My partner and I have joint accounts. In the event of either of our deaths, does half the account go into the estate of that deceased to be divided between the surviving partner and children? We have made wills.

Firstly, if the accounts are genuinely shared, and not just in joint names for convenience while really belonging to one of you, half is part of each deceased partner’s estate. Children do indeed have legal rights to a third of the estate excluding the house, but if willed a bequest they have to choose between that bequest and their legal entitlement, they can’t have both.

In July I found a mobile phone. I held on to it until the owner called it and I told them I had kept it safe for them to collect. The owner was nervous of coming on her own which is fair enough, and a policeman turned up to get the phone. I was also to my great surprise charged with theft by finding and have since received a citation for court. Surely this can’t be right? I was doing a favour to the lady – but the police said I should have handed it in to them.

I hope you have contacted a criminal lawyer. Theft by finding is a well-known offence. Any lost property you stumble across must be returned to its owner or the police as soon as possible. The longer you kept the phone the more it looks like unlawful retention, and if you made calls then that’s not good. However, as your intention was not criminal, and you just made the wrong decision about what to do, then if the court accepts your good faith you will be acquitted.

I have been issued a speeding ticket for driving 40 miles per hour in a 30 zone. The offence description on the ticket, however, states I was driving at 40 in a 70. Having spoken to the clerk of the court, they assured me the ticket was valid, and would only be deemed invalid, had the court code, amount of fine, or penalty points been incorrectly stated. Is this true or are they just trying to get me to pay up.

The difficulty you have is that if you do not pay the fine, you will be treated as ignoring the ticket and you will be charged at court. If that formal court complaint is in correct terms you have no defence and may get a more severe punishment for the speeding than if you pay the fixed sum. I suggest you pay up.

My wife and I look after our granddaughter since her mother our daughter tragically died after she was born. The father in absent. We have had our custody of our wee girl confirmed by the Children’s Panel. The problem is that we want to explore applying for a Kinship Care allowance but have been told this does not apply to grandparents. Why should grandparents be differentiated from foster carers, and how do we go about applying legally for this or other help?

I am surprised you’ve been told grandparents are excluded. If you check the CAB website, you’ll see grandparents are front and centre. Your letter reads as if you have not made a formal claim/application and I suggest you do that, and take more detailed advice from my friends at Citizen’s Advice.