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I deal with all aspects of Private Client work to include succession planning for businesses, administration of estates with domestic and international assets, tax and trusts, and legal issues affecting the elderly including advice on long term care funding. I have a particular interest in mental capacity law and the Court of Protection.
I am also one of only 68 solicitors nationwide to be elected to sit of the Office of the Public Guardian’s national panel of professional deputies to work with people who lack the ability to make decisions about their finances.
My cases typically require bespoke arrangements or remedies to meet the particular needs of the client, whether this be in the provision of tax or trust advice, or whether a client might find themselves unable to manage their own affairs and require a medical or care support framework to be implemented and managed.
My mum would say that my argumentative streak made me the perfect candidate for a career as a Lawyer. However I wanted a challenging career in an area that is always changing and affects all areas of life. I like meeting people and therefore I was particularly drawn to the private client aspect and I like numbers, which is probably why I ended up giving tax advice and dealing with people’s finances.
I act for some of the most vulnerable members of our society with regards to my court of protection work. I am often appointed as a deputy, when a previous deputy or attorney has been removed for misappropriation or mismanagement of funds, alternatively I am be appointed in situations where an individual has been lacking mental capacity for some time and therefore their financial affairs have not been managed and are often in disarray.
There can then be some complex issues to unravel but ultimately we get to a position where there is a structured plan in place, both in terms of finances and care. I find this particularly rewarding knowing that the best interests of the individual are being met.
With regard to the wealth management aspect of my job, I enjoy using my skills and knowledge to advise clients on a complex area of law and coming up with creative solutions and helping them make the best decisions in respect of their wealth and families inheritance.
Away from the office I am generally known as mum. I have 2 young, energetic boys who like to be entertained and taken to their weekend clubs. In my spare time I enjoy running and I am a member of the Hedge End Running Club. I have completed a number of marathons and half marathons throughout the UK & Europe.
Legal 500: "A Court of Protection expert noted for her ‘invaluable depth of knowledge and advice’"
Various articles in the STEP journal, financial times and local publications
“This week the government is introducing a number of rules for probate to make the process less reliant on solicitors. However, these relaxing of the rules are a cause for concern and confusion for all involved.
“When it comes to people going through the process of probate, something we’re seeing more of is people not understanding their obligations or what a ‘statement of truth’ actually means. Applications done without a professional will often miss out assets they did not know of or under declare assets. This is usually not intended maliciously but can create a real headache for those involved, create more expense and often has to be redone by a professional.”
“The OTS report on simplifying IHT published today, the first of two parts, makes some sensible and positive ideas but they all require action by HMRC at a time where Brexit dominates the headlines and legislative table.
“The more difficult issues needing even greater ideas to simplify the tax will have to wait until the second report in the spring – creating more delays to how inheritance tax works for everyday people. It looks like ‘improving the customer journey’, as HMRC puts it, might sit on the shelf until time permits.
This first report will help the public to understand how inheritance tax works, and it argues IHT is more of worry than it need be for some people. This downplays how urgently reform is needed – for instance, the need to ‘improve the journey’ is shown by about 50% of estates needing to submit accounts whereas only 5% pay the tax. That is quite out of proportion and so action is truly needed.”
“Care home fees are always something that gets pushed to the back of one’s mind. People think because it’s so far in the future, dedicating funds to it can wait while other big life spends happen like paying off a mortgage and bringing up children. This is leaving the public woefully unprepared for paying for a care home when they need it.
“The reality is that planning for care home fees should be up there with paying into a pension. The most basic personal finance advice advises paying into a pension as early as you can – so much so that the government introduced auto-enrolment schemes which will soon be increasing their minimum payment percentages. So why aren’t care home fees accounted for this early on as well?”
“Abuse of LPAs is increasing year on year as they become more common and sadly it’s much more prevalent than people realise. Every week there is a new story on an elderly or vulnerable person whose entire life savings have been drained in a matter of months, but these reports only scratch the surface.
“There is a complete lack of understanding surrounding LPAs and just how much power they give to a third party. They’re designed to help people but it can easily turn the other way if specialist help isn’t involved.”
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