Wills & Powers of Attorney
A Will can be simple or a Will can be complicated but it needs to be properly drafted in strict accordance with your wishes and mindful of the tax consequences arising on death: even a simple Will can be one of the most effective tax planning tools available to you. Your assets may be substantial or modest, but on your death you want them to pass where you intended.
Our private client lawyers will discuss your objectives with you and then advise on how best to achieve them. This may include advice on the choice of guardians for your children, the appointment of executors and your potential inheritance tax liabilities. Our reputation in this area of law is built on technical expertise allied with speed and a practical approach. Our specialist lawyers have a particularly sensitive approach when dealing with elderly or vulnerable clients: they routinely go and visit them in their homes, often at very short notice if clients are suffering from serious ill- health. We also help clients and their families find pragmatic solutions where issues of mental capacity arise and we do so with care and dignity.
If you already have a Will we offer a review service and advise if alterations need to be made to it to take account of any changes in your circumstances: we constantly consider how best to maximise the assets available to future generations by sensible estate planning. Advice is always tailored and relevant to your particular circumstances and we help you to understand the choices and options which are available.
Sometimes people lose the ability to make their own decisions, often referred to as loss of mental capacity. This can be a gradual process linked with old age, but can happen very suddenly as a result of a serious accident or becoming unwell, such as from suffering a stroke. You can plan for this by appointing some-one else to make decisions on your behalf. This is called a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and there are 2 types: one that relates to your property and financial affairs (including your business), and the other that relates to health and welfare issues. LPAs allow your nominated attorneys to make decisions in either or both of these areas. If you run your own business it could be very damaging if you don’t have an LPA and lose capacity: access to bank accounts may be denied, suppliers, salaries or insurance premiums may not get paid, to highlight only a few of the potential risks and consequences. We advise on and prepare both types of LPA and register them with the Office of the Public Guardian. In dealing with LPAs we establish long term and successful relationships with both you and your family and help protect businesses. We assist in formulating strategy in managing the affairs of vulnerable people and we aim to share with family members the burden of having to make difficult decisions so they can focus on caring for their loved ones. We are sensitive practical and always happy to help.
All of our Will and LPA services are expert, focused and cost effective: we always include clear guidance as to our likely fees from the outset.