Hudgell & Partners offer a range of services to meet the needs of elderly clients and their families as their circumstances change.
Our services include:
- Lasting powers of Attorney
- Court of Protection applications
- Will writing and Codicils
- Home and hospital visits for Will writing
- Advance directives
- Home equity release plans
- Elder abuse
- Probate and administration of estates
Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person that you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. It covers the financial and legal matters that concern you. An LPA needs to be completed and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian who will check the application to protect your interests. This can take 10 weeks and is only valid once it has been registered. An LPA enables the named person to pay bills, make decisions about your welfare and property. Talk to Emma Bland at Hudgell & Partners about when and how, and what to include when applying for a LPA .
Court of Protection applications
If you know or care for someone who is having difficulties making decisions about their personal health, finance or welfare, you may need to apply to the Court of Protection so that you (or someone else) can make decisions for them. We can help with the process of application to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy who can protect the person’s interests, or the appointment of a public trustee if there is no one willing or able to do so.
Will writing and Codicils
You do not have to make a will by law. However if you do so, your property, possessions and cash is distributed after your death in the way that you want rather than according to the law. It can cause your family distress and confusion if you leave no instructions. It can lead to the payment of costly estate duties that could be avoided with the writing of a will.
It is important to write a will when your circumstances change: having a baby, buying a property with someone, getting married, when a spouse dies, when grandchildren are born, getting divorced can all mean that making a new will is all worth while.
The cost of writing a will can vary and will depend on how complicated your affairs may be and the experience of the solicitor. Having all the information to hand can speed up the process and cut costs. Its important to think of how much money and property you have and who you want to benefit from your will. If you have children under the age of 18, think about who should look after them if you die. Decide who will be your executor: the person who sorts out your estate after your death and ensures that your wishes are carried out. This can be a friend or family member or a solicitor. Complete the Probate instruction form ahead of a meeting to collect up the necessary information regarding making your will to save time and clarify your wishes.
The definition of a Codicil is “a testamentary document which is an addition to a will”: it is used when adding extra words, removing a clause and adding a clause, for example when increasing or decreasing the size of a gift. Hudgell & Partners offer a fixed fee charge for amending wills originally drawn up for clients.
Home, hospital and care home visits for will writing
When it is not possible to visit the office to instruct your solicitor to write a will, contact Emma Bland to arrange home, hospital or care home visits. Visits can be arranged within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Borough of Lewisham, Borough of Bexleyheath and other areas of South East London by arrangement.
Advance directives or Advance decision
Both terms refer to a statement about what medical treatment you might want in the future should you become incapacitated as defined by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is also known as a ‘living will’. It relates to all future medical treatment and is legally binding in England and Wales. Like wills that cover property, Advance Decisions appoint a healthcare proxy, a person who may have Lasting Power of Attorney who ensures that your wishes are carried out. In addition it is important to have the document witnessed by two individuals who do not benefit from your death.
Hudgell & Partners have experience in creating these documents for clients that reflect their wishes. Contact Emma Bland email@example.com for further information or ring 0208 854 1331 to make an appointment.
Home equity release plans
You may find as you age that while you have capital tied up in property, you have little cash to pay current and future expenses. If you do not want to sell then you may wish to consider a well regulated Home equity release scheme. All have varying loan criteria, rates of interest, and customer benefits that may or may not match your own personal circumstances. Hudgell & Partners can advise on the advantages and disadvantages of Home Equity release plans and how they affect you legally. Contact Emma Bland firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or ring 0208 854 1331 to make an appointment.
Elder abuse is a single or repeated act of violence towards an older man or woman in a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes them harm or distress. This can include harm by people known to the victim: a spouse, a family member, a friend, neighbour or carers who provide services. Sadly, reports of this mistreatment are increasing. If you suspect this to be the case with someone that you know, Hudgell & Partners can advise on the next step to take. Contact Emma Bland email@example.com for further information or ring 0208 854 1331 to make an appointment.
Probate and administration of estates
When someone dies, leaving a will their estate will go to probate. When someone dies without leaving a will an administrator must be appointed. Irrespective of where your will is and which solicitor wrote it for you, it will need to go to probate. Probate is the means of proving the will and is the responsibility of the executor
What is “probate”?
Probate is literally the process by which a Court proves the will of a deceased person thereby allowing the executor named in the will to sign any document that the deceased could have signed whilst the deceased was alive. The Order granted by the Court is called a “Grant of Probate”. If someone dies without leaving a will, the next of kin apply for a “Grant of Letters of Administration” which is the equivalent Order where the deceased has not made a will. Again the Grant of Letters of Administration allows the next of kin to sign any documents that the deceased could have signed whilst the deceased was alive.
What is “administration of estates”?
This is a process by which the executor or administrator collects together the deceased’s paperwork, applies to the Court for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration and thereafter collects in the money and property into the deceased’s estate and distributes it amongst the relevant beneficiaries. It will also include finalising the deceased’s income tax affairs and paying where necessary any inheritance tax.
Hudgell & Partners can assist with the process of applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and can also assist with the administration of the estate. It is always worth seeking advice in relation to such matters as there can often be either an immediate liability to tax or a future liability if the matter is not dealt with properly. Please contact Emma Bland firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or advice, or telephone 020 8854 1331 to make an appointment.