Our specialist Private Client Solicitors can provide straightforward, practical advice on a wide range of matters from Wills and Probate, Lifetime Trust and Tax planning through to Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection Proceedings.
We are a long established and highly regarded firm with offices in Cardiff, Newport, and Pontypool. We are happy to meet you at our offices, your home, or place of work.
Making a Will is a very important step to take, but many people leave it to the law to determine who inherits their estate on death. Having a professionally drawn up Will can easily prevent this. As well as ensuring that your wishes are followed, we can advise you on all necessary tax issues and ensure any Inheritance Tax implications are minimised through effective estate planning.
Our specialist Solicitors can provide up to date advice on all types of Wills to include Flexible Interest in Possession Wills, Discretionary Trusts, and Disabled Beneficiary Wills.
Regularly reviewing your current Will is just as important as making one in the first place.
Probate and the Administration of Estates
A Grant of Probate is a Court Order providing one or more person with the legal authority to deal with the administration of an estate. If there is a Will it is usually the Executors of the estate who are entitled to apply for the Grant of Probate. If there is no valid Will then it is usually the deceased’s next of kin who is entitled to administer the Estate. The law sets out a strict order of priority as to who may apply for the Grant in these cases, which is known as “Letters of Administration.”
We understand it can be a difficult and confusing time following bereavement. Our expert Solicitors are able to provide a clear, sympathetic, and complete service to ease the pressure off you and your family. We can also provide advice to beneficiaries on the variation of Wills to reflect family agreements and minimise tax implications.
Regardless or whether or not a Will was left our friendly and professional service is designed to give you peace of mind.
Please download our Free Practical guide to Bereavement
Trusts, Tax Planning and Wealth Preservation
Our tax system is very complicated and changes on a regular basis. We are able to provide you with up to date advice on the tax consequences of giving away your property during your lifetime, or by your Will and can help you to avoid paying too much tax where there are other options available to you.
A Trust is a useful tool to protect your assets for future generations. Drafted correctly they can be highly effective and tax efficient instruments, minimising and in some cases eliminating tax. Our Private Client Solicitors can create, administer, and wind up all manner of Trusts. Where appropriate, Watkins and Gunn Solicitors would be happy to act as your professional Trustees.
Powers of Attorney
Sometimes it can be difficult to deal with our own affairs; perhaps we are out of the country, temporarily hospitalised or possibly just finding it difficult to cope. There are a range of options available from general powers to comprehensive Lasting Powers of Attorney, which deal with not only financial and property matters, but also health and welfare matters. Our Solicitors can advise on the most appropriate power to assist you and your particular situation.
Applications to the Court of Protection
Should a loved one lose the ability to deal with their affairs, for example, they may develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and they do not have a Power of Attorney in place, then the Court of Protection will step in to protect the assets of vulnerable adults. The Court of Protection has the power to appoint people to manage your loved ones affairs but the procedure can be costly and time consuming. More important however, your loved one will have lost the right to chose who will have the responsibility for looking after their affairs at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
If a loved one does not have a Power of Attorney in place, our Solicitors are able to guide you through the Court process so that you can be appointed as a Deputy to deal with their affairs. We can also act as Deputy if preferred and have a wealth of experience in this role.
Care Charges, including NHS Continuing Care appeals
When a loved one requires care, whether in their own home, or elsewhere it can be a very emotional and difficult time for the family. The financial burden of the care system can create a great deal of worry and uncertainty. Our Solicitors are able to offer their expert advice about who should pay for care and how much should be paid. We have experience in challenging local authorities and local health boards and have successfully reclaimed money on behalf of our clients where is should not have been charged.
Our specialist Solicitors will offer a friendly, personal service in all areas and will guide you through all necessary legal documentation at every stage.