My parents are about to inherit a reasonable amount of money. They want to give my brother and I a lump sum of around £20000 each. If they just transfer the money to us what happens about tax? Is there a way to minimise the amount of tax to be paid? You are not my solicitor or financial advisor etc etc. I'll take advice but would like an understanding before I do. Thanks!
Recommendations for portable, low cost but full-size laptops in UK [more inside]
Is there a UK-based equivalent to the EFF? [more inside]
Is there a UK equivalent to Kinkos/FedEx Office? [more inside]
A few years ago, Ben Goldacre and some people from the Cabinet Office published a paper, 'Test, Learn, Adapt: Developing Public Policy with Randomised Controlled Trials' calling for UK government departments to use more randomised controlled trials in the formulation and evaluation of UK public policy. Can anyone point me to research tracking RCT usage by the UK government both before and after the publication of the report? [more inside]
My husband and I are thinking of taking an anniversary/delayed honeymoon trip to the UK, and going on one of the semi-packaged Lake District hikes (where you hike from inn to inn and they trundle your baggage to the next inn for you). I'm getting conflicting information about the best month to do this. Data points inside. [more inside]
I'm going to be in Liverpool over the Christmas holidays as I'm planning on going to Goodison Park on Boxing Day. Obviously, almost everything will be closed on Christmas Day but will there be anything open that isn't a hospital? I'd like to drink a lot so booze options most welcome, but really anything that isn't sitting by myself is great.
My google-fu has failed me, and I sheepishly turn to you. Need help trying to figure out if the non-Sprint US iPhone 6 will work on LTE in the UK. [more inside]
I'm so sorry, "blighty" is a word that I've never, ever used before. But it begins with B, so it just kind of popped out. Anyway: my BT HomeHub 3 is shot - and they won't send me a new one unless I renew my contract. But their prices suck, so I'm looking for a different provider. Any ideas or recommendations? Thanks... [more inside]
My friend is learning to drive. All he needs now, his instructor says, is actual practice. He does not have anybody with a car who can let him practice. How would you work around this? [more inside]
I think my Dad's gmail account got hacked while he was in Cambodia at the start of the month. We have no idea how. What should we do beyond changing the password and alerting the banks and credit card companies? [more inside]
I have made the decision that I want to change careers to become a counsellor (talking therapist) and I'd additionally like to specialise my therapy (but not exclusively) in gender and sexual identity issues. What study paths should I follow to turn this ambition into a specific plan? I never went to university after leaving school - so I would like to go back into academic education and get a degree while working towards this career rather than just doing a vocational course. Difficulty level: UK. [more inside]
My wife and I are going to Scotland to see friends and family, and since I always wanted to summit Snowdon I thought I would look into a side trip to Wales. Does this itinerary makes sense? Is there not enough or too much time? Do I need to book train tickets in advance? Finally, is the bus trip a big hassle with luggage? Any advice about Snowdon? [more inside]
I'm looking for a nice, relaxing place for a family of 4 to spend one night just outside North London. Complexities inside. [more inside]
My American parents are looking forward to their retirement in a few years, and for a variety of reasons are contemplating retiring in Europe - likely the UK, or possibly Germany/Austria. Is this possible? [more inside]
My sister just had a baby, and I was hoping to get her a gift certificate from a food delivery service. I've checked out hungryhouse, which does not deliver to her postcode, and Just Eat, which doesn't have gift certificates. Is there any other service like this or anything else that would accomplish the goal of getting some easy meals in the Oxford (UK) area?
My partner and I are looking into the possibility of buying a home in Edinburgh. We're originally from the U.S., and some of the differences have us mystified. Help us out? Specifics inside. [more inside]
I'm a US citizen with indefinite leave to remain in the UK. I want to apply for UK citizenship. I have defaulted student loans in the US and haven't filed my taxes in the US for ten years while I've lived here in the UK. Am I going to need to get straight with the US before I can naturalise as a UK citizen? I intend to pay / file what needs paid and filed but what order should I do it in?
