I specialise in advising private and elderly clients. Preparing wills and powers of attorney is something no one looks forward to doing, but it is a very important part of our responsibilities to our family and loved ones. I have many years’ experience in this field and can talk you through the steps in a clear and sympathetic way.
I also advise on and carry out the administration of estates after someone has died, including obtaining the grant of probate (if there is a will) or letters of administration (if there is not a will).
I offer home visits within the Wharfe and Aire Valley area and evening and weekend appointments at no extra charge.
Services for Clients
If you have always meant to make a will, but never quite got round to it, why not get in touch today?
It is almost certainly not as daunting as you think it will be and certainly not as bad as going to the dentist.
Many people now have more complicated family structures than was the case in previous generations. If:-
- You live with your partner, but are not married or in a civil partnership, even if you have lived together for many years
- You and/or your partner or spouse or civil partner have children from a previous relationship or children who live with you without being your birth children or formally adopted by you
- Have a child with a disability
- Live separately from your spouse or civil partner, but never divorced
- Have children under the age of 18
then the result of dying without a will may be financially disastrous for those you love the best.
With a small amount of thought and a little time, you can plan for the future and protect your family. If you jointly own your home, you can also potentially mitigate the effect of residential care charges through a property protection trust.
Living longer is generally great, but for some people ill health or frailty causes problems with dealing with their financial affairs.
It becomes difficult to get to the bank, you might not like dealing with call centres on the phone or have trouble remembering your PIN.
I strongly recommend that clients make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is a legal document which allows a third party (your attorney) to manage your property and financial affairs. It is a very powerful document and I am able to advise on all the advantages and any of the pitfalls in drawing it up.
You should also consider making a Health and Welfare LPA. This allows your attorney to make decisions about matters such as where you live and what medical treatment you should have or not have. This type of LPA can only be used if you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
The person making the LPA (the donor) must understand its purpose and effect at the time it is drawn up so it is important to do it while you are well and able to ask any questions you may have about it.
Most people have heard of probate – this is granted by the court to allow an executor to manage the estate of someone who has died.
Probate is one type of grant of representation. The other two most common types are:-
- Letters of administration – where the person who has died did not make a will
- Letters of administration (with will annexed) – where the person who has died made a will but did not appoint an executor or the executor appointed is unable to act for some reason
I can advise on all steps up to and including obtaining a grant of representation, and on inheritance tax issues. I can also deal with all aspects of the administration of the estate, including closing bank accounts, claiming on insurance policies and selling or transferring shares.
For more details about probate please visit this page where I have outlined the process and related costs.
Unfortunately sometimes an accident or illness strikes suddenly or it has been left too late to draw up a Lasting Power of Attorney.
The only way to obtain the authority to manage someone else’s property and financial affairs is then to make an application to the Court of Protection.
I can advise on all steps up to and including obtaining a final order in the Court.
Issues of concern to older people and their families often include the implications of paying for residential care, benefits and inheritance tax planning.
I can advise on asset protection trusts and property protection trusts, designed generally to safeguard the family home from the effect of residential care charges.
For most people their home is their main and much treasured asset so it is very important that you are completely confident in any scheme that may be suggested to you. I can advise you of the benefits and risks of both types of trust.