Private client law is about working with individuals and families to provide legal advice on a range of matters relevant to them including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Estate Planning and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
At Dollman & Pritchard we take this responsibility very seriously. Our aim is to create a long-term, trusting relationship between our firm and your family.
Our firm has been helping individuals and families since 1879. We make every effort to ensure that our lawyers are available when their clients need them. You will be provided with an email address to the lawyer managing your matter and we can provide home visits and an after-hours service by appointment if needed.
To find out more about our private client services please refer to the menu below to view each practice area in more detail.
If you wish to make an appointment you can phone our office anytime between 9.30am and 5.30pm on 01883 347823. Or you can fill out our contact form or email our office and someone will be in touch within 24 hours.
Our specialist can help you in the following ways...
Over half of the United Kingdom's adult population do not have a legal Will. Although it is not pleasant to think about passing away and leaving your loved ones, it is important that you have your affairs in order for what is, unfortunately for all of us, an inevitable event. Having a Will also gives you peace of mind that you have taken care of certain details and your family will not be under any additional stress during an already highly emotional time. The Contents of a Will Your Will contains your wishes for how you desire your property to be distributed after you die. It can also provide details and requests to help your loved ones decide: Whether you wish to be buried, cremated or to donate your body for research. Any cultural or religious practices you wish to have observed at your funeral. Whether you want to have any of your organs donated. Any other wishes you may have for your funeral. The Guardianship of Your Children One of the most important elements of your Will if you have children under the age of 18 years is the appointment of legal guardians. A legal guardian is someone who will take responsibility for your child/children if they are orphaned. By naming guardian/s in your Will you can ensure that your precious child/children are placed into the care of the people chosen by you and not by the court. Tax Planning House prices have increased dramatically over the last twenty years or so, meaning inheritance tax is no longer just an issue for aristocrats with a large country house and a flat in Chelsea to pass down. The current threshold for inheritance tax is £325,000 which in certain circumstances may increase. If you leave an estate worth more than the threshold the beneficiaries may be liable for death duties calculated at 40% to be paid on any amount over and above the threshold. At Dollman & Pritchard our experienced lawyers can advise you in relation to any reliefs and exemptions that apply and also how to arrange your affairs to lessen the impact of Inheritance Tax. How we can help Don't keep putting it off, get your Will organised today. We offer a fixed fee service to draft a Will and we provide secure storage and a copy for you to have at home free of charge. We make sorting out your Will quick, easy and cost-effective. Take a weight off your mind and call us today on 01883 347823 to make an appointment.
Dollman & Pritchard Solicitors have been administering estates and carrying out our clients' last wishes in a sensitive and compassionate manner since 1879. We have experience in dealing with large, complex estates and can also assist you if there is a dispute over the final Will. What is Probate? Probate or 'administering the estate' as it is sometimes called is the legal term used for talking about the right to manage a deceased person's affairs. When a person dies and has a legal Will, your lawyer will apply for a 'Grant of Probate' from the Court. Probate will then be granted to the Executors of the Will. This is called a Grant of Representation and it is issued by the Probate Registry. Do I always need to obtain a Grant of Representation? There are some situations where a grant is not required. They are: Where a home is held in joint names and the ownership is simply passing to the other surviving joint owner. If you hold a joint bank account with the deceased person a death certificate may be enough to obtain transfer of the account to the surviving person. If the amount of money is small some institutions will release funds without a grant. What if there is no Will? If a person dies without a legal Will it is known as dying intestate. Intestacies can be tricky, complex and elicit nasty surprises for those close to you so we strongly advise you have a legal Will. Please see our Wills. If there is no Will your lawyer will apply to the court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. This will grant an individual (usually a beneficiary) the power to administer the estate according to the Rules of Intestacy. Only married people, people in civil partnerships and relatives can inherit under these rules. The law lays down the order of priority, for example, step-children are not recognised as able to inherit under the rules. Obtaining Probate If you need to obtain a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration then contact our office and our sympathetic staff will guide you through the process. You can also phone us on 01883 347823 to make an appointment or email us and one of our team will come back to you within 24 hours. Probate Costs Example
