Wills, Trusts & Probate

Throughout life there are times when you are prompted to plan ahead and ‘tidy up’ your affairs and there are times when you find yourself having to deal with difficult circumstances, such as a death in the family, or a loved one who has become ill or incapacitated.

It is at these times, when you most need a listening ear, sympathetic advice and, most of all, guidance you can wholeheartedly depend upon. That’s where Pickering & Butters really come into their own.

How can Pickering & Butters help you with Estate Planning & Administration?

We have experts who can offer you specialised knowledge and a great deal of experience in all of the following areas:

Wills

While writing a Will may not be high on your list of priorities, it is one of the most important legal documents you can create during your lifetime, as it protects your assets from falling into the wrong hands after you’ve gone. Whether your estate is modest or you have a significant amount of high-value assets, taking the time to plan ahead and protect your interests will give you the peace of mind that sufficient provisions have been made for your family should the worst happen. When you instruct a specialist wills and probate lawyer from Pickering & Butters, our first step is to gain an understanding of your family and financial circumstances. From here, we can provide tailored advice on how best to safeguard your assets from the laws of intestacy and inheritance tax. Once you’ve made a decision about how you wish to proceed, our experts will draft your Will for you to sign. Should you need to update your Will in the future following a major life event, just get in touch with our friendly team once more.

Trusts

When planning for the future, it’s likely that you will consider the possibility of setting up a trust to protect your finances or limit your inheritance tax liability. However, with various options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which trust is best suited for your situation. That’s where we come in. At Pickering & Butters, our specialist team of Wills and probate lawyers has vast experience in helping clients from all walks of life through the process of estate planning. Whether you are looking for advice on the drafting and setting up of trusts, or you need a helping hand in taking over and running existing trusts, you can count on our team for legal support and guidance throughout the process.

Probate

If you have been named the executor in the Will of a loved one who has since passed away, you will be responsible for a long list of legal tasks involved with the administration of their estate. This process is often referred to as ‘probate’, and while it is possible to undertake the process alone, it can be extremely time-consuming and challenging – particularly if it’s your first time. That’s why at Pickering & Butters, our expert Wills and probate lawyers are here to alleviate the stress of estate administration by taking on the tasks involved in the process. Working efficiently and meticulously, our team will ensure the assets are distributed in accordance with the requests of the Will in a timely manner. Should any disputes arise amongst beneficiaries or family members in regards to inheritance, you can rest assured that our lawyers will be at hand to help resolve issues as peacefully and as cost-effectively as possible.

Powers of Attorney

As we grow older, it’s only natural for concerns regarding our assets and affairs to grow accordingly. Should we lose mental capacity, who will ensure that our interests are protected? Who will make critical decisions regarding our welfare, our financial assets and our property? Appointing an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to designate responsibility  for these decisions to one or more individuals whom you trust to act within your best interests. Therefore, it’s not a decision that should be made lightly. At Pickering & Butters, we provide practical assistance and tailored advice to those looking to set up an LPA covering either Property and Finances or Health and Welfare.

If you’re simply going to be absent during a significant financial transaction such as a property sale, speak to our Wills and probate lawyers about appointing a temporary Ordinary Power of Attorney to oversee the process on your behalf.

Court of Protection

If a family member or friend has lost the mental capacity needed to make important decisions and there is no Lasting Power of Attorney in place, it will be essential for you to make an application to the Court of Protection to protect their interests. Our friendly team is here to help you through the process, providing you with expert advice and assistance in appointing a ‘Deputy’. If you wish to act as the Deputy to help safeguard the assets and welfare of your loved one, you can count on us to answer any questions you have and alleviate your concerns throughout.

Inheritance Tax & Financial Planning

When making plans to pass a portion of your wealth to the next generation, it’s important to consider the role Inheritance Tax will have on your financial assets. Currently, the amount of assets (money, property and possessions) you can leave to your loved ones free of inheritance tax (IHT) when you die is anything up to a value of £325,000 plus, provided relevant criteria are met you may also benefit from the Residence Nil Rate Band, introduced in April this year, which provides additional IHT allowances to your estate in certain circumstances. By undertaking strategic estate planning, you can minimise the tax liability of your chosen beneficiaries to ensure they enjoy their inheritance in full. Every day, our specialist wills and probate lawyers provide hands-on guidance through tax planning, using their in-depth knowledge of approved solutions to limit the amount of tax due on  clients’ estates.

Whether your situation is straightforward, or highly complex, you need just a little helpful steering, or really could do with handing everything over into expert hands, we’re always ready to help. Making things easier for you at what can be a trying time is what we’re here for.

For tailored advice on any wills, estate, probate or trust matter, please get in touch.