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Making a Will

We understand that making a Will is sometimes considered to be stressful and/or upsetting but we aim to make the task as painless as possible by taking a friendly and sympathetic approach. By doing so we can help with the preparation of a bespoke Will for you to ensure your wishes take effect upon your death. During our meeting we will discuss your family and financial circumstances together with what you would like to happen to your estate. We will also advise on Inheritance Tax and other concerns you may have to ensure the Will we prepare for you is in accordance with your wishes.

Making a power of attorney

In planning for the future, having a power of attorney in place is essential to ensure both you and your finances are looked after if you should be unable to do so for yourself, whether for mental or physical reasons. It is a common misconception that your nearest relatives, such as a spouse or children, will be able to manage your affairs for you but sadly this is not the case. Without a power of attorney in place your relatives will need to apply for a Deputyship Order which can be time consuming and costly. We can help you put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which allows you to choose who your attorneys will be if you are unable to manage your own affairs. We can also assist with the registration procedure which is now required before your LPA can be used by your attorney(s), whether or not you have mental capacity.

Applying for probate and administering an estate

We can assist you with all, or any part of, the estate administration process to ease your role as Executor or Administrator (personal representatives). Whether or not the deceased left a Will we are able to advise on how the estate should be distributed and the important role and steps a personal representative should take to properly administer an estate. We can assist with, for example, the preparation of Inheritance Tax forms for HMRC, payment of any inheritance tax, application for probate, collecting of assets, payment of liabilities, setting up of will trusts, preparation of deeds of variation and distribution of the estate in accordance with the Will or Intestacy Rules.

Registering and/or administering a power of attorney

We can assist with the registration of your Lasting Power of Attorney as the donor and/or the registration of another’s Lasting Power of Attorney by you as an attorney. The Office of the Public Guardian has a very specific procedure for the registration and will reject applications not properly completed. We can also advise upon and assist in the longer term with the administration of a power of attorney to ensure the attorney is acting in the best interests of the donor.

Applying for a deputyship order for someone who has not made a power of attorney

We can help you make an application to the Office of the Public Guardian to be appointed as Deputy for another. Where someone has not made a power of attorney and they have now lost mental capacity so unable to make a power of attorney themselves, an appropriate person can apply to be appointed as a Deputy to manage their affairs. We can advise and prepare the application for you together with dealing with the ongoing procedures with the Office of the Public Guardian, both before and after the Deputyship Order has been issued.

Putting in place an advance medical directive

If you are unable to make decisions regarding your own healthcare who would you like to be able to make these decisions for you and how would they know to make the “right” decision for you? Although you can prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney that specifically deals health and welfare, if you choose not to make one you can alternatively consider an advance directive. We can advise you on any particular wishes you may have for any future medical intervention and prepare an advance directive to deal with these. This is often a difficult and uncomfortable subject but particularly where you have strong wishes on matters such as resuscitation or tube feeding, it is certainly important subject to discuss.

Dealing with the administration of a trust

We can assist with the legal, practical and tax issues of setting up, administering and winding up a trust. Some trusts are created during someone’s lifetime and others by Will or the Intestacy Rules. We can help Trustees ensure the trust is being properly and effectively managed.

Considering further tax planning including the use of trusts

Although it may be impossible to avoid the payment of Inheritance Tax completely, there are certainly ways in which ones liability can be reduced, often by simple means. We can advise you on your personal taxation issues as part of your overall estate planning. We can advise and assist with the making of lifetime gifts to both individuals and trusts together making the most of the various exemptions and reliefs to Inheritance Tax. Often good tax planning starts with a carefully drafted Will which we can review with you if we are not already assisting you with your Will. We can also advise on further methods of Inheritance Tax savings and where appropriate provide you with details of local Independent Financial Advisors who can also assist.

Dealing with a contentious estate or trust

Although we hope estates and trusts can be administered without any parties resorting to litigation, sadly this is not always the case. We can help you with any concerns you may have with any estate or trust in which you have a financial interest. We can also provide advice and guidance to personal representatives and trustees where another party has raised concerns or made a claim upon an estate/trust. We aim to deal with such matters in the most practical manner so to provide a resolution as quickly and as cost efficiently as possible.

Last will and testament with pen

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