Making a Will, helping a vulnerable loved one to manage their affairs and dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away can all be very difficult, both in terms of the legal practicalities you have to get to grips with and the emotional impact on you and your loved ones.
Our Private Client Department can advise you in relation to all of your personal affairs, including the preparation of Wills, the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney, applications for Deputyship and assisting in the administration of the estates of deceased clients. Our practitioners have been handling this delicate work for many years and are accustomed to dealing sensitively with clients during difficult times.
We can advise on the impact of inheritance tax and steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, including making effective use of your nil rate band, gifts and trusts. This can significantly increase the amount of your estate that will pass to your loved ones when you are gone.
Our team regularly offer guidance to clients who are concerned they may lose the ability to manage their own affairs, including creating suitable powers of attorney. We are also experienced in dealing with the Office of the Public Guardian that supervises the affairs of people who no longer have the capacity to manage their own affairs.
We recognise how sensitive and challenging it can be to deal with these important issues, so offer both clear, expert legal guidance and empathetic personal support, making it simpler and less stressful to navigate all areas of lifetime planning and estate administration.
Our Wills and estate administration solicitors work out of four local offices across Southwest Wales, in Carmarthen, Haverfordwest and Narberth and offer home visits where appropriate so please contact your local Hains & Lewis team to arrange an initial appointment.
How we can help you with Wills, probate and lifetime planning
Making a Will
Whether you need to make a new Will or update an existing Will, our team can make the process as easy as possible. We will talk through your assets with you and how you want your estate to be divided, then ensure your will is drafted clearly and accurately. This helps to minimise the potential for any dispute and gives you peace of mind that your wishes will be respected.
Probate & administering estates
Dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away can feel like a huge responsibility, with a lot of legal processes to get right. Our highly experienced probate solicitors can guide you through every stage of probate where the deceased left a Will or help you to navigate the intestacy rules and estate administration where there is no Will.
Inheritance tax planning
Making full use of the Inheritance Tax (IHT) rules can enable you to pass more of your estate to your loved ones when you are no longer around. Our inheritance tax planning advisers can guide you through the available options, including making best use of nil rate bands, as well as using gifts, trusts and other tax-efficient strategies.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can allow you to nominate a trusted person or persons to make decisions about your health, wellbeing, finances and property if you ever lose the capacity to make such decisions yourself. Our team can advise you on creating and registering LPAs, as well as acting as an attorney under an LPA.
Court of Protection deputyship
If a loved one has lost the mental capacity to manage their affairs and they do not have a power of attorney in place, you may need to apply to the Court of Protection to become their legal deputy. This can give you the authority to make any necessary decisions about their health, welfare, finances and home. We can help you apply to the Court, as well as guide you through acting as a deputy and in making one-off applications to the Court of Protection e.g. for the creation of a Statutory Will.
Legal fees can vary considerably in relation to such applications. Although the Court of Protection suggest a flat rate legal fee of £950 plus VAT this is often under-estimated. If you would care to contact a member of our team, with details of the application required, and the assets involved, we can then provide you with a more detailed estimate. In addition to legal costs, there are some disbursements that shall need to be discharged to include a Medical Fee and Court of Protection application fees. These can in due course be discharged from the vulnerable person's assets.
Our Wills and estate administration fees
Fixed fee Wills and estate administration
We offer some of our services on a fixed fee basis, so you have complete certainty over the cost involved. Our fixed fee services include drafting straightforward Wills, applying for grant of probate and other routine matters.
Hourly rates for Wills and estate administration
For more complex matters where you require ongoing support, we will usually charge according to an agreed hourly rate. This means we can give you exactly as much support as you need on a continuing basis. All billable work will be agreed in advance and we will provide regular invoices, allowing you stay in control over how much you spend.
Speak to our Wills and estate administration solicitors in Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire
To arrange an initial consultation with our approachable, expert Wills and estate administration solicitors in Southwest Wales, please contact your local Hains & Lewis office in Carmarthen, Haverfordwest or Narberth.