Wills, Trusts and Probate
Our Private Client Team has built up considerable experience in relation to wills, tax planning and the administration of estates. We have a team of six experienced lawyers plus support staff to provide a professional service.
Probate is an area of law in which the highest degree of sensitivity and confidentiality is required and we are proud of the service we offer to our clients in this respect.
For wills, we charge on a fixed-fee basis, and offer a one third discount when a legacy is left to a charity supported by our charity wills scheme. Charities included in the scheme are Keech Hospice Care, Friends of Luton and Dunstable Hospitals, and the St Albans Cathedral Trust.
Our specialist team appreciates the sadness which accompanies the death of a close family member or friend and the uncertainty surrounding the steps that need to be taken. Very often the legal issues are complex. We pride ourselves on being sympathetic and understanding while dealing with the administration of the estate as efficiently and practically as possible.
We are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and are recognised as being able to give expert advice. We regularly advise private individuals, couples, family businesses, trustees and beneficiaries on a variety of topics relating to:
- Inheritance Tax planning
- Powers of Attorney
Legal Advice for the Older Person
Machins has access to expertise in all matters of concern to our older clients. We are affiliated with independent financial advisors and associated with accountants, and together work as a team to offer advice on the following:
- Wills and Inheritance Tax planning
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Court of Protection and deputyship
- Trust advice, creation and management
- Probate advice and administration
- Protection of your assets
- Accountancy, inheritance and tax advice.
- Advice about benefits.
We are also happy to advise on care home contracts and can help you choose the right care home. We are able to help you plan and pay for your care and will advise on funding if needed. We can explain the free nursing care component and NHS funding and assist you to challenge incorrect funding assessments.
We are on the panel of legal advisors with the non-profit making organisation Care Aware, which specialises in helping the elderly and are also members of Solicitors for the Elderly.
Our offices have facilities for disabled people, including wheelchair access, a car park, lift and toilets.
This is a common question. Some people may feel that they don’t have very much money to leave to anyone, and others don’t seem to mind where their money goes when they pass away. However, making a will goes beyond simply setting out where your ‘estate’ (your money and other assets) will go when you pass on. If you don’t make a will, you lose the ability to make some very important choices.
Unless we have been through it before, most of us don’t know what we are supposed to do from a legal point of view when someone close to us has died. Our Private Client department can assist you to make sure you are doing the right thing by the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate and that you are complying with HMRC.
With an ageing population and more people living in less traditional family set ups it is becoming increasingly common for people to challenge wills and make claims on the estates of their deceased relatives.
Probate is the process by which a person’s estate is administered after they die. It is usually carried out by a spouse, a son or daughter or a close relative with the help of a solicitor. It’s a very important role because everything must be done according to the law and in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.
Inheritance tax (IHT) is the tax which is payable when a person dies. IHT is not payable in all situations. Below is a brief outline of some of the basic rules in relation to IHT
This is a basic outline of the rules relating to inheritance tax (IHT)and gifts made during a person’s lifetime. The rules may differ in certain situations, such as where gifts are made into a trust.
Intestacy rules are the rules that govern how a person’s estate is dealt with where a valid will has not been made, or if the will is not sufficient by itself.
When it comes to estate planning on the death of an individual, the default legal positions for married and unmarried couples who have not made wills are very different. There is a common misconception that long term partners are automatically entitled to a share of their partner’s estate if they die without a will. However this is not the case.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are forms you complete and sign, naming people you want to be able to make decisions for you which continues even if you are no longer able to make them for yourself.
Everybody knows how important it is to make a will but most people can't find the time to visit a solicitor or worry that it's too complicated or expensive. The Sumner and Tabor 'Wills at Work' scheme works with local businesses and their employees to help provide the time to create their will during the working day.
Our charges for dealing with the administration of an estate are calculated by direct reference to the Law Society’s Guide for charging in such non-contested matters and therefore take into account complexity, skill, documents required, risk factors and the expenses incurred which are normally reflected in an hourly rate.