It is likely that each of us, on an individual basis, will need legal advice and support at some point in our lives.  This may be in connection with what we wish to happen when we die, such as providing for our partners and spouses, our children and other family members. It may also concern ourselves directly, for example, because of issues regarding physical or mental health.  Sometimes, consideration of our personal and business assets may give rise to questions.  Often, you may be worried about someone other than yourself, such as a loved one.

We act for individuals, families, business and land owners in helping them plan for the future to ensure that their wishes come to pass without complication.  Where, unfortunately, circumstances arise which have not been planned for, we assist to minimise any difficulties which may arise.

Planning for your future starts by asking yourself a series of questions which might include:

  • If capacity became an issue, who would make decisions about my healthcare needs and where I should live?
  • Who would manage my bank accounts, my investments and property and how can I ensure that these are protected for me?
  • If I die, how can I decide who will inherit my assets and to what extent? Who would take care of my family and how can I ensure that they only benefit upon attaining a certain age or fulfilling certain conditions?
  • How can I protect my assets for the benefit of my family?
  • How can I look after my spouse or partner if something happens to me?
  • What tax implications will there be when I die and what can be done to limit these?
  • What can I do during my lifetime to protect my assets?
  • Will anyone be able to challenge my wishes or claim against assets passing to the beneficiaries I have chosen?
  • Can I give assets away during my lifetime?

If you are a business or land owner, questions may also include:

  • What would happen to my business if I became ill?
  • Who will succeed the family business?
  • Will a tax burden restrict the family business on my death?
  • Can I dispose of business assets during my lifetime?
  • How can my business assets be fairly distributed between my family?

Asking such questions and addressing the issues that can arise from them can, of course, be a daunting and emotive exercise.  Further, the ramifications can be financially severe or damaging to family relationships and dynamics if planning is never considered, done half-heartedly or attempted after taking incomplete and inadequate advice.

We recommend that you choose to undertake your own planning with professional legal advisors who are experienced and empathetic towards your concerns and needs and who are suitably qualified and knowledgeable to provide full in-depth advice in the relevant areas of capacity, estate, wealth and tax planning law.

Latimer Hinks is a specialist law firm providing bespoke and tailored legal advice and services.  We actively encourage our clients to explore fully the options available to them and consider the next generation and beyond as, often, what is best for them is dictated by thorough and extensive planning undertaken now.

We have an extensive knowledge and understanding in all areas of Private Client law usually only found in city-based law firms.  Our team consists mainly of members of recognised specialist practice organisations such as Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).  Many of our lawyers are Dementia Friendly trained.  With one of the largest and most professionally qualified and experienced Private Client teams in the North of England, we are well placed to serve our clients to the highest standard.

The key tools which enable us to go about this include Powers of Attorney, Wills and Trusts.  Effective planning may encompass more than one type of arrangement being put in place.

Timing is crucial where planning is concerned as it is often more difficult, and in some circumstances impossible, for arrangements to be put in place where capacity is in question.  Planning your affairs is therefore an exercise we recommend is undertaken sooner rather than later.  From our experience, clients who embrace this at an early stage in their life are significantly more comfortable when making alterations to their arrangements and tackling new issues which may arise as and when there are changes in their circumstances.