As an Executor or Personal Representative, dealing with Probate and an estate comes at an already difficult and sad time. It can be a time consuming responsibility. We can help you. We can look after all aspects of the administration of an estate on your behalf, that can all too often become a minefield of problems and we will liase with you throughout it all.

Based in Failsworth Manchester, our office has the benefit of free parking and disabled access. You will receive a warm welcome.

However, we also offer home visits and a free initial consultation in your own home at a time that is convenient for you.

Call now on 0800 294 306 for advice and further details or email jo-ann.mason@wesolicitors.com

Probate Services Court of Protection

We Solicitors LLP take pride in offering a fixed cost probate service. We offer fixed fees for Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney but also to obtain a Grant of Probate.  A lot of firms still do not offer a fixed cost upfront to administer an estate on behalf of executors at the beginning of the mater.

WE SOLICITORS DO!

Case study example:

We have acted for two appointed executors. The estate consisted of a house and various bank accounts totalling £45,000 and a life assurance policy worth £2,500. The Will of their late mother left  1/3 of the estate  to each son (the executors and trustees) and 1/3 divided between 3 grandchildren who were all under 18.

We dealt with all issues on their behalf; we arranged for the funeral to be paid by the bank, contacted all the utilities (gas electric, council tax etc.) and arranged for all final bills to be sent to us. These were finalised when the house was sold.  We made sure the buildings insurance was in place. We found out who the insurers was and we located the deeds to the house. We dealt with the DWP and repaid benefits that were paid after death.

We obtained the Grant of Probate. All monies from the bank accounts and the house sale were paid into our client account so we could then distribute 1/3 to each son. We gave the sons advice on being Trustees and what they needed to do with the grandchildren’s shares. Once they had put in place the required trust accounts we then sent them the funds for the grandchildren.

When the house was sold we got accurate meter readings, informed all utilities and paid any final accounts. We then prepared Estate Accounts so the Executors could see everything that had come in and everything that had  been paid out, including any income earned during the administration period which is required for tax purposes. These accounts can also be shown to the grandchildren as they reach 18 to show they acted correctly on their behalf.

All throughout this process we kept in regular contact with the executors. One son was our main point of contact (so we were not duplicating) but we dealt with both sons. We mainly kept in contact by email and then  telephone calls when needed. The two sons initially came in to the office as they were local. The process from start to finish took 11 months. This was because it took 9 months to find a buyer for the house and for the sale to go through. The first distribution was made and rest of the estate was dealt with within 3 months.

And the cost of doing all this was given at the

beginning before any work was started.

The cost was a very competitive £2500 + VAT and paid from the estate.

We explain at the beginning what is included in this quote and what possible issues may arise. We gave advice and support to the executors all the way through and they knew they could contact us whenever they needed to. They had one main point of contact. No call centres or various people dealing with it. Just one main point of contact with a direct telephone number and email.

If these clients had not been local the estate would have been dealt with just as easily. We would have communicated the way the executor would have wanted to and would have still dealt with all aspects. So we are accessible to any executors around the country.

 

If you would like advise or a quote to obtain Probate or administer an estate on your behalf contact WE Solicitors

Email: info@wesolicitors.com

Telephone: 0800 294 3065

TODAY

 

The Government has released a policy paper in response to the House of Lords Committee Report on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and how it is working in practice

The Government gave their response setting out a system wide programme of work to implement the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Some of the main points highlighted are as follows:

  • Care Quality Commission to add the MCA to its checks on services
  • An MCA Advisory Board to be set up to report on the effectiveness of the MCA each year.
  • The Government will give more information to  doctors, solicitors police  carers, housing officers and banks
  • The Government will provide more training for social workers and front line staff to help people be able to make decisions for themselves
  • People will be made more aware of Advance Directives – A document in which you can state that if you don’t want treatment in the future when you might not be able to make a decision about it

Lasting Powers of Attorney:

The Government says:

“Not many people are using Lasting Powers of Attorney and only think about them when they are very ill. We want more people to plan for the future and use them earlier”

They are considering a Life Planning Day from next year to make people more aware of Lasting Powers of Attorney and what they are used for. It will be a “national event to both raise awareness of the Act and to hear the views of professionals and the public as to how we can further develop our programme of work.”

 

“Anyone, at some time in their lives, may lack some degree of mental capacity. One of the most important aspects of the MCA is the right to prepare for such a time by registering Lasting Powers of Attorney ( financial and/ or health and welfare)and giving the power to make decisions regarding their finances or welfare to a trusted family member, friend or other such appointed person.”

