No one likes to think of a time when they will no longer be here, but it is important to ensure that when that time comes, your loved ones are clear on your wishes for your assets. Similarly you should also outline how and by whom you wish your affairs to be managed should you find yourself unable to do so independently any more, which is known as instructing a Lasting Power of Attorney. If you are involved in any business ownership or investment it is also wise to appoint a business Power of Attorney to take responsibility for those should the situation arise.
Creating a will using the assistance of our Private Client team is a steadfast way to make clear how you want any money, property or assets to be divided and managed once you are gone. You should also clearly outline who you wish to lead this process in your place, usually a close relative or a solicitor in their absence. Creation of trusts can be considered if there are large sums of money to be dealt with that you wish to be held and distributed at specific milestones or in particular increments. For example, on an 18th birthday or £1000 every year until the age of 21.
Our private client lawyers are on hand to assist with:
- making a will;
- drafting a letter of wishes, to deal with things like funeral arrangements;
- preparation of a lasting power of attorney for the management of your financial affairs and to cover decisions concerning your health and welfare;
- preparation of a business power of attorney to cover the management of your business interests;
- creating an advanced decision confirming whether you wish to receive life-sustaining treatment if you become seriously ill;
- applying to the Court of Protection for permission to deal with a loved one’s affairs if no power of attorney has been made;
- establishing a trust to protect the inheritance of your children, spouse, partner or other beneficiaries;
- making decisions if you have been asked to act as a trustee for someone else;
- acting as a professional trustee on your behalf;
- planning for the payment of care home fees and other long-term care costs, particularly for elderly clients;
- tax planning
- applying for a grant of probate to enable your money and property to be distributed in accordance with your will, or under the rules of intestacy where no will exists
- assisting those appointed in your will, or under the rules of intestacy, in dealing with your affairs and your estate.
There can on occasion be some contention around the contents of a will from relatives and associates. Our teams can help with disputes or challenges to a will if there is question concerning its validity. For instance, this could be due to the mental capacity of the will holder at the time of writing, potential outside influencers or the suspicion of unfair pressure being applied from a third party.
Advising families throughout Maidstone, Kent and beyond
We have offices in Maidstone, Gravesend, Tonbridge, Chatham and Tenterden where we can meet you to discuss your requirements.
We can also offer meetings at your home, in hospital or in a care facility, or via Skype where appropriate.
An initial appointment to discuss your requirements can be arranged from £95 plus VAT. After that we can agree funding arrangements to suit your budget. For some cases involving the Court of Protection legal aid may be available.