If your relationship encounters difficulties, you will want sound and cost effective advice. We have many years’ experience and are able to offer an initial fixed fee interview to discuss your problems, how they may be resolved and how we can assist. We are aware that costs can be a concern and at the end of the meeting, will be able to provide a realistic estimate and time scale for the work to be completed.
If you are sure that your marriage or civil partnership has come to an end then we will assist you in completing the necessary