Let's say I, a California software engineer and journalist, wanted to find an employer who would sponsor me to work in London. I've read a little about the work visa situation and various recent restrictions closing various avenues. Assuming the odds are probably pretty bad against succeeding, how might one try for this anyway? [more inside]
[UK-filter?] For the past three weeks I have been receiving phone calls on my land line for a JG. It has been one call every two days. Every call has been automated: "We are looking to get in touch with JG. Please call us back at this number" - today the message changed to: "It is very urgent that we get in touch with JG. Please call us back asap at this number". Is this a scam? Should I continue to ignore this? Should I call back to say that JG doesn't live here? What's the worst that could happen either way?
Hello, could someone please point me to any recent thinking/speculation on what would happen to the UK parliament in the event of a win for the Yes campaign next week? [more inside]
I and an American living in the Netherlands, and have taken my dog to the US several times from Schiphol when I'm taking a long-ish trip back to the States. She has a pet passport, and it has never been an issue going back through Amsterdam. I'm moving to the UK soon, and for my fall trip I was wondering if I should take her from the UK to the US, and back (probably from Heathrow), or stick with Amsterdam. [more inside]
Where can I get hardcopies of yesterday's (Sunday's) UK Times and UK Daily Mail in NYC? [more inside]
I am in the UK and have a UK amazon account. My recipient is in the US. How should I send her books? The books are available on the US website - can I save money and shipping by having them sent from the US? if so how can I do that from my UK amazon account? Thanks, I fail at googling this!
Flestrin minimus, a US citizen by birth and also a British citizen by descent by way of being the legitimate son of a British father, is planning to travel to London to visit family and study. He has a valid US pasport and has applied for a British passport, BUT said British passport has not yet arrived (it turns out that allowing 40% longer than the 10 week estimate was not enough extra padding). So, he has a US pasport, a one-way plane ticket and time constraints. How best to proceed? [more inside]
I have acquired two engraved copper printing plates which were produced in the 1850s by an artist who is internationally renowned. What is the legal situation regarding issuing my own edition from these plates? [more inside]
We are thinking of moving out of our London flat, ideally in November. But in our "Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement for letting a residential dwelling" they seem to specify that we can't move out around Christmas even if we give the required 2 months notice. Is this legal in UK? Does this odd restriction infringe our tenancy rights? [more inside]
I'll be in London for a party & wedding over two weekends, and need ideas for domestic travel during the week in between, and the few days after. I've been to UK before, but all i've really seen is central london, Oxford, and Stonehenge. (i'll be clearer about my schedule and needs after the jump!) [more inside]
My goal is to become a university professor but I'm torn whether to do a second master's degree or go straight for a PhD. I can get decent funding for a master's but am I treading water? [more inside]
I'm going to the UK and Italy for 5 months for work and am having trouble getting the banking situation worked out. [more inside]
I am an academic and am likely about to take up a position at Cardiff University. I currently live in a small-ish (250K) Dutch city, which I love. I like the compact city center, I like walking everywhere (shopping, market, coffee, train station), I like the robust public transportation. I dislike car culture. What do I need to know about Cardiff? [more inside]
My mom is going on a business trip to England soon! What American snack food or candy should she bring to the coworkers she will be visiting in the UK? [more inside]
In the case of unpublished historical manuscripts in copyright till 2039 in the UK, where the original author is long dead and there is no designated copyright holder, how does copyright work once you get down a generation or two and have multiple heirs of seemingly equal standing? (eg. several grandchildren or multiple great nieces and nephews) Must everyone be consulted and agree, or if a will never mentioned the manuscript but left everything to a given child or even a non-family member, do only their heirs count and not the other grandkids etc? [more inside]
Travelling to London next week. Need advice on packing for the weather. [more inside]
Calling British readers pls - A highly specific question - about where parking is allowed on roads in the UK. Please see the photo here. That solid white line is approx 3 feet from the sidewalk. No signs (good or bad) anywhere in sight. No indication it might be a cycle lane or other special use. Can cars park on this road?
Hi - outer glass shattered on our oven door. Google suggests this does sometimes happen without provocation (oven is approx 7yrs old). Housing contract (London, UK) stipulates tenant responsible for 'broken glass' but I presume this refers to windows. Letting agents got quote of £220 for new door panel. New oven costs £295 and they prefer to do this. Ask I contribute 40% (£120). Is this a fair deal - should I negotiate lower? Thanks!
