Our team of exceptional private client solicitors have been assisting families locally for 150 years.
The death or incapacity of a family member or friend is a very difficult and emotional time. It can be hard for family and friends to sort out the financial and other affairs that need to be dealt with. We can help make this process easier for you. Our team of understanding and compassionate private client solicitors will assist in providing the necessary advice and documentation. We have qualified experts in our Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale offices. We are friendly and approachable and we have the technical skills to assist with Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection and Inheritance Tax planning.
Correctly drawn Wills assist your family members in dealing with your estate and affairs. Clear provisions made in your will can provide certainty and ease the administrative burden on your relatives. Wills can also protect your family by minimising the burden of inheritance tax and preserving assets.
Without a valid Will the Intestacy Rules govern how your estate and assets will be dealt with. These Rules can lead to unexpected and upsetting consequences. This means that your assets may not be dealt with in the way you intend. This can cause additional upset at an already emotional time.
When making a Will we can help you to make provision for your intended beneficiaries. We work closely with you to understand your family circumstances and consider succession and business structures. We can also help to guard against possible challenges to your Will after your death.
You will is an opportunity to consider issues such as:
- inheritance tax planning
- asset protection
- nursing home consideration
- trusts to allow you to provide for vulnerable beneficiaries or younger generations and beyond
- potential challenges to your Will
- business succession
- appointing a guardian for young children
We can also assist you with preparing a letter of wishes. This is not legally binding but can be used to state your wishes in relation to your funeral arrangements and other wishes.
Probate is the process of obtaining legal authority to deal with someone’s estate and assets after they have died. If you are going to deal with someone’s estate then the Executors will have various duties and responsibilities. We are on hand to clearly explain and assist you in understanding what needs to happen next. We will support and help you deal with complex affairs or more straightforward estates. We can guide you through the probate process whether a Will was left or not.
Our friendly experts can assist with:
- an application to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate (where there is a will)
- Letters of Administration (where there is no will)
- inheritance tax issues and factors such as agricultural and business property relief
- protecting assets and maximising value where possible
- anticipating and resolving problems so that the estate is dealt with sensitively and efficiently
Incapacity can be mental or physical (or both). When a person becomes unable to deal with their affairs no one has the automatic right to deal with their assets or make decisions on their behalf. This can cause difficulty and distress for family members trying to make provision for their loved ones.
Planing for the future allows you to anticipate these events and put provisions in place. Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) enable you to appoint your chosen attorney(s) to act for you in the event of incapacity.
- be made in relation to your property and financial affairs, and your health and welfare.
- be very flexible, allowing you to appoint different combinations of people or replacements to act on your behalf
- provide instructions and guidance on what you want
Without an LPA in place an application to the Court of Protection may be required for the appointment of a deputy to deal with your affairs. This process can take some time but we can advise on the steps to be taken.
We have extensive experience in making all types of LPAs and applications to the Court of Protection. We can also help an appointed deputy carry out their duties. In some circumstances we can act as a deputy or attorney if required.
A number of our private client solicitors are qualified members of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP). STEP is the internationally recognised leading professional organisation in this area of law and our Trust and Estate Practitioners are highly qualified, having undertaken further examinations and they are fully aware of the legal technical and regulatory developments.
We have been providing friendly and approaching expert services to generations of local families from our offices in Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale.
Please contact us today for more information on how we can help you.