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Wills, Probate & Estate Planning Solicitors

Life unfolds in unpredictable ways and it is important that we are prepared for any eventuality. Our dedicated team of Wills, Probate and Estate Planning Solicitors are ready to guide you through the intricacies of putting plans in place, preparing for your future. We understand that life’s uncertainties may sometimes bring loss, and during these times of grief, our compassionate lawyers can provide you with support through the challenging process of making arrangements for your loved ones.

Our commitment goes beyond our legal expertise; we strive to provide you with a comforting experience throughout, which is why we take pride in the fact many of our lawyers hold qualifications from The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and are trained Dementia Friends. This not only highlights our dedication to excellence but also emphasises our commitment to understanding the emotional aspects involved with Wills, probate and estate planning.

Navigating life’s uncertainties becomes more manageable with our experienced and compassionate Wills, Probate and Estate Solicitors by your side. Our expert team can support you in the following ways:

How we can help - Legal advice for Wills, Probate and Estate Planning

Court of Protection

Should someone you know lose capacity to make their own decisions and they do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, the next step would be for you to contact one of our Court of Protection Solicitors and apply for a Deputy Order which allows you to make decisions about their property and financial affairs on their behalf.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place gives you the peace of mind that you know your life will be in the hands of someone you trust. Our Power of Attorney Solicitors can assist you in drafting a Health & Welfare LPA and a Property & Financial LPA, both of which can be used following their registration.

Long Term Care Planning

Whilst we all hope to grow old with our loved ones in our own homes, in reality this is not always the case and unfortunately additional care may become necessary. Planning for this eventuality while you can is crucial, and there are many different options to consider, particularly in relation to funding.  Our Long Term Care Planning Solicitors can advise as to the various ways you can protect your assets whilst ensuring you can access the high-quality care you and your loved ones deserve.

Probate and Estate Administration

The loss of a loved one is undoubtedly the most difficult experiences we will go through in our lives. Our team of compassionate Probate and Estate Planning Solicitors are here to support throughout; assisting with the handling of your loved one’s assets, debts and estate after their passing, and guiding you through the intricacies of the probate process, allowing you the time needed to grieve.

Tax Advice and Tax Planning

Tax can be a confusing subject, so it is important you seek the correct advice before making any major financial decisions. Seeking advice from one of our Tax Planning Solicitors provides you with expert knowledge on the complexities of tax regulations and can help identify potential opportunities for tax savings.

Trusts

Trusts are a legal framework designed to help manage and protect your assets. Our experienced Trust Solicitors are well equipped in advising you on the Trust most suitable for your needs. Beyond our advice, our team can assist you in creating your instructions for the Trust ensuring they are accurate and carried out correctly.

Wills

Thinking about the future can be an unnerving thought, but ensuring you have a Will in place is vital to know that your wishes will be respected once you have passed away. Our Wills Solicitors take the time to discuss your circumstances and personal situation, tailoring their advice leaving you with a Will specific to you.

Wills and Trust Disputes

Disputes can unfortunately arise for many different reasons once a loved one has passed away.  We understand that this will already be an emotional time that you will be going through, which is why our Dispute Resolution Lawyers will assist you in working towards a fair resolution.

Wills, Probate and Estate Planning Solicitors in Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire

Our dedicated team of Wills, Probate and Estate Planning Solicitors are based in our offices in Andover, Romsey, Salisbury, Totton and Witney. We understand how daunting making plans for the future can be, so we are here to support you through the emotionally challenging process. We are proud to support the communities across Hampshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and beyond, ensuring your future is in safe hands.

Other services we can provide for you

You may be looking to update your Will or write your Lasting Power of Attorney due to a significant change in your life.  Or, if you have unfortunately lost a loved one, there will be lots of arrangements to make for their property and wider estate.  Our experienced, professional and pragmatic colleagues across our firm are here to support you in various ways, including:

  • If you are currently going through a divorce our Family Law Solicitors can assist you through the difficult time and facilitate amicable discussions with your former spouse.
  • If you are looking to buy or sell your property, or sell a property of your loved one following their passing, our Residential Property Solicitors can assist you along the way.
  • If you are in an unmarried couple and living together, our Family Lawyers can assist in putting a Cohabitation Agreement in place which will outline your rights if you were to separate.