 

Court of Protection:

  • More staff will be employed
  • New Rules next year

“The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is undertaking significant work to increase the level of awareness and understanding of Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPAs) – working with NHS England to provide guidance for frontline staff and with the CQC to make sure questions on LPAs feature in inspections of health and social care providers. HM Courts and Tribunal Service has committed to increasing the staff complement of the Court of Protection and the Government has committed to the revision of the Court of Protection Rules – with a view to having new rules in place by April 2015”

Valuing every voice, respecting every right: Making the case for the Mental Capacity Act

The Government’s response to the House of Lords Select Committee Report on the Mental Capacity Act 2005

If you would like more information on Lasting Powers of Attorney and how they can benefit you please contact our expert solicitor at we solicitors Ivy Mill Failsworth Manchester M35 9BG. We always offer fixed fees. Home visit available

Do not put off such an important issue.

Email: info@wesolicitors.com

Telephone: 0800 294 3065

TODAY

 

 

 

 

 

The Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 came into force on 1st October 2014.

If you do not have a Will the intestacy Rules determine who will get your estate if you die. These are strict rules and it cannot be assumed that your nearest loved ones will inherit your estate.

The main changes are :

If you are married and you have children:

Your spouse will receive the first £250,000 of your estate. Your children will take half of any assets above this amount and your spouse will take half of any assets above this amount

If you are married and you do not have children:

Your whole estate will go to your spouse

++If you have a partner and you are NOT married and you have children:++

Your partner will get NOTHING! All your estate will go to your children.  You do not decide who will look after their share  for them if they are under 18.  If you are separated or divorced from their father / mother their surviving parent will look after their inheritance and they will also choose someone to be appointed with them.

++If you have a partner and are NOT married with no children:++

Your partner will get NOTHING from your estate. It will go to your nearest blood relatives being your parents equally if they survive you, if not then to your brothers and sisters equally.

It is not complicated to make a Will if you get the right advice from a Solicitor with the expertise to guide you through the process.

 

Jo-Ann Mason at We Solicitors in Failsworth, Manchester says “The only way to be sure that your wishes are in place and to protect your loved ones is to make a Will. The new rules highlight that it is even more important to have a Will. Especially if you have a partner or children and even more so if you have children from a first marriage and children with a second spouse or partner. If you are not sure what you want to do we can guide you and discuss the options you may not have thought possible.  Going to a solicitor to make Will is not always the most expensive option but you can be sure you receive the quality of service that you need when making a Will with us”

To make Will or discuss the options available to you contact WE Solicitors today.

Do not put off such an important issue.

Email: info@wesolicitors.com

Telephone: 0800 294 3065

TODAY

 

 

The Ministry of |Justice have recently published figures showing how many Lasting Powers of Attorney have been registered year on year.

In 2013 – 1024 there were 253,984 LPA’s registered of which:

 For Property and Affairs: 165,000

For Health and Welfare: 54,000

This is vast difference to 2008 – 2009 where there were  43,000 registered LPA’s with only  7,500 for health and welfare.

The reason for this is that LPA’s are becoming increasingly necessary in our aging population. However, the figures are a cause for concern when there are 10 million people in the UK aged over 65. This shows that not enough people are preparing for their future especially when there are 3 million people over 80 in the UK and this is projected to almost double by 2030.

It is extremely important to plan for the future and ensure that you have your affairs in order and that you have chose the person you want to help you and fight your corner if you are not able to do so particularly in the minefield area of social care. There are many stories of elderly people who are not given the correct assessments and care. Who would ensure that you do if you couldn’t do it yourself?

Who would you pick as your Attorney if you needed one?

If you didn’t have a lasting power of attorney in place when you really needed it would you be prepared to pay in the region of £2,000 for the Court to appoint a Deputy? A person you do not choose.

NOW is the time to put your affairs in order. The majority of people know you need a Will for your affairs when you die but what about inn your lifetime when it matters to you even more.

If you would like more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney call or email WE Solicitors LLP today for an informal chat to see what we can do for you.

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065

 

We Solicitors – home visits – fixed fees – caring professionals

We see many people who have been advised to make a Lasting Power of Attorney but are reluctant to do it. Here are some of reasons why and what you can do to put a person’s mind at ease or help them make the decision to put an LPA in place.

