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Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors

Lasting Power of Attorney and Deputyship – What’s the difference?

Lasting Power of Attorney and Deputyship - What's the difference

20th January 2021

It can be difficult to even think about planning for a circumstance in which you lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions. However, with dementia and other neurodegenerative condition rates on the rise in the UK, it helps to be prepared and knowledgeable about what your options are in the event that one day you need to be. 

Appointing  attorneys under Lasting Powers of Attorney give you an option to choose people you trust to manage your affairs if you lose capacity. That opportunity is lost to you if you lose mental capacity. The only alternative is for your loved ones to apply for  Deputyship application at the Court of Protection so the latter process is very expensive, time consuming and has yearly responsibilities to the Court of Protection. 

 The two processes are different but the option you have depends on whether you have capacity or not. 

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to assist you in making decisions, or make decisions for you (as your “attorney”), in case you lose the mental capacity to do so. The appointed person is known as the attorney, and you can choose an individual or multiple people to act as your attorneys. 

There are two types of LPAs. One for  Health and Welfare, the other for Property and Financial Affairs.  It is always best to have both.. A Health and Welfare LPA will give the attorney the power to make decisions about  your health, for example choosing a care home, consenting to having an operation if you are unable to do so, implementing your Do Not Resuscitate instructions or your Living Will.   A Property and Financial affairs LPA will give the attorney the power to make financial decisions, for example paying bills, managing bank accounts, selling a home, and other financial issues. 

To create an LPA, you need to choose your attorney or attorneys, fill out the correct forms, and register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. 

What is a Deputyship Order?

A Deputyship Order is a legal document appointing a person to act as a “Deputy” for someone who has already lost the mental capacity to make their own decisions. In this case, it is not possible to appoint an LPA. Instead, a Court of Protection will appoint a Deputy to act on behalf of the incapacitated person.

To create a Deputyship, a person must apply to the Court of Protection and have their application reviewed by a judge. Like an LPA, a deputyship can be for health and welfare or for property and financial affairs.

What are the differences? 

Mental Capacity

Mental capacity is the ability to make your own decisions. To set up an LPA, a person must have mental capacity at the time they create the document. In the case of a Deputyship, the Deputy is appointed after the person has lost their mental capacity. 

Cost and Timing

Creating an LPA generally takes between eight and 12 weeks and costs £82 to register each document with the Office of the Public Guardian if your income is over £12,000pa. In the case that you lose your mental capacity, your attorney can start acting on your behalf immediately. 

If you lose mental capacity without an LPA in place, a Deputyship application can take between six and twelve months to set up. In addition, it costs at minimum £365 per application, and the fees often go up from there. Because it takes so long to set up a deputyship, this can impact your ability to quickly pay bills or set up care. 

Choice and Control 

When you set up an LPA, you have the ability to stipulate who will be in charge of your affairs and what powers they have. You can choose anyone over the age of 18 to be your attorney, and you can decide whether your attorney or attorneys can act independently or together. This helps ensure you retain input into how your affairs are handled.

In the case of a Deputyship, the family normally apply to the court to be your Deputy but if there is no one who can apply then the Court will appoint a professional Deputy.  

Supervision

A Court-appointed Deputy is under more supervision than an attorney in order to help protect the incapacitated person from financial abuse. The Deputy must make an annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian that details all expenditures made on behalf of the incapacitated person. In addition, the Deputy must take out an annual security bond, which acts as insurance for the incapictated person in the case the Deputy mismanages their funds. 

An attorney and an LPA is under much less strict supervision. Unlike a Deputy, they are not obligated to report to the Office of the Public Guardian. While the Court can step-in if there is evidence an attorney is acting improperly, they are not monitored to the same degree as a deputy. 

Be Prepared

We know that thinking about the future can be stressful but the situation is worse if there are no attorneys appointed and it’s more expensive both in terms of time and money. We believe that everyone should be treated with respect, kindness and receive a personal service that meets their needs in a relaxed, un-rushed environment. 

Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors is here to help you prepare for the future and ensure your wishes are followed, which is why our expert legal team specialises in Lasting Power of Attorney, Wills, Probate and Equity Release. 

Don’t wait for life to happen – Get in touch today to learn more about our LPA services and gain the peace of mind that your future is taken care of.

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Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors

The Pandemic and Its Effects on English Probate Law

The Pandemic and Its Effects on English Probate Law

10th January 2021

The death toll is rising across the country, and with it, thousands of people are inheriting their loved one’s estate. While trying to grieve, the estate’s executors have to deal with the legal side of their relative’s untimely passing. 

It is difficult for those responsible for carrying out their family member’s last wishes. The stress the family goes through is impacted depends on whether their loved one left a Will or not. Building societies, law firms, and banks are all needed to assess the value of properties and complete documents to distribute the deceased’s estate accordingly. 

COVID-19 is affecting everyone in various ways, from health issues to legal ones. You need to have all the information possible when executing the estate of your loved one, so let’s address some of the ways in which the lockdown has affected probate law in the UK.

What is Probate?

The word “probate” is thrown around liberally when the subject of inheritance comes about after someone dies. Probate is the process of administering a loved one’s estate. If a person has left a Will it will be sent to the Probate Registry before their assets can be given to their loved ones.  The process is easier if there is a Will because we know what the person wanted. 

If the person didn’t leave a Will when they passed,  the intestacy laws will apply.  Intestacy is the law that determines who inherits and who is entitled to the estate. Intestacy laws  will also determine who will administer the estate if there isn’t a will. The administrator is chosen from the list prescribed by law.  

By obtaining the letters of administration, the first step is complete, and the administrator can start the legal process of administering of finding out what assets and liabilities the dearly departed had before distributing the estate to the surviving loved ones. 

How Has the Pandemic Affected Probate Law in England and Wales??

Managing the estate of your loved one is hard.  COVID-19 has made it more difficult. . The restrictions  to help keep everyone safe have made it even more challenging. Registering the death, valuing their assets, applying for the grant of probate or letters of administration is taking much longer. Before the pandemic it used to take ten days; it now takes between 6 months and a year.

#1. Registering a Death

When a loved one passes, it is vital to register the death within five days of the deceased passing. In England and Wales, most Registry Offices are offering telephone meetings to register a death. 

You can locate your local office by using the Government’s Website to find out where you can call to set up an appointment. While the appointment is free, you will have to pay a fee for each death certificate. The document will then be sent to you in the post.

#2. Banking Institutions

The deceased bank or other financial institution may not be open or operating at full capacity at this current time. Therefore it will take longer for them to provide us with the finances at the date of death. You will need to contact their financial institution to see if you can come in to manage your loved one’s account or if they will be able to do it over the phone.  

#3. Valuation of Property

Physical valuations are challenging to obtain with real estate agents either being closed or overwhelmed with the requests due to the staggering amount of deaths from COVID-19. Instead, an estimation can be used until a physical one can be completed. Physical valuations are vital if an estate is liable to pay an inheritance tax or near the threshold.

#4. Obtaining the Grant of Probate

When you obtain the death certificate you will know whether you need to engage a probate solicitor to ensure the probate is done correctly. You will require one if the estate has property or if the assets are in the deceased’s sole name. Most law offices have modified hours or do video or in-person  meetings to go over the information collected with you. 

If done by video, the probate solicitor will gather the information, prepare the application, and send the paperwork through the post for you to approve.  Once you are happy with the application, you can submit it to the probate registry. The grant of probate will be sent back to you through the post once it has been approved. 

Choose the Right Solicitor for Your Probate Needs

Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors personalises its probate services according to every particular circumstance, and our lawyers are experts in managing and walking you through every step of the process.

Because we know this is a challenging time and a difficult process, we’ll work at a pace comfortable for you. Because we have spent more than a decade specialising in just such affairs, we work tirelessly to make this process as easy as possible on you while being efficient and effective in closing the estate. And because we know that circumstances can change rapidly, we provide the flexibility you need to handle all legal proceedings surrounding the passing of a loved one.

