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Probate, Wills & Trusts
Our Private Client Department combines a wealth of experience in dealing with Probate and the administration of Estates; from straightforward standard Estates, to high net worth and complex Estates, where expertise, judgement and efficiency are paramount.
Our Private Client Department consists of:-
William Richards – Partner and Head of Hine Downing’s Private Client Department
William has a wealth of experience and expertise in the management and distribution of deceased clients’ estates and the preparation of wills. He also specialises in the protection of vulnerable elderly clients through the creation and supervision of lasting powers of attorney. William is often appointed by the Court of Protection as a Deputy for clients who have lost mental capacity. He acts as an Attorney for many people and is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
Anthony Deacon – Senior Partner
Anthony is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners – expert in will and trust drafting, estate and trust administration and accounting. He holds personal finance qualifications and his wide-ranging commercial experience includes a decade as MD of Hine Downing Financial Services, board membership of Hawksmoor Investment Management and governance in the not-for-profit sector.
Luke Roberts – Partner
Luke specialises in Probate and Wills, Tax and Trusts and the administration of estates. He advises on a wide range of issues tax planning and those affecting elder clients including lasting powers of attorney, welfare benefits and long term care issues. He also works with small businesses and the farming community.
Teresa Andrew – Chartered Legal Executive
Teresa joined Hine Downing in 2017 and is an experienced member of our Private Clients team. Having previously worked across Cornwall in this area of law, Teresa brings a wealth of experience to our team. She specialises in the preparation of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection applications and the administration of Probate estates to include both taxable and non-taxable estates. Teresa also advises on tax planning.
Hannah Tew – Chartered Legal Executive
Hannah is a Chartered Legal Executive specialising in the drafting and preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, the registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney and the administration of estates. She has worked in the legal sector for over 20 years and joined Hine Downing in 2019.
Jo Fisher – Chartered Legal Executive
Jo has been a qualified legal executive for over 15 years and is now a member of the private client team specialising in all aspects of trusts work.
The skills of our probate team are recognised not only within Cornwall, but also nationally and internationally. We have one of the largest departments of its kind in the area and our expertise is increasingly sought by overseas firms; we pride ourselves in making what is a daunting and sometimes very sensitive process as straightforward as possible. We take away the administrative burden of winding up of the estate, which is particularly pertinent at a time when you least need the additional work and stress.
Our clients place great value in our approach and expertise; there are numerous potential issues that might arise during the course of the administration of an estate, as well as tax and succession planning opportunities which may not always be apparent. Seeking professional advice can protect Personal Representatives from finding themselves personally liable from any losses which might arise from a lay Executor’s unintentional acts or omissions. We will look to protect you, your family and your wealth by looking at the application (where appropriate) of Deeds of Variation to redirect the distribution of the Estate in a manner that is efficient for inheritance tax purposes; ensure that the capital gains tax allowances are properly utilised; ensure the registration of the Estate with HM Revenue & Customs for the purposes of their Estates and Trust Register to avoid penalties for non-registration; protecting Personal Representatives from potential claims from disappointed beneficiaries; ensuring that Business Property Relief and Agricultural Property Relief are claimed where appropriate, and in conjunction with your accountant’s advice; making claims for the otherwise unused nil rate band and main residence nil rate band.
As Executor or Personal Representative, you have a responsibility to administer the estate properly. Before the estate can be completed certain work will have to be undertaken. You will be required, with our assistance, to establish the extent of the estate and to pay any debts arising and to then distribute the balance of the estate after the payment of any associated costs and tax liabilities. The law requires this to be done diligently and it is our job to help and guide you to do this.
We shall undertake the following steps as appropriate to this estate on the basis of the information you provide:
- Estimating the value of the estate after all the bills are paid and identifying any problems there may be before the beneficiaries can be given their entitlements. Estimating the length of time it will take to deal with all related matters. We shall tell you how long we expect this to be; and, as far as possible, what the cost will be. Dealing with any inheritance tax due – this has to be paid before we can obtain the Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry. Assess the need for any finalisation of the Income Tax position pre and post death (where appropriate maintaining existing relationships with the deceased advisers).
- Preparing all necessary papers for HM Revenue and Customs and the Probate Registry to obtain the Grant of Representation.
- Sending copies of the Grant to banks, building societies and others holding money and property. Some items may need to be sold and, of course, we will discuss this with you. (Larger and more valuable items may have to be professionally valued. Fees for this and other work for the estate will be paid from money in the estate).
- Collecting estate monies into our client account (where it will be subject to the protection of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s rules regarding solicitors firms handling of clients money). This helps us to start to prepare the estate accounts, which show the assets of the estate and payment of bills and legacies and distribution of residue. We should be able to let you know how matters stand at any particular time, should you wish it. Once the bills have been paid, it will be possible to start paying any smaller legacies if directed by a Will and effect interim distribution of residue. The final stages of our work involve obtaining confirmation from the HM Revenue & Customs that no more tax is due, finalising the accounts, handing over the remaining entitlements to the beneficiaries and obtaining their receipts or where appropriate setting up the necessary trusts which may arise.
The above list is meant to illustrate what can be involved and it is not intended to be exhaustive. Some steps may not apply and others not mentioned may be required.
Probate, Wills, Trusts & Tax Planning
Planning for retirement or organising a will is something many of us would rather put off for another day. But delay can leave you and those important to you at risk of unforeseen financial and tax problems.
The skills of our probate team are recognised not only within Cornwall, but also nationally and internationally. We have one of the largest departments of its kind in the area and our expertise is increasingly sought by overseas firms.
We offer comprehensive guidance on the preparation of wills, the proving and management of estates, trust administration, capital gains and inheritance tax, retirement planning, powers of attorney and court of protection issues.
Our team of skilled solicitors and legal executives aims to secure peace of mind for you and those you care about. We keep abreast of ever-changing tax and inheritance regulations to provide you with accurate advice and ensure your present and future needs are fully catered for.
Partner and head of Probate
Chartered Legal Executive
Having previously worked across Cornwall in this area of law, Teresa brings a wealth of experience to our team. She specialises in the preparation of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection applications and the administration of Probate estates to include both taxable and non-taxable estates. Teresa also advises on tax planning.
Teresa spent many years in the Devon and Cornwall Police Special Constabulary and has a wide experience of helping people in many ways and walks of life.
Chartered Legal Executive
Private Client Executive
With prior experience in London and Surrey firms and holding a Master's degree in Professional Legal Practice, Alisa can help you with your wills, powers of attorney, probate and deputyship applications. Committed to providing exceptional service in legal matters, Alisa is dedicated to ensuring clients' peace of mind and safeguarding their future.
Amelia graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Law in 2023.
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Probate, Wills & Trusts
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