 

Frequently asked questions about Wills, Probate and Estate Planning

Why do I need a Will?

A Will is a legal document which is created to set out what you would like to happen to all of your assets and estate when you pass away. Writing a Will holds significant importance for several reasons. Not only does a Will provide you with the opportunity to express your desires regarding the distribution of your assets, but it can also help to prevent any disputes among family members and organisations. By having a Will that clearly outlines your wishes and preferences, it protects you from any misunderstandings in the future.

Furthermore, if you have children under the age of 18, it is important that your Will names who you would like to appoint as their guardian(s).

When should I update my Will?

As you go through major life changes it is important that you update your Will to reflect this, for example if you get married, have a child, or go through a divorce. It is not just during life changes that your Will needs to be updated; it should also be reviewed if your assets are to change, for example if you are due to receive a large inheritance. It is important note that even if you are to have no significant life changes, it is still worth reviewing your Will every 5 years.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document for you to appoint one or more individuals to have the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are to lose mental capacity. Lasting Power of Attorneys are categorised into two types:

  • Health and Welfare – your Attorney(s) can make decisions regarding your healthcare and wellbeing, for example any medical care.
  • Property and Financial - your Attorney(s) would have the authority to be able to pay your bills, access your bank accounts, and buy or sell your home.

It is important to note that the Health and Welfare LPA can only be used once a person has lost capacity, while a Property and Financial LPA can be used at any point should you require support in your day to day life.

Who should I choose to be my Attorney?

Choosing who you would like to become your Attorney is a crucial decision, as you are trusting that person to make decisions on your behalf should you not be able to. Ensuring they are someone you trust and that they will make decisions with your best interests at heart is very important. Most people appoint relatives, close friends, professional advisors, or healthcare professionals.

You can also appoint more than one Attorney, with them acting jointly, separately or jointly and separately; however you choose. Seeking legal advice with our Power of Attorney Solicitors will ensure all aspects of the application are completed correctly and appropriately for your circumstances.

What is the difference between probate and estate administration?

Probate is used to describe the legal process when applying for the Grant of Representation; a legal document which will give the appropriate representative permission to deal with the administration of the estate.  There are two forms of Grant of Representation; a Grant of Probate where there has been a Will left, or a Grant of Letters of Administration if there is no Will. 

Estate Administration is the process of managing and distributing the deceased person’s estate based on what is specified within the Will, if one exists.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply to be a Deputy?

If someone close to you is unable to make decisions for themselves and does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, you will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputy Order. The Court decides who will be appointed Deputy based on the individual’s best interest, and they must be over the age of 18 in order to apply.  You do not need to be a member of their family but could be a close friend or in a professional capacity. 

Why is Long Term Care planning important?

Long term care planning involves a range of different services which help to ensure your health care and needs can be met in the future. Long term care can be expensive, so planning ahead allows you an opportunity to secure a comfortable future for yourself if your health is to deteriorate.  Not only this, long term care planning means you will be one step ahead in protecting your assets.

Will I have to pay Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance tax is a tax which is charged on assets inherited from an estate. Whether you will have to pay inheritance tax will depend on various factors. There is an Inheritance tax threshold known as the “nil-rate band” which specifies the amount that is tax-free and anything above this threshold will then be taxed at 40%. Our Tax Planning Solicitors can discuss with you the current threshold and allowances, and review how to plan for a tax efficient estate in the future.

Contact our Wills, Probate and Estate Planning Solicitors

If you have any questions or you wish to book an appointment with a member of the team in one of our offices in AndoverRomseySalisburyTotton or Witney, complete the Contact Form, call your local office using one of the numbers below or email info@parkerbullen.com.