What we do

Services

Wills

For many people the prospect of making a Will can seem unnerving and it is easy to procrastinate and keep avoiding taking action. We can make the process straightforward and help ensure that your wishes are implemented for the benefit of your loved ones.

Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more representatives to make decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so at some time in the future. We will explain the process and complete the necessary forms on  your behalf.

Available 7 Days A Week

Probate 

After every death, it is usually necessary to take out a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (depending on whether or not the deceased made a Will). This process can be very complex and time consuming. We are able to carry out the necessary work on behalf of the executors or administrators.

Probate & Estate Administration

Where someone has died leaving a Will a Grant of Probate will normally be taken out. This is done by the executors named in the Will. The amount of work involved will usually depend of the complexity of the deceased’s affairs and the size of the estate. However, the main tasks of the executors (or administrators where the deceased died intestate – without leaving a Will) will be:

  • Registering the death
  • Arranging the funeral
  • Valuing the estate
  • Paying any inheritance tax
  • Applying for probate or letters of administration
  • Sorting out the deceased’s finances
  • Distributing the estate
  • Keeping estate accounts 

Valuing the estate will involve determining all the assets and liabilities in the estate. Assets may consist of stocks and shares, bank accounts, National Savings accounts, insurance policies, cash in hand, jewellery and antiques, other chattels, arrears of salary/pension and real estate (houses and land). Liabilities will include any mortgage, utility bills, water rates and council tax, credit cards, loans and overdrafts etc. 

Many non-professional executors will find these tasks very time consuming and onerous and the reason why it is often something that is delegated to a specialist with experience in this field. 

Our charges will be based on the time spent in dealing with matter rather than a percentage of the value of the estate. The latter is the formula often used by some solicitors and also banks where the bank has been appointed as the executor. This percentage can vary between 1% and 5% and in some cases the charges can be a combination of an hourly rate and a percentage of the estate value.  

 

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document that allows you to appoint one or more people who you trust to make decisions on your behalf. There are 2 types:

  • Health and welfare – this allows you to choose someone to make decisions about your health and welfare where you lack mental capacity to do so yourself. The form allows you,  amongst other matters. to choose in advance whether you wish your attorney or attorneys to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment. 
  • Property and financial affairs – this document deals with decisions to be made by  your attorney or attorneys regarding your property and finances when you lack physical or mental capacity. This may include decisions about the sale of your house or dealing with your bank account. 

It is possible to make one or both. Most people will usually make the two at the same time. The Office of the Public Guardian charges a fee of £82 for each LPA. 

If someone is no longer mentally able to look after their affairs and no LPA is in place (or an Enduring Power of Attorney before 1 October 2007) you may need to ask the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to manage the person’s affairs. This is usually a more expensive and complicated process than creating a Lasting Power of Attorney. However, we are able to help with this process.

We’ll Come to You

We are able to take instructions over the phone and/or email and most of our work is completed in this way. However, where someone would like personal contact we are very happy to visit clients in East Kent in the geographical area shown on the map.  We are also, subject to Covid restrictions, able to take instructions personally from people in hospital and care homes. 

What our Customers Say

“Paul Smith handled the complexities of how I wanted to bequeath my personal property and my limited company with ease and efficiency. It was a pleasure sorting things out with him and a great weight off my mind.”

Paul Crosland, Canterbury, Kent

“Mr Smith was very helpful and professional. He listened to what I wanted and then drafted the will with utmost efficiency. He checked with me that I was happy and then printed it for me.  Such  a relief to have it done. I would recommend him without any reservation. “

 

Bryony

“Paul was recommended to me to do my will, nothing was too much trouble, he was happy to guide me and help me along every step of the way.  Paul responded to emails promptly and I would not hesitate to recommend him”

Jeanette Crafter