge a bond or de­posit with the coun­cil to en­sure the road is built even if the builder gets into dif­fi­culty. Check with your so­lic­i­tor of the lo­cal author­ity to see if any such ar­range­ment was made. If the builder hasn’t sold the re­main­ing houses the time to take ac­tion will be when he does. If the road re­mains pri­vate then you and the ad­join­ing prop­er­ties may be li­able for the main­te­nance and any cost of putting it to an adopt­able stan­dard if this is re­quired by the lo­cal author­ity. A FRIEND was joint ex­ecu­tor of the will of an el­derly woman who died nearly ten years ago. The other ex­ecu­tor was a so­lic­i­tor, who paid out my friend’s be­quest but ap­par­ently never sent him a state­ment of ac­count. The so­lic­i­tor says he did, and re­fuses to send an­other copy. My friend has a copy of the will, and the state­ment of probate says the es­tate was worth be­tween £80-£100,000. AS co-ex­ecu­tor your friend should not only have seen the fi­nal ac­counts but should have signed and ap­proved them. Copies should have been sent to the main, or resid­uary, ben­e­fi­cia­ries, so he could ap­proach them if his own copy has been mis­laid. Given the num­ber of years that have elapsed since the es­tate was fi­nalised it’s pos­si­ble it would be very in­con­ve­nient to un­earth the records now. But if your friend thinks the es­tate never was wound up he should per­haps see an­other so­lic­i­tor. »»Call Brom­leys Solic­i­tors LLP on 0161 330 6821 or visit www. brom­leys.co.uk If you have any le­gal ques­tions, write to Prop­erty Law, MEN Media, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Av­enue, Chad­der­ton OL9 8EF, or email mail@ lawQs.co.uk

To set the gift aside if there was un­due pres­sure put on you to fi­nance the house pur­chase. It’s also pos­si­ble that you could es­tab­lish an in­ter­est in the prop­erty, so I sug­gest you see a so­lic­i­tor. But gen­er­ally speak­ing once you’ve given some­thing away

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