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Wills & Probate

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Our aim is to provide a lifelong complete legal service to you so, one of the most important areas of our practice is Wills, Probate and succession.  Our experienced lawyers understand they may be working with clients at a time of bereavement so we plan with you to organise your affairs during  lifetime so that dealing with the property, financial and tax consequences of death are measured and provided for as you would wish.  This includes helping you understand the importance of protecting assets from unknown risks so that your chosen beneficiaries can be assured of receiving them.    We also encourage you to provide a means by which your assets can be dealt with for you in lifetime should you become unable to deal with them yourself through ill health or mental incapacity.   We are keen that you provide all the security for yourselves and your families that the law can give you.

Wills

When preparing Wills, we listen carefully to your requirements to ensure that dependants are suitably provided for and that clients financial status is fully taken into account. We provide a range of services from very basic wills to wills which protect from future uncertainties. We are keen to offer specialist advice and guidance to clients with valuable assets, businesses and agricultural property to ensure they secure their aims in terms of succession and they capture the valuable Tax Reliefs available which are so frequently wasted by ineffective planning.

Administration of Estates

We provide a probate service to administer estates and distribute assets according to the will or (when there is no will) according to the intestacy rules. Because we have wide experience of this work we can provide a prompt and efficient service avoiding the delays and frustrations often encountered.  We will always give you clear guidance on timescale and cost.

Tax Planning and Trusts

Our highly regarded wills, trusts and estate planning solicitors are widely experienced in providing tax efficient solutions for wealthy individuals, farmers and business owners.  Some solutions involve Trusts created in lifetime or by Will.   Others involve more efficient business structures.  At a “No Obligation” preliminary meeting, our lawyers will listen to your objectives, provide you with suggested solutions and agree a structured and costed proposal for the efficient arrangement of your affairs.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

All of us are vulnerable to incapacity as a result of accident, old age or illness and this can create problems and delays which require expensive procedures to remedy. By making a Lasting Power of Attorney clients can make arrangements in advance for someone to look after their property and financial affairs if for any reason in the future they are unable to do so personally. This involves giving one or more persons (they can be family, friends or professionals such as solicitors) authority to act in relation to all or part of a client’s affairs. We can advise on what is appropriate to try to achieve your particulars aims and objectives. Lasting Powers of Attorney can also be used to appoint your chosen representative to make decisions for you about your health and welfare if you become unable to do so in future.  This is an increasingly important area and closely related to Advance Decisions or Living Wills. Click here for our guidance notes on Lasting Powers of Attorney, Advance Decisions and Welfare Powers, or call us for a discussion.

Elderly Client Advice

We offer advice to elderly clients who are concerned about what will happen if their health deteriorates and they have go into a nursing home and are no longer able to manage their affairs.  Concerns often relate to how the cost of care will be met and the affect that might have on other family members.  We are experienced in care funding options, asset protection and, importantly, the deprivation of assets rules.

Probate and Will Disputes

Okells FrancisLaw also handles Contentious Probate matters where disputes arise. This work includes claims by dependants under the Inheritance Act (representing both claimants and Executors) as well as disputes relating to the validity of wills and their interpretation To find out how Okells FrancisLaw may help you please contact our Probate Team:

Andrew Morris - Ross office Tel: 01989 762009

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Nigel Hodgson - Lydney Office Tel: 01594 842242

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Jo Meek - Ross office Tel: 01989 762009

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Chris James - Ross office Tel: 01989 762009

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