I'd be interested to know how many books the average person has read by the following ages: 21, 30, 40, 60? [more inside]
My wife wants to bring an American craft beer to a former colleague who is primarily a real ale drinker in the UK. He is pretty game to try anything (and is more of a hophead than I am) and we would like to get him something he can't get there and that is a bit different (so no American Belgians for instance) but also worth the hassle. What should we get? We are in Chicago and probably have to get it from Binnys.
I live in the US and have followed the RIAA/MPAA suits closely. Over the years I have heard British news agencies report such-and-such as being charged with illegal downloading and wondered if that were even possible. [more inside]
I currently attend a top 2 law school in the UK (no prize for guessing which), and am interested in working in the US after I graduate. While I am aware that I will be eligible to take the bar exam in NY and California with a degree from a common law jurisdiction, would my prospects of landing a law firm gig be appreciably augmented if I go for an LLM (or perhaps even a JD) at a US law school? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a good, reliable photo scanning service in the UK? I need to scan a decent number of old family photos, and I've also got some VHS tapes I need to digitise. [more inside]
It changed (in the UK) just over a year ago. They claim it is back to their original recipe - and call it an improvement on the previous outsourced version. Many of their customers seem to disagree (search Twitter/Facebook for "katsu change") and have stopped visiting as a result. I can only assume this was a commercial decision - it is cheaper for Wagamama to make this new sauce, even taking lost business into account. Does anyone who works (or has worked) at Wagamama in the UK have any idea what actually happened and why?
(YNML) We're purchasing a leasehold property in the UK. The lease for this property says "The Demise hereinbefore contained includes the following rights:- ... and the exclusive use of the parking space numbered 1 shown hatched red on the plan ...". Our solicitor has been saying that 'as the right is exclusive this does not form a legal right under common law and as such may be denied by subsequent Landlords.' I don't understand why this is an issue, and as it's held up our move, I would like to understand. Although I've asked my solicitor, I suspect Mefites can give me a clearer answer! More details inside... [more inside]
What do I need to know and be prepared for when applying for a tier 4 visa to relocate from the US to the UK? How will my (totally minor and mundane, youthful, etc.) criminal record come into play, and how can I get in front of any potential issues? [more inside]
So this may sound dumb, and obvious.... I'm just thrashing out a question that I've been discussing with a couple of friends recently. Let's say I legally purchase a batch of high-value, trendy goods. It doesn't really matter what they are -- let's say the latest iPhone, for the sake of argument. Can I set up a store (online or in the high-street) renting them out to anyone who wants to agree to a contract with me? So let's pretend an iPhone 6 will retail at £500. If I purchase a batch of 100 at £400 each, and rent them out at £25/month for a 2 year contract, I make a good profit. Assume the iPhones are genuine, and that purchasers/renters are happy to arrange their own SIM cards, telecomms contracts, etc. These are working items. What are the reasons I couldn't do this? Is there any legal reason, or trading standards reason, that would prevent me from setting up a business doing this? [more inside]
I'm a US citizen living in the US, but I will be moving to London this summer. I'll be traveling on a spousal settlement visa. Is there anything wrong with entering the UK from Ireland the first time I travel? [more inside]
When GSM phones in the UK are on a 3G network, is there any broadcast or query of the handset's IMEI number to or with the network operator? [more inside]
I'm a new UK citizen, and I'd like to stay informed so that I can vote wisely (not just this week but in all elections to come.) Unfortunately, a lot of political coverage seems to focus on "Will talking about this policy help the party win?" while I'm more interested in "Will implementing this policy be good for the country?" So, what podcasts, Twitter feeds, or other resources tend to offer thoughtful, in-depth analysis of different party's positions on various issues? (I'm a big fan of the BBC's "Analysis" podcast, to give an idea of what I'm looking for.") [more inside]
I recently took over paying the UK council tax in a shared living arrangement. The house is HMO licensed for 5 people, yet large, so there has always been a sixth person living here off the books since way before I moved in. That 'HMO invisible' started a housing benefit application. I'm being asked to lie to the council on email. No way! But this idiot is a good friend. Help! [more inside]
I travel a lot to the US and I plan to travel to Russia a few times this summer. I used to have a good mileage plan in the US, but I'm not sure what the best one is for the UK. Alternatively, maybe it's cheaper just to always find the least expensive flights rather than being loyal to one group of airlines?