Working with private clients gives me the opportunity to support people during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Whether I’m helping them with estate planning or drafting wills, being able to provide professional and compassionate advice allows them to focus on their family.
I always try to anticipate my client’s needs, by combining my understanding of their family dynamic with my knowledge of private client law. If I can get ahead of their requirements, it reduces any potential stress for them at an already challenging time. I am a creative problem-solver but can also draw upon my experience in the sciences to translate technical language and complex advice into simple, easy-to-digest guidance for my clients.
My work is extremely diverse, ranging from young couples starting families and wanting to put wills in place, to divorcees needing to update their arrangements, and to the elderly or recently bereaved who need advice on estate administration.
I consider myself a friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable solicitor. I am a full member of STEP.
Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and friends, gardening, and gluten-free baking.
Keep records regarding gift giving. When you pass away, your executors will need to consider what gifts have been made during your lifetime, particularly in the 7 years prior to your death, for Inheritance Tax purposes. Accurate records will make this easier for executors.
Always use a solicitor to prepare your will and review it every 3-5 years, or in the event of a major life event like a birth or death.
If you are over 18, you are not too young to have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place. They are as important as your Will. Although a Will deals with your estate when you pass away, your Lasting Powers of Attorney deal with your lifetime, including a situation where you are not able to make decisions yourself.
Do I need a Will?
Yes, if you don’t want the Intestacy Rules to apply to your estate.
Can my spouse look after my affairs if I lose capacity?
Although you may have joint accounts with your spouse, your spouse can only look after your affairs if they are named on your Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs.
How long does probate take?
This will very much depend on what is in the estate, whether Inheritance Tax is payable, and other points like whether there is a property involved. The average is between 6-9 months, but I would suggest discussing this with your solicitor as the complexity of the estate may mean that additional time is required.