In the words of Benjamin Franklin 'In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.' At Dollman & Pritchard Solicitors, our lawyers can advise you on calculating and planning for Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, and Income Tax to be paid on Trusts. Inheritance Tax Planning With people living and working longer, coupled with the rise in house prices, inheritance tax planning is becoming more important than ever. If you leave an estate worth over £325,000 (the 2015/16 threshold) the estate will be liable for Inheritance Tax (sometimes known as death duties) calculated at 40% on any amount over and above the threshold. This threshold will be increasing in certain circumstances. There are ways to plan your affairs to reduce most, if not all, Inheritance Tax owed on your estate. This can save your loved ones tens of thousands of pounds (and sometimes a lot more). Examples include: You can gift away part of your estate before you die, however, if you pass away within seven years of making the gift, the gift can be subject to inheritance tax. The first £3000 given away within any tax year is tax free. There are also other exemptions to the 'seven year' rule. Where a home is held in joint names and the ownership is simply passing to the other surviving joint owner. There is inheritance tax relief available for business assets, farms, National Heritage property and some important or famous art works. Capital Gains Tax Planning Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the profit you make for selling an asset. Individuals, Trustees and Executors need to be aware of Capital Gains Tax when selling assets. Our lawyers can advise you on planning for Capital Gains Tax and calculating any tax due in particular circumstances. Income Tax Planning for Trusts We can advise you on the rules relating to Income Tax if you are an executor or a trustee. In particular, the rules relating to the taxation of Trusts are extremely complicated and we are able to advise you on how to calculate and return any Income Tax that may be payable. If you would like to find out more about tax planning for Inheritance Tax and tax issues surrounding estates and Trusts please phone our office on 01883 347823 to talk to one of our friendly staff.
As people are living longer it is becoming increasingly necessary to organise a Power of Attorney. An Attorney can legally organise and make decisions regarding your affairs on your behalf in the event of you becoming unable to do so. The advantage of choosing a person to have Power of Attorney over your affairs in advance of becoming incapacitated is that you can choose the person you wish to elect to organise and manage your life if you are no longer able to do so. You can also dictate the level of scope with which they will be able to act. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) There are two types of LPA; Health and welfare LPA Property and financial LPA You may elect to have one or the other or both. Health and Welfare The person who has LPA over your health and welfare can make decisions regarding your daily routine, your medication, whether you need to move into a care-home and whether or not to continue life-sustaining treatment. Obviously, you would decide the extent of their power when it comes to making such decisions, and it is important to choose someone who knows and respects your values and wishes if you are unable to communicate them. Property and Financial Unlike a Health and Welfare LPA which can only be actioned when you become unable to make your own decisions, a Property and Financial LPA can come into force as soon as you give permission. This type of LPA gives power to your person of choice to manage your financial affairs. They are able to pay your bills, manage your property and sell assets as required. Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA) If you are struck down with a major illness or going abroad for some time you may want to consider giving someone close to you an OPA to manage your affairs and or carry out certain tasks on your behalf in the short term. You need to be very clear about the power your OPA document gives to the person you have chosen. Deputyship If a loved one has become incapacitated and therefore unable to look after their own affairs (but did not make a Power of Attorney) then we can assist you with an application to become their 'Deputy' via the Court of Protection. Although the boundaries of a Deputyship order vary in each individual case, all deputies are required to act in the incapacitated person's best interests. We can offer ongoing advice in managing a person's affairs and on applying to the Court for a Statutory Will, an order to make gifts, and the appointment of Trustees. If you would like to talk to us about setting up a Power of Attorney or Deputyship please contact our office today or phone us on 01883 347823 to make an appointment.
All of us have to face the fact that as each day passes we are getting older. Studies show that having a feeling of control over your life in your twilight years leads to a healthier and happier retirement. In order to achieve this it is important to plan for your later years before they arrive (which is always sooner than expected). All of our staff treat our clients with the utmost consideration, sensitivity and respect. We have proudly been taking care of individuals since 1879. Times may have changed during this long period, but our commitment to providing excellent legal advice clients can trust has remained steadfast. Residential and Care Home Fees As the law currently stands, if you have assets of more than £23,250 you will be required to meet the full cost of your residential home care (which is often above £500 per week). From April 2020, it is planned that this threshold will increase and there will also be the introduction of a cap on care costs. Although it is not widely publicised, if you require nursing care as opposed to simply social care you may qualify for fully-funded care in a care-home, hospice or in your own home through the NHS. You can also talk to us about tax planning and putting your assets into a Trust if this will meet your requirements. Powers of Attorney Please see our topic on both ordinary and lasting Powers of Attorney to find out more information. Wills Please see our topic on Wills to find out more information. If you would like to talk to us about planning for your golden years then please phone us on 01883 347823 to make an appointment.
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