1.    “I will loose control of my money”

The LPA is designed to ensure that you make your own decisions. As long as you are able to do so you give your attorney the authority to act on your behalf and you tell them what needs to be done or what you would like them to do or not do. If you reach a stage where you are able to make some decisions but not others your attorney should encourage you to make the decisions that you are able to make. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place does not mean your attorney takes over and you do not have any say from day 1.

The most important factor to ensure it is used correctly is y choose the person you trust to be your attorney.

2     If I let my daughter have power of attorney she will just take over everything”

You must choose the person you feel will assist you best and encourage you to participate in making decisions etc. If you are in a position where you can’t make decisions you must chose an attorney who will consider your values and beliefs when making decisions. You can also make a statement of your wishes in advance.

In the LPA you can give your attorney guidance and there is provision to place restrictions and conditions on how your attorney acts so you can make sure that you say how it is to be used. You could also appoint more than one attorney so that they have to act together and keep each other in check.

3     “I am worried that my attorney will not look after my money properly or may take it and no one will know”

Firstly, ALWAYS chose an attorney you trust completely. Do not feel you have to choose someone because they have been helping you already and it may offend them to choose someone else. It is a very important decision to make as you are giving someone the power to deal with your money. It must be the right person for you.

Take advantage of our LPA Attorney Review Service

OR

Appoint a Solicitor as your attorney

 

You can add a condition onto your LPA that your Attorney accounts to us once a year. This way we can ensure that your attorney is acting correctly, give them advice as to how best to act in the coming year. We can report back to you or another family member or we could report to the OPG if we had any concerns.

This is an excellent service which gives you complete piece of mind but is also a huge benefit to the Attorney as they can obtain advice from us, will be sure they are acting correctly and they are focused on what they need to do.

4     “It costs too much, I don’t need one now”

The initial cost may seem high but it is worth it in the long run. Some people put an LPA in place because they know it may be needed straight away or quite soon ion the future. The most important factor is to have one in place for if it is needed in the future. It can be used for all sorts of eventualities which we cannot plan for. For example, a stroke or any unexpected illness, and long term hospital stay, illness abroad short term memory loss and of course planning for the possibility of dementia.

The cost of not having one in place when you need it is double the cost of an LPA and more. The appointment of a Deputy by the Court can be up to £2,000 with annual court fees all of which come out of your money. And you do not have any say (or very little) in this process.

5     “What do I need an LPA for?”

Everyone should have an LPA when planning for the future. People are living longer and want to remain independent for as long as possible. The only way to achieve that is to accept that help and assistance may be needed and to plan for that. If you found yourself in a position where you need help with your finances for things like help to pay your bills, sort out your pension make sure you aren’t running up debts, keeping investments going etc., someone will have to take this on. It is far better that it is a person YOU have chose and can tell them what you would like them to do rather than leaving it to chance – or the Court of Protection!

ACT NOW and speak to our experts today whether you are thinking of making an LPA or your are seeking advice for someone who needs to make one.

 

 Email info@wesolicitors.com

Freephone Telephone: 0800 294 3065

Do you have a Will? Here’s why you should! 

Don’t be a statistic:

According to a survey for Will Aid in 2013

  • Only in the 55+ age group has a significant majority (over 71.80%) made a Will. But there has been a big rise in the numbers of younger respondents between 18 and 24 with a Will, up from  5.20% in 2012 to 10.90% in 2013.
  • Single people are the least likely to have a Will..
  • More than 58% of people who have separated from their husband/wife/partner have no Will. This is likely to cause significant problems since, until divorce; the Ex will automatically inherit their share of the estate.
    Almost 70% of cohabiting couples who are neither married nor in a civil partnership have no Will. This means that on death, the surviving partner would have no right to inherit automatically.
  • Only 31% of respondents with dependent children have a Will. Yet everyone with young children and other dependents should make a Will to make financial and caring provision for them and decide at what age they can inherit.

1.    Do you have children?

Probably the most important reason why any one would make a Will is to make sure they have provision in place for their young children. Appointing a guardian to look after them and trustees to look after their your money for them.  If you don’t  do this it will be left to the legal rules of intestacy to decide who does.

2.    Do you have a partner you cohabit with ?

If you do not have a Will and you are not married your partner will get NOTHING. They will not be provided for even if you live as a married couple. They will not be looked after.

The only way to make sure it goes to them an no one else is to make a Will.

BE AWARE:

If you have children from a previous relationship who are under 18 it will be their parent (your Ex) who will be the one to deal with everything.

