Our well-established team has a wide range of skills and expertise to provide our clients with full and comprehensive legal advice in Wills, Trusts and Probate and related areas. Our solicitors include members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE). We will always try to understand what is important to you and offer advice to help solve the issues surrounding your needs. We realise that when you contact us it may well be for specific help at a difficult or stressful time, and you can be sure that we will approach every issue with the utmost care and sensitivity.
Whether your situation is straightforward or more complex we can assist you in making a Will to ensure your loved ones are cared for in the way you want, and ideally, the most tax efficient arrangements are in place to preserve your wealth for your beneficiaries.
If you die without making a Will, the law will divide your estate according to what is known as the Rules of Intestacy. These rules are very rigid and may not reflect what you would like to happen to your wealth, or what is most tax efficient.
If you want to make some changes to an existing Will we can also help, either by making a new Will or by creating a supplemental document called a Codicil, that varies specific aspects.
Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney
Many of us worry that as our loved ones get older, illness or mental incapacity may prevent them from managing their own affairs. We are right to worry because if nothing is done, even as next of kin, we cannot legally manage those affairs. Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney cover this situation by enabling you (‘the Donor’) to give someone else (‘the Attorney’) the authority to act for you if you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and you can create either or both:
We can assist you in preparing LPAs to provide you with peace of mind and ensure that your wishes are known, and your affairs are managed by those you trust.
General Powers of Attorney
These Powers are for short term needs, such as if you are going abroad and need someone to act on your behalf whilst you are away (for example, to sign a contract for the sale of a property on your behalf). They cease to have effect if you lose the capacity to manage your affairs.
If you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs and there is no Power of Attorney in place, then it will be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed as your next of kin does not automatically have legal authority to act for you. Unfortunately, this process can be both costly and time consuming. Our team can assist with such applications and advise ‘Deputies’ regarding their obligations.
We have an experienced team who can consider your specific family circumstances and advise you on understanding and negotiating the complicated rules and regulations regarding Local Authority Funding for care.
It is important that at a time when you are fit and well, you consider planning for your future care needs. This can be achieved through the careful drafting of your Wills, Living Wills or Advance Decisions, consideration of lifetime gifting, and by making sure that you have Attorneys to look after your property, finances and medical and welfare needs if you become unable to do so yourself in the future.
Inheritance Tax planning and mitigation is at the heart of our Estate Planning services. We can help you arrange your affairs in the most tax efficient way whilst not losing sight of your goals. Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney are simply tools we use to facilitate sound, considered and practical planning.
Our Solicitors can help with:
We are used to working with other professionals (whether our other legal teams or external advisers) and recommend joint meetings to help you reduce duplication and to get the best out of your professional advisers.
If you have been named an Executor in someone’s Will, you are responsible for administering their estate and to do so, you may need to apply for a Grant of Probate.
Being an Executor can be a technically and emotionally challenging role. Executors are personally liable for administering the estate correctly, so getting good professional advice may be a sensible step to protect against that personal liability. Even after someone dies, the decisions Executors make can have a dramatic impact on the tax payable on the estate so getting the right advice at this time might make a huge difference to the beneficiaries. Every Executor can instruct a Solicitor of their choice to assist them with the estate administration and the legal fees are settled by the deceased’s estate.
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