As with most legal matters, the details surrounding Probate can seem daunting at times. For the most part, Solicitors try to put things in a clear and concise manner, but there are times when they are bound by laws, rules and convention to be precise.

Leading Rotherham-based outfit, Oxley & Coward offer free half hour consultations and can also visit you at home or carry out  hospital visits if you can’t get in to see them

Peace of Mind In Tough Times

It is natural to be concerned about your future care, or care for your loved ones, as you become older.

When it comes to legal matters, their advice is to make sure you’ve got cover in place, avoiding problems arising at what may already be a time of crisis.

At Oxley & Coward their solicitors take a sensitive, professional and transparent approach. Whether it’s advising you on the preparation of your Will, Lasting Power of Attorney or Court of Protection application, or giving you the advice needed to deal with the administration of a loved one’s Estate.

Wills

If you die without having a Will in place (intestate), the law will decide to whom your Estate passes. Many assume that it automatically pass to their nearest and dearest, however this is not always the case. Whether you require a simple Will, or something more complex, involving Trusts and protection of assets, our expert team offers sensitive, professional yet practical advice tailored to meet your individual requirements.

Having a professionally drafted Will in place is the best way to ensure peace of mind.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

Completing a LPA, and having it officially registered, is the way to ensure that the people you trust (your Attorney/s) can make important decisions on your behalf if you become mentally or physically incapable of doing so. There are two types of LPA, Property and Affairs and Health and Welfare.

Once registered, a Property and Affairs LPA can be set up to allow your Attorney to act on your behalf, including managing a bank or building society account or, paying your bills. Having an LPA in place does not restrict your right to control your affairs as long as you are able to do so.

A Health and Welfare LPA provides the option of authorising your Attorney to give consent (or refuse consent) to life sustaining treatment if it is in your best interests.  It can only be used after registration and, if you are unable to make or communicate your own decisions in the future.

Oxley & Coward can tailor-make either type of LPA.  For example, they can include legally binding conditions where appropriate or, non-binding guidance, as words of comfort for you.

Court of Protection Applications

There may come a time when a family member or friend is unable to make significant decisions for themselves. Illness, such as dementia, a stroke or perhaps an accident or brain injury, are all too common.

Without a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney in place, it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection. In this case an appropriate Order is obtained to authorise a Deputy to act on their behalf and in their best interests.

Appointed by the Court of Protection, the Deputy manages the property and affairs, and in some cases the Health and Welfare, of someone who lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions.  A Deputy is usually a family member or friend, but in some cases it can be a Solicitor or other professional.

You can apply to be appointed as Deputy for your loved one, and if you are appointed, you will receive a Court Order advising on what you can and cannot do, to act in a person’s best interest, as set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice.

Again Oxley & Coward have a wealth of experience in applying for Deputyship orders and are happy to advise you on individual circumstances, with Partners that are also professionally appointed Deputies experienced in the practices of the Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian.

Estate Administration

When a loved one dies, we understand that it can be one of the most emotionally distressing times of your life. Probably the last thing on your mind is dealing with their property and affairs.  Unfortunately, at some point these matters have to be addressed, and we can help and assist you throughout this process.

If your loved one has left a Will, you will probably be told by various institutions that they require sight of a Grant of Probate.  If they have died without a Will (intestate) they will be asking for a “Grant of Administration” or a “Grant of Representation”.

As well as administering their estate or advising on the provisions of the Will, we can discuss with you the duties and responsibilities of Executors named in the Will, or Administrators on intestacy.

Your solicitor can apply to the Court for the Grant of Representation, collect in assets, distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of their Will (or the rules of intestacy) and advise on taxation issues. Ultimately, they can assist you as little or as much as you wish, at different levels dependent on your needs, and in such a way that you can decide how we help you.