3.    Are you divorced or separated – still own a property with an Ex ?

If you are divorced or separated and have children from a previous marriage you would need a Will to cater for all your children fairly. Otherwise your whole estate could go to your second spouse leaving all your children with nothing.

If you are separated your estate will still go to your spouse and it is likely your house will too.

4.    Do you travel abroad?

In 2012/13 there were over 6000 deaths of British people

abroad according to the FCO

Younger people go on more adventurous holidays and take more risks.

Like extreme sports – snowboarding, skiing, bungee jumping, climbing, mountaineering. This increases the risk of needing a Will when you are younger.

What would your family do if anything happened to you. It would be devastating for your family and friends and having a Will in place just in case would help to sort things out.

5.    It is not always about wealth

There are many other reasons to make a Will. If you have a house or some savings you should make a Will but what about making provisions for others issues:

-       Your children

-       Your pets

-       Your digital assets

-       Your passwords and social media accounts?

-       Facebook twitter Instagram

-       Your personal belongings ?

-       Your car? Your mobile?

-       Your debts?

MAKE A WILL TODAY

It is a simple and easy process to make a Will. It can be done by email telephone skype or FaceTime at a time to suit you with our expert solicitors. For a basic Will the cost is £90 + VAT = £108. We can find a way that will suit your needs whatever they are or however complicated.

Email: jo-ann.masno@wesolicitors.com

Call today on  0870 165 9413

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A Norwich business man who was left solely in charge of the wills and probate services arm took cash from deceased’s person’s estate to pay his personal debts and build his own property portfolio. He abused his position of trust and deceived his customers.

Jailing him for four years eight months, Judge Stephen Holt said: “A very large sum of money was siphoned off from your various clients.”

However he said that because he had not frittered the cash away, the losers might get the money back: ”I am told possibly that 100 per cent of all the money you stole will be repaid because of the property portfolio of the nine properties you have bought.”

He said his actions had been a breach of trust, although because the industry was unregulated, it was not as high as if he had been a solicitor.

“None the less a considerable breach of trust has occurred.”

Andrea Lock, prosecuting, said that the will writing business was not subject to regulation, unlike if a will had been drawn up by a solicitor.

Jason Sugarman, for Jones, said: “He feels terribly sorry for what has occurred. He accepts he has let many people down, including the public, who trusted him.”

WE Solicitors say: “There is more risk when dealing with unregulated companies who offer wills and probate services. Anyone can set up a company but it does not mean they have the expertise and experience required for these services or that they will always act in the best interests of their clients. This is a given when instructing a solicitor.

Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and it is mandatory to have Professional Indemnity Insurance in place. Clients can have the peace of mind that they are in safe hands. This is not obvious from companies who are not regulated”

If you would like advice on administering an estate or you are not happy with the company who is dealing with an estate contact WE Solicitors.

Email info@wesolicitors.com

Free phone Telephone: 0800 294 3065

Recent Court data from the Chancery Division has shown there was a rise in cases where Executors have breached their duties to the beneficiaries in 2013.

 The claims include theft of the assets from the estate by the executor and taking it upon themselves to distribute the estate to more favoured beneficiaries. All of which amounts to fraud.

Where executors take out probate on their own there is a high risk of this happening. Beneficiaries often find themselves in the dark. They may not be told the full contents of the Will or how the estate has been distributed. It is very difficult  to find out what assets are in the estate if your are not an Executor.

If an estate has not been administered properly then it is likely court proceedings would follow which can be lengthy and costly and ultimately it’s the beneficiaries who suffer through the long process.

It can be a false economy for a lay executor to administer the estate and is often perceived to be a simple process. In some cases it is quite straightforward but there are many cases were it is far from it.

What can you do to prevent this happening?

Appointing a solicitor to as an executor to administer the estate is  the safest option. Alternatively, you can appoint a solicitor to act with a family member. That way family or friends can deal with more personal issues and their involvement can help reduce the costs but a solicitor will ensure that the estate is administered properly and all the beneficiaries are protected.

A solicitor has a higher duty of care to the estate and will ensure all assets are collected in and distributed properly, providing Estate Accounts at the end so that all parties can see what has been done. It is not necessarily expensive to do this and the costs come from the estate.

This is even more important where the executors and/or the beneficiaries do not see eye to eye. A solicitor can act as a go between and make sure they are all treated fairly. Thereby reducing the risk of an expensive court case.

