June 10, 2024

FAQs for Private Client

This post was written by: Riya Sekhon

What does a Private Client Solicitor do?

  • A Private Client Solicitor specialises in legal matters relating to individuals and families, such as Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, Probate, Tax Advice, and Lasting Powers of Attorney. A Private Client Paralegal assists the Solicitor in all the above.

What is Estate Planning?

  • Estate planning involves preparing for the transfer of a person’s assets and wealth after their death. It includes:
    • Making a Will to ensure a person’s estate passes in line with their wishes.
    • Creating Trusts where necessary to ensure your estate and beneficiaries are protected.
    • Establishing your Inheritance Tax position and identifying possible methods of reducing any potential liability.

Why is having a Will important?

  • A Will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death. Without a Will, your estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy, which may not reflect your intentions.

What is an Executor, and how do you choose one?

  • An Executor is the person or people appointed in your Will to administer your estate after your death. Choose someone trustworthy, organised, and capable of handling financial matters. It is often a good idea to discuss the role with the person beforehand.

What is an Administrator?

  • The person/ people responsible for dealing with the administration of the estate when there is no Will. The administrator is based on the statutory order of priority and depends on who the deceased’s closest living relatives are.

What is a Grant of Probate?

  • A legal document which confirms that the Executors of a Will have the authority to deal with the deceased’s assets. This will be required to sell the deceased’s property and some financial organisations require this to encash the funds, depending on the amount of money held in the account.

What is a Grant of Letters of Administration?

  • As above, but when there is no Will. It confirms that the Administrators have authority to deal with the estate.

When will I need a Grant of Probate?

  • You will usually need a Grant of Probate when you are an Executor dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away and there is a large sum of money in a bank account that needs releasing, or you need to sell a property. However, there are many other instances where you may require one.

How does a Trust work?

  • A Trust is a legal arrangement where one party (a Trustee) holds and manages assets for the benefit of another party (the Beneficiary). Trusts can be used for various purposes, such as managing assets during a person’s lifetime or distributing them after death.

What are the benefits of setting up a Trust?

  • Benefits of setting up a Trust include managing and protecting assets, providing for minors or dependents and reducing estate taxes.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

  • A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants someone the authority to act on your behalf in financial, legal, or medical matters if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself.

What should you bring to your first meeting with us?

  • Bring identification (photo ID and two proofs of address), list of your assets and liabilities, existing Wills or Trusts, any relevant financial documents, and information about your family and Beneficiaries.

How often should you update your Will?

  • You should review and update your Will after significant life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or substantial changes in your financial situation. It is also advisable to review it periodically to ensure it still reflects your wishes.

What should I do if I believe that Aston Bond are holding my Will and/or LPA?

  • Please get in touch by calling or emailing our office. If it is your own Will or LPA, we will require you to provide us with two proofs of address and a form of photo ID as well as for you to sign a letter of authority which we will email you to return to us. If it is the Will of a person who has passed away, we will require the same from each Executor as well as the death certificate. If you require the LPA(s) of a person who has lost capacity, we will need the same from each attorney.