Let us help you manage your responsibility as executor and get you and your loved ones the closure they need. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us and let us help you move forward and ensure that your loved one’s estate is wound up properly.

Categories
Wills

Why Having a Will Is Important at Any Age

pen

30th December 2020

We all hear how uncertain life can be — and that saying applies to both the extraordinary and devastating surprises that may come along. 

No one wants to think about life’s challenges or death, especially at a young age, but it is essential to think about what will happen when that day comes. 

A will is a legal document that primarily answers a very important question:

What will happen to your belongings if you die?

We never know when we might pass away. So, it’s important to plan ahead so your estate goes to people you have chosen. 

What Happens when you die?

If you do not make a will, your estate will be divided according to the law on intestacy. 

If you leave a will, it allows you to choose your executors who will distribute your belongings according to your wishes. 

 Do you have Children?

If you have children under 18 when you die, you need to appoint guardians to look after them if you and the other parent are not around. I advise that two guardians be appointed in case one is unable to act for any reason.

What Happens to Your Possessions?

Your children, parents, friends, or pets can also benefit from your will if you specify what you want. We try our best to be in control of our future, and it’s important to also have control over who will organize your estate, your assets, dependents, pets, accounts, and property.

Your Pets

  • Who will care for your pets? 
  • How will long-term care, such as pet food and veterinary care, be paid for? 

Your Belongings

  • Who will inherit your assets — bank accounts, property, vehicles, etc?
  • Who will inherit your belongings — furniture, clothes, etc?

No Friends or Family?

A will is important even if you don’t have direct beneficiaries. For example, if you have a favorite charitable organization, you can name that charity as your beneficiary. Inheritance Tax laws vary from country to country, but many taxes will generally be reduced if you leave 10% of your estate to a charitable cause, any inheritance tax that has to be paid is reduced from 40% to 36%.

Let Us Help

Making a will is not always the top of priorities when a person is thinking about school, travel, marriage — and all the wonderful things life has in store to offer. 

Knowing that the unexpected can happen are all good reasons to write a will when you are in sound mind.

Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors can help you create your will. Don’t wait — contact us today to get started. 

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

How to Create a Lasting Power of Attorney During the COVID-19 Pandemic

LPA

20th November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many complications in many areas of people’s lives. Finances are no exception to the number of issues created by the lockdown.  

People who need assistance completing tasks, such as shopping or going to the bank, now need to wear a protective mask and practice social distancing from the person who would generally help them. With everyone’s health at risk, there’s no better time to make sure you have someone assigned to help you.

With all of the lockdown’s complications, sometimes it’s unclear who is entitled to make these decisions for people who need help. In some situations, this could even be life-threatening for some people–as they often need assistance with their most basic needs. 

This issue could mean that it’s time to get a Lasting Power of Attorney. 

Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will help resolve all these issues and ensure the person-in-need has the care they need.

What is an LPA?

An LPA is a document that authorises  a person or people to manage affairs on behalf of someone unable to do so. There are two different kinds. One of the documents  is for Property and Finances. The other is for Health and Welfare. 

LPA’s were created in October 2007, after the Mental Capacity Act of 2005. Before 2007, Enduring Powers of Attorney were used. They are still valid if they were signed before 1st October 2007.. 

Why Now?

The person-in-need (donor) typically would  authorise  trusted friends or family (attorneys) to manage their affairs on their behalf if they lose the capacity  to do so. Attorneys can use the Property and Finance LPA with the donor’s consent while the donor still has competence. If the donor spends time in the hospital or is shielding, this document can be extremely useful. 

During Quarantine

Each year, 15% of LPA’s get completed incorrectly. It’s not just a form that you will fill out, but it’s something that someone should finish in detail–ensuring those involved meet the donor’s needs adequately. I am able to advise the attorneys what their duties will be and that they will be regulated by the Office of the Public Guardian. The requirements should include the clarity of how much flexibility the donor wants the attorneys to have. 

