Wills are extremely important if you want to achieve peace of mind and avoid unnecessary stress for your family and friends after you die by ensuring the people or organisation you want to benefit from your assets do so. If you do not have one prepared, strictly applied rules will govern just who will get what. This is particularly important for unmarried couples who live together or cohabitees as the law does not automatically recognise them.
Probate is the process of administering a person’s affairs after they have died, in which a simple application is made to your local Probate Registry for a “grant of probate”. All assets that the deceased was entitled to need to be listed, scheduled and sometimes this information sent to HMRC to determine if there is any inheritance tax to pay. Our probate and contentious probate solicitors can assist with this. Probates are often undertaken alongside reviews of your family wills.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which essentially lets someone stand in the shoes of someone else in a set of pre-agreed circumstances.

Most commonly they are used by children who look after elderly parents who may be starting to suffer health problems, but we are also often instructed to draft them on behalf of friends who are caring for someone.

Lasting powers of attorney are an essential element in estate planning for the future within families. We advise that husbands and wives and partners get them for each other, as they can be used should the unthinkable happen and someone be in a position due to an accident or health problem that means that they are unable to look after their own affairs.