Wills, Trusts & Probate

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Wills, Probate, Asset Protection and Succession Planning

Family structures are becoming increasingly complex. Second marriages and second families are now common, as is co-habitation. Our aging population brings its own challenges, especially in relation to long term care and people losing mental capacity to manage their own affairs. Foreign assets are also widely held, particularly in the form of property abroad.

Another common challenge is to ensure that our children benefit from our estate. A simple will may not be enough to ensure that this happens, especially where there is a possibility of a spouse or partner remarrying. Special provisions may be required to protect your children’s inheritance.

It has therefore never been more important to ensure that expert legal advice is taken on wills, asset protection and succession planning.

Our experience

Our private client lawyers have been providing specialist advice and guidance to families for generations.

Our highly experienced team includes lawyers who are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). We also have lawyers who are members of the Probate Section of the Law Society and Solicitors for the Elderly. Additionally members of the department are ‘Dementia Friends’.

Together our lawyers have the requisite legal and taxation knowledge to provide a full range of services, including will writing, estate administration, lasting powers of attorney and deeds of variation.

And if a dispute arises we can call on support from our specialist contentious probate department.

Planning for future generations

We can assist you in managing a smooth transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. We provide innovative solutions to estate planning that are uniquely tailored to your needs and fully tax efficient.

Protecting your children’s inheritance

We are increasingly advising parents on how to protect your children’s inheritance. People often overlook the limitations of a simple will. They fail to appreciate that re-marriage, the Inheritance Act, the intestacy rules and other legal provisions can frustrate your testamentary plans. Our experts can work with you to ensure that your children’s inheritance is protected.

Practical, cost effective advice

Whether your affairs are simple or complex, it’s vital to get the right advice. We offer straight talking, jargon free, cost-effective guidance, combining a practical approach with sensitivity and care. Details of the costs or probate services can be found here, and for a detailed estimate of fees in relation to any of our services simply send us an email or give us a call.

Wills and Tax Planning

None of us really want to think about dying, but we owe it to our loved ones to put our affairs in order by making a will and keeping it up to date. This allows us to make financial provision for the people and good causes we really care about. It can also safeguard vulnerable beneficiaries, preserve assets from being exhausted by Care Home fees and, above all, with careful planning it can reduce the impact of any Inheritance Tax burden for the next generation. It also allows you to protect your children's inheritance from the consequences of re-marriage and other factors that might interfere with your wishes. Making a will is not compulsory, but if you choose not to then it’s likely to be the taxman who benefits.

Administration of Estates

We provide a full range of estate administration services including: obtaining a Grant of Representation, dealing with the deceased's tax affairs (including Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax) realising the assets, settling debts and liabilities and distributing the estate. Where appropriate we can also help you make tax savings, for example by varying the Will, which could save many thousands of pounds. If the estate includes a farm or business which needs to be sold or wound up we can work closely with our agricultural and commercial law Teams to ensure that the transaction proceeds smoothly.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

We can advise on the creation and registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA is a legal document which effectively delegates the power to manage your financial affairs to an “attorney” should you lose capacity to manage your own affairs. Having an LPA not only makes financial sense but offers invaluable peace of mind.

Elderly Care & the Court of Protection

We are experienced in dealing with the Court of Protection whether it is the simple registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney or making an application for Receivership. The combination of our caring approach and specialist expertise in the provision of legal services for the elderly will give you peace of mind.

Disputed Estates

Inheritance disputes are becoming increasingly common. We can advise on the best steps to take to avoid a dispute arising. Our specialist contentious probate department can also deal with any claim under the Inheritance Act or any challenge to the validity of a will based on lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence or any other ground.

Toni Sinclair

Partner – Wills, Trusts & Probate

Toni has a wealth of experience in all aspects of private client work, including drafting Wills, tax planning, care planning and Trusts.

01271 349915
[email protected]

Vanessa Swales

Solicitor – Wills, Trusts & Probate
Vanessa, who has been with the firm since 1993, specialises in all aspects of private client law, including wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, estate administration and Court of Protection applications.

 01271 818105

 [email protected]

Alyson Coulson

Solicitor – Wills, Trusts & Probate
Alyson specialises in Private Client services, undertaking estate administration, providing tax advice and preparing wills.

01271 372128
[email protected]