If someone files an LPA incorrectly, it could cause many difficulties for the attorneys if the donor becomes incapacitated. Having a solicitor to prepare the documents for you is the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen. 

The hardest part about creating a Lasting Power of Attorney  in a quarantine situation is getting signatures witnessed. A solicitor can help you figure out how to deal with this. 

What Information Do You Need?

To prepare an LPA, you need to know:

  • Whether or not you desire the Attorneys to make all decisions together, or whether you want some decisions made separately. 
  • Names, dates of birth, and physical addresses of those you want as your Attorney.
  • Do you want anyone to act as a backup if one or more of your Attorneys cannot do the job? If so, you also need their name, date of birth, and address.
  • Is there someone you can ask to act as your certificate provider? This person can certify that you know what you are doing, understand what the LPA does and the power it confers, and not under any pressure or influence to create the document. When instructed, a solicitor prepares your LPAs. They will then generally act as your certificate provider, but if this is not possible in the current circumstances, other people can.
  • If there is anyone with concerns about the appointment of any of your Attorneys or anyone who should know about the LPA

What Happens Next?

Once the document is signed and dated correctly, we will register it with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to enable your attorneys to use it. This task will ensure usage if you lose the capability to make decisions in the future. 

The OPG generally takes about three months to register an LPA without objections. With the pandemic situation, longer delays may occur as well. 

The OPG will return the LPA perforated at the bottom of the document to show that they have registered it. We will let you know when we receive your Lasting Power of Attorney so that you can either pick it up from our office or we can send it to you by post.  This document will be the only original document received and must be kept in a safe place. 

We Can Help

We know that thinking about the future can be stressful. We believe that everyone should be treated with respect, kindness and receive a personal service that meets their needs in a relaxed, un-rushed environment.

Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors is here to help you prepare for the future and ensure your wishes are followed, which is why our expert legal team specializes in Lasting Power of Attorney, Wills, Probate and Equity Release. .

Don’t wait for life to happen – Get in touch today to learn more about our LPA services and gain the peace of mind that your future is taken care of.

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Probate

Understanding the Risks of DIY Probate

Books

10th November 2020

When it comes to protecting your assets, you want a knowledgeable solicitor to administer your estate. Many people tend to handle estates themselves, especially if a family member dies. It’s understandable to consider doing it yourself, but as many quickly realize, this can be a much taller order than expected.

There are countless resources available online to help aid you through the process. If your estate is simple your loved ones will be able to administer it. 

But, if you’re not a professional, you may miss things that could cause major problems down the road. As an experienced solicitor, I understand the pitfalls that can occur. I want to guide you through a few of the major risks of DIY probate. 

Risk #1: Checking the Will and Assets

It would help if you made sure that the Will in your possession is the deceased’s last Will. This issue may seem simple, but another Will may exist that would void the previous one. Having another Will come up after you have dealt with the estate could be catastrophic. 

In addition to the Will, a thorough evaluation of all the assets needs completion. You could miss old bank accounts, premium bonds, the holding of shares, gifts, and many other things easily. 

Hiring a professional to survey the details helps decrease the risk of missing something. If you miss something when you do it yourself, you could be personally liable for it and may have to pay out of pocket later on. 

Risk #2: Interpretation

Reading a Will is one thing, but interpreting it is another. Sometimes they are handmade and not easy to understand. Sometimes the wishes are unable to be fulfilled, which could cause even further complications. This problem could come from a missing beneficiary or an asset that no longer exists. 

There are rules laid out in legislation about what should happen in these instances. When you hire a professional, you help eliminate the risk of mistakes.  

Risk #3: Personal Liability

As the executor of the estate, you could be liable for unpaid debts. This liability means you will have to pay out of your pocket if you don’t receive the due inheritance. This problem could happen for several reasons, including not obtaining the real market value for a property. 

You could also have an unknown beneficiary come forward after the estate is distributed, or there could be an outstanding tax bill. Ignorance is not something you can plead if this happens, so the risk is very high. 

All estate debts need payment before any beneficiaries receive compensation. The single way to avoid liability is to make sure the estate is dealt with appropriately. You need a specialist solicitor with the training and experience to get the job done to do this. 

Risk #4: Calculating Taxes

Most estates have tax issues. More estates these days are now liable for inheritance tax (IHT). When an estate exceeds value at £325,000, IHT can charge up to 40 percent of the value exceeding the amount. 

Since many properties are worth that amount and more, it makes sense that many come with the IHT band. 

Many tax reliefs and exemptions are available. Some of these include charitable legacies, business assets, and your primary residence. The rules aren’t simple, and inaccurate calculations could mean that you pay the wrong amount. You could end up having to pay beneficiaries out of your pocket, and you will be responsible for all of it. 

IHT needs early payment. With this responsibility, it could cause financial issues. You may not have the money available just yet. As executor, you will be responsible for paying it. It may be tempting to pass the responsibility onto a beneficiary, but it is not worth the risk.

 Even if you trust the beneficiary, there are cases where the beneficiary has backed out or even ran off with the money. This situation will still leave the executor responsible. 

Other details should be considered, such as lifetime gifts that could create more IHT. Income tax could also be payable on trusts and rental properties. 

Risk #5: Risking Unexpected Claims

The rise in extended families means a higher risk for unexpected claims by unknown beneficiaries. You could deal with the estate yourself, pay all the heirs, and someone could suddenly come forth with a formal claim that they are entitled to a share of the estate. This issue could blow all of your plans out of the water.

The only way you could avoid personal responsibility for this is if you have publicly notified creditors of the death through the correct newspaper sources. This practice isn’t a strict legal requirement, but it helps protect you if a claim arises. 

We’re Here to Help

Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors is here to help you through your probate challenges. Don’t risk unnecessary complications, contact us today to get started, and make sure you and your family are in good hands. 

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Probate

The Probate Process: Applying for Probate and Taking Next Steps

Applying For Probate

24th July 2020

When a loved one passes, it’s already a difficult enough time without added stress. On top of that, it can be a challenging process taking on the complicated duties of administering the estate, but that’s exactly what the executor of a Will and an estate has to do.

This is called the probate process, and it involves calling in assets, paying off any remaining debts, and paying any applicable inheritance taxes. All of that comes before distributing the estate according to the Will of the deceased or, worse, dealing with the rules of intestacy if the deceased died without leaving a Will.

Most of the time, a probate lawyer is best equipped to help an executor through this process, but before going to that step, it’s important to understand the process first. The exact steps and details may vary according to the Will and other factors, but what follows is a basic summation of the process.

Apply for a Grant of Probate

The person designated as the executor of the Will must file for a Grant of Probate with the probate court. This is the process of asking for legal recognition of executor status and permission to represent and administer the estate.

Additionally, the executor has to file the Will and a death certificate with the court along with any other documents the jurisdiction may require. The court will then hold a hearing to approve the executor. This is also the stage where the court will hear any objections from other parties regarding the executor.

If the deceased did not leave a will, the court will decide how to administer the estate, or a relative of the deceased, commonly the next of kin, may petition to become the executor.

Give Notice and Take Inventory of Assets

Assuming the executor is approved and obtaining the Grant of Probate succeeds, it is now time to notify all creditors, beneficiaries, and heirs that the estate is in probate. The exact means of doing this may vary by local laws.

At the same time begins inventorying all assets and appraising their values. This includes but is not limited to financial accounts (bank, retirement, etc.), stocks and bonds, real estate holdings, and valuable personal items (art collections, automobiles, and jewelry are some examples).

Take Care of Remaining Bills and Debts

Before distributing assets to beneficiaries and heirs, it is necessary to close out any outstanding debts. This can be a time-consuming process because it often requires extensive scrutiny of records, accounts, and the like.

Likewise, the executor has to pay all applicable income and inheritance taxes.

To pay these debts, the executor will use the estate’s assets. In the event that the estate cannot cover all debts, the court will have to take over and prioritize the remaining claims against the estate.

