Why is there a need to undertake Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts with an Experienced Adviser?
Educating: For our clients, primarily there is a strong need for understanding of the options for using trusts within Will structures. Trusts still play a large role in protecting your estate to pass to your children or next beneficiaries and better protected from claims of 3rd parties. Many people still to this day do not fully appreciate the reasons for the use of Trusts as part of their Estate Planning. Thus for the family or individual, a high degree of expertise is needed from the adviser at the outset. Having full and proper advice is essential.
Passion for the subject: The adviser must have the drive, passion and energy for spending time to educate his/her clients properly and fully in the options that are available to them. If the effort is not made to educate, clients are often none the wiser and in fact may proceed without realising there are better options available.
Caring: Estate planning is very important for people as it is the case of protecting and passing a lifetime’s work in generating assets (as well as previous generations also).Some wills and estates practitioners simply do not dedicate the time and energy in providing full advice to clients. Likewise, an online will service will often not provide the level of care needed. Beware of advisers who simply ‘take instructions’ without going into detail as to options. Likewise, it is important that Wills and trusts are reviewed regularly with clients to ensure they retain enough knowledge of what they have put in place to still be confident and comfortable.
Skill at drafting: Robert has seen many poorly drafted wills, trusts and documents often stemming from using out of date precedents that include clauses that the drafter does not fully understand. He is genuinely concerned about a lack of care and attention given to the drafting process. A regular annual review would help in this regard but the importance of correct understanding in drafting is essential.
Transparency on fees: We publish our firm’s costs on our website and are fully transparent in our charges.
Why can’t these services be provided by others?
Our experience is that it is difficult to find advisers who are both expert trust and wills practitioners and who care enough to put in the time with their clients and to educate them sufficiently to understand all the aspects required to make informed choices. Experience is absolutely key. Likewise, continuity with the family, of the advice given of regular reviews, of the ideas and planning concepts is very important.
Why is the business located in London?
Robert currently divides his time between working from his London office as well as from his other base in Buckinghamshire/the Chilterns working and visiting clients who require his services. Robert advises many people from all over the UK, many of whom he has acted for over a number of years.
Robert has a passion for developing an expert firm in London for the reason that London surprisingly has a lack of specialist private client advisors in this area of the law. Law firms in London tend to focus on a number of corporate aspects and clients have expressed to Robert that they feel that Wills, Trusts and Estate elements are largely forgotten. Robert himself has a London family background and studied in London, and whilst he lives with his family in the Chilterns the city has a large place in his heart. London is not just a business and corporate world – of course every business comprises a number of individuals, often living in London or its surroundings, with families who require and need expert advice in managing and protecting what they have built up so it can pass on to their chosen beneficiaries.
The need is there to provide a different approach and that approach can only properly be provided by a firm that specialises in Estate planning work and who plants this fully at the forefront of its thinking.
Why is there a need to relate to people of all backgrounds and ages?
Trusts and estate planning are not just for the wealthy! Protecting what you and your parents/relations have built up over the years is an extremely important matter. Understanding people of different backgrounds is helpful. Being able to genuinely empathise is a crucial element of educating and helping our clients. You, our clients will be the judge of whether we have those necessary skills. In working, Robert has worked as a clerk, trainee, lawyer, partner, senior partner and founder of a law firm, he understands all aspects of undertaking legal-type work. He has acted for families of wealth, those with businesses, people with very little in terms of assets, individuals with personal issues, he is trustee for those with disabilities, he is both working-class and middle-class, loves a variety of sports, is married with a young family and also has a daughter in her twenties from a previous relationship, and also has elderly parents. This is nothing more and nothing less than most people but it is stated here to truthfully reflect that Robert has ultimately experienced much of what is at the forefront of the minds of clients and families when discussing matters of Estate Planning. Robert hopes he empathises and understands motives and reasons for anyone wishing to protect what they have built up for their chosen beneficiaries.
Why is there a need for continuity?
Robert understands that clients wish to review their arrangements on a periodic basis and to do so with someone who has advised them previously and helped them to shape Wills and other estate planning documents. We retain our client’s files and information digitally to help us to help you in reviewing over the longer term. Estate planning is often rather more than a one-off short term transaction; so it is beneficial to get to know Robert and he to know you.
Why is it important to be able to work effectively with other professional advisers?
It takes experience to understand and get to know the best professional advisors. Those can be lawyers (including barristers, property conveyancers, family lawyers, or other specialisations and facets of mainstream practice) but also accountants, IFAs, surveyors, insurers, and estate agents. To know how they operate and the skill and assistance they could bring you is really helpful. Knowing how they usually charge, their capacity to act swiftly or efficiently at a given time, their approach and ethos to cases or instructions and to which clients their services are best suited could bring you extra value in the Estate Planner role where you would not have thought previously possible.