It is a big responsibility for an Executor to administer an estate, being  responsible for large amounts of money and keeping beneficiaries happy.

If you are planning to make a Will and want some advice about appointing an executor or if you are an executor battling with an estate contact us for a free initial consultation to see what we can do for you.

Call WE Solicitors LLP Failsworth Manchester on:  0870 165 9413 / 0161 684 372

Email: info@wesolicitors.com

There are now over 340,000 Dementia Friends who are wearing their badge with pride and doing a few small things to make life better for people with dementia. Read about 900 new Dementia Friends from Poole High School, the students were part of an exciting new pilot to engage younger people.

It’s really easy to become a Dementia Friend, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk watch our short video or join a face-to-face Information Session in your local area.

Dementia Friends Champion training courses

Dementia Friends Champions are volunteering to change the way people think, talk and act about dementia. Champions are trained volunteers who encourage others to learn a little bit about dementia, and inspire them to help people with dementia live well by delivering Information Sessions in their local community. Our Champions include award-winning actress Josette Simon OBE and Jamie Anderson, the son of legendary television and film producer Gerry Anderson who have both run Dementia Friends Information Sessions over the last week.

Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative

                       

Jo-Ann Mason of the Wills and Probate Department at WE Solicitors has recently become a Dementia Friend. She attended an awareness session at Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre.

She says:  “It was a very informative group session. We were more aware of the perspective of someone living with dementia and how you can help. Being a Dementia friend is about understanding and taking action to help people with dementia even little things like helping someone to find an item in a shop or being more patient in a queue. It has increased my awareness and hopefully will benefit my clients who may have recently been diagnosed with dementia and need to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. It is a vital document to have and I try to make the process as easy as I can. After diagnosis it is still possible to make a Lasting Power of Attorney in most cases so it is worth looking into sooner rather than later. If the health of a person living with dementia deteriorates then it may not be possible to make an LPA when you need it the most.”   

If you have any questions about a Lasting Power of Attorney contact our Wills and Probate Department and speak to an expert.

Call 0333 200 4232 or email: info@wesolicitors.com

We offer fixed fees and home visits

WE Solicitors – fixed fees – home visits – LPA

1.   Receiving care

If you are going into residential care or need care at home, who will help you to sort your money and manage your financial affairs?

-       Surely the best person would be the one you have chosen yourself.

-       You can only do that by making an LPA

-       You must set up an LPA now before it is too late (otherwise  you have no choice in who it will be)

If you have a relative or friend who needs care, talk to them about setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney now. An LPA will make it much easier for you as the carer to manage  care needs and make sure the best level of care is received.

Consider a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare

2.   Develop Dementia

1 in 3 people over 65 will develop Dementia. No one can help manage your money on your behalf unless you appoint an Attorney to do so by making a Lasting Power of Attorney. Someone would have to look after your money in some way so it is best to appoint the person you trust and get your affairs in order should this time come.

3. Stop someone you don’t want to be involved

Sometimes we all have help from someone who means well but you would rather it was not that person or someone who is trying to interfere when you do not want them to. The way to ensure this does not happen to you is to make a Lasting Power of Attorney and appoint the person you DO want. You can then give them instructions about how to use it and when not to use it. YOU give the authority and YOU are in control for as long and as much as you can and want to be.

4.   Peace of mind / Plan ahead

No one can ever know what is around the corner. Any one person could have a stroke, develop dementia, fall ill abroad, have a fall, be in hospital or go into residential care. All these things can happen with little or no warning. It can be difficult to admit that you may need help either now or in the future. But it is so much better for you and your loved ones if you plan for what might and could happen. It will give you peace of mind to know that you have done what you can.

5.   Save money

If you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and you need one due to loss of mental capacity then the only way your family or friends can help you is by being appointed as a Deputy by the Court of Protection. This is a very lengthy and expensive process. The initial application fee alone is £400 and fees can range up to £2,000 or more which comes out of your money.  The person appointed is chosen by the Court not by you. At this stage you have very little or no say at all.

If you would like more information about making a Lasting Power of Attorney or you would like a home visit to discuss this further please contact our expert solicitors today – We can advise you on LPA’s for Property and Affairs and LPA’s for Health and Welfare.

Email: info@wesolicitors.com

Telephone: 0800 294 3065

Home visits to Failsworth, Oldham, Bolton, Bury, Trafford, Sale, Hyde, Dunkenfield, Stockport, Wigan and Altrincham and further a field by arrangement