This works the other way as well. If there is money owed to the estate, such as through paychecks, rent owed by tenants, and other forms of owed compensation or remuneration, the executor sees that those obligations are met.

If there are disputes between creditors and the estate, it’s best for the executor to seek representation by a probate lawyer immediately if he or she has not already done so.

Establishing an estate account to pay bills and other expenses makes this part of the process easier to manage.

Distribute the Rest of the Estate

Now that all debts have been covered, it is time to distribute the remaining assets according to the instructions in the Will. This is the stage where there might be disputes between the executor and beneficiaries, and this possibility is another persuasive argument for hiring a probate lawyer to help steer the executor through what can be a protracted, complicated, and occasionally bitter process.

Finally, Close the Estate

With all debts paid and assets distributed, the executor submits all records and receipts to the court and petitions for the estate to be closed. Once the court grants that, the executor is released from that role.

Probate Service by Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors

By now, you likely appreciate that the task of being the executor of an estate and managing the probate process is a daunting one even when everything goes smoothly. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all this on top of the stress surrounding the deceased’s passing. When there are disputes or when the Will is unusually complicated, things can get even more difficult to sort out.

Sometimes an executor desperately needs help. Sometimes an executor really prefers not to manage this process at all and would rather entrust it to a skilled professional solicitor.

Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors personalises its probate services according to every particular circumstance, and our lawyers are experts in managing and walking you through every step of the process.

Because we know this is a challenging time and a difficult process, we’ll work at a pace comfortable for you. Because we have spent more than a decade specializing in just such affairs, we work tirelessly to make this process as easy as possible on you while being efficient and effective in closing the estate. And because we know that circumstances can change rapidly, we provide the flexibility you need to handle all legal proceedings surrounding the passing of a loved one.

Let us help you manage your responsibility as executor and get you and your loved ones the closure they need. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us, and let us help you move forward and ensure that your loved one’s estate is wound up properly.

Categories
Wills

Do I Need A Will?

Wills

22nd April 2020

10 Compelling Reasons to Write A Will

The concept of preparing a will can seem daunting and let’s face it, nobody enjoys raising the subject of their eventual death among loved ones. For the procrastinators among us, it’s often overlooked as ‘something I must get around to doing when I have time’ and for many, that time never comes. You can read more about that scenario in our article titled ‘What is Probate?’.

Another common justification for avoiding the process is simply the assumption that it wouldn’t be a necessary thing to do for someone who doesn’t own high value assets.

At Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors, we specialise in will writing and helping our clients understand the importance of documenting even the most inexpensive assets which may have huge sentimental value to a loved one following their death.

In this article we share 10 compelling benefits of preparing a will as we aim to bust a few myths on the topic and demonstrate the importance of writing even the simplest of wills.

  • To ensure that on your death, your estate passes to beneficiaries of your choice and excludes you specify. This can include specific sentimental items that you’d live a nominated person to receive.
  • To save your heirs from considerable time, trouble and expense incurred as a result of you not having a will.
  • To make sure that your assets are passed to the partner you live with in the event that you’re not married or in a registered civil partnership. The law doesn’t automatically recognise partners who live together and without a will in place, your partner could be left with nothing.
  • To protect any children or dependents who may not be able to care from themselves. Without a will, there could be uncertainty about who will look after and provide for your children or dependants following your death.
  • To legally document any changes to your circumstances e.g. marriage, divorce, separation or children. Changes to your circumstances could make all or part of a previous will invalid or inadequate.
  • To help ensure that your heirs save significant amounts of inheritance tax and to understand how inheritance tax affects what you own.
  • To plan efficiently for tax purposes regarding any property you own outside of the UK.
  • To manage any tax and administration issues if you were born outside of the UK or if you have long term connections outside of England & Wales.
  • If You have assets that could be put into trust before your death. wills only take effect upon death and it may be appropriate for you to put assets into a trust during your lifetime as this could have significant tax benefits.
  • If you made a will without the help of a trusted expert, you may have made a mistake which may cause problems for your family or friends after your death.

If you have any questions about the necessity of preparing a will or updating an existing will in relation to your personal circumstances, please contact Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based in Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]

Categories
Conveyancing

Equity Release

Conveyancing | Equity Release

22nd April 2020

Why You Need A Solicitor To Act On Your Behalf

Many people find themselves needing access to more cash during retirement or in later life. In a scenario where you don’t have enough savings, there are ways to use the value of your home to boost your finances.

At Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors, we support our clients with the conveyancing process after your Financial Advisor or Mortgage Advisor has explained the different Equity Release options available to help you extract cash from your property.

Equity Release is only available to people aged over 55 and is paid back on the sale of the property.

The Conveyancing Process

After your Financial Advisor or Mortgage Advisor has helped you with the right financial product, Equity Release provider such as Nationwide or Legal and General will make you a mortgage offer.

They will ask you to nominate a Conveyancing Solicitor to act on your behalf. Equity Release is one of our core services at Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors so we are well placed to assist by executing the following process:

  • We will organise an appointment to meet you, face to face or online.
  • Advise you about the Mortgage Deed together with the accompanying documents from the Equity Release Provider.
  • Send all the documents to the Equity Release Provider’s Solicitor.
  • Answer any additional enquiries that the Equity Release Provider’s Solicitors will raise.
  • Send the equity release monies to you on receipt.

For more information about whether we can help represent you as your Equity Release Conveyancer, get in touch with Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based in Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]

Categories
Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers Of Attorney (LPA)

22nd April 2020

A Guide To Understanding The Different Types Of LPA

When it comes to giving someone Lasting Power of Attorney, there are a few fundamental things to note about the different types and what they mean. In this article, Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors has outlined the options that can be put in place to give you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs.

If you’re aged 18 or older and have the mental ability to make financial, property and medical decisions for yourself, you can arrange for someone else to make these decisions for you in the future if there comes a time when you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. This legal authority is called “lasting power of attorney” and will give people that you nominate the power to make decisions on your behalf.

The person who is given power of attorney is known as the “attorney” and must be over 18 years old. You are known as the “donor”.

There are 2 different types of LPA:

Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

A personal welfare LPA gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your daily routine in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions. This can include washing, dressing, eating, medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining medical treatment.

Property & Financial Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Property and financial affairs LPA gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your money and property, including managing your bank or building society accounts, paying bills, collecting your pension or benefits and, if necessary, selling your home.

Once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, it can be used immediately or held in readiness until required.

It’s generally recommended that you set up both a personal welfare LPA and a property and financial affairs LPA at the same time and many people do this while reviewing or revising their Will. You can read more about the benefits of preparing a Will in our article titled ‘Do I need a Will?’.

For more information about LPA’s or advice on registering an Attorney, get in touch with Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based in Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]

Categories
Probate

What Is Probate?

Applying For Probate

22nd April 2020

A SIMPLE GUIDE TO THE STAGES OF PROBATE

Managing the financial and property related affairs of a loved one when they die is never easy. At Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors, we have prepared a simple guide to talk you through the steps required when administering a dead person’s estate.

The entire administration process is called ‘Probate’. In a nutshell, this process involves organising the finances, assets and possessions of the deceased and distributing them as inheritance – after paying any debts and taxes.

Every estate and every Will is different so the process will vary according to the instructions left in the Will and the assets, creditors and beneficiaries the estate has. You can read more about the benefits of writing a Will in our article titled ‘Do I need a Will?’

If you have been appointed an Executor in somebody’s Will, you are responsible for carrying out probate. There are four main stages to the process:

  • Assessing the total value of the estate and whether it’s liable for inheritance tax.
  • Apply to the probate registry for a grant of probate and submit an inheritance tax form to the tax office.
  • Pay any inheritance tax that is due and swear an oath at a Solicitors office or a probate registry.
  • Administer the estate by gathering in assets, paying off any debts and distributing what is left according to the Will.


For more information about applying for probate or the probate process including how long it takes and how much it costs, get in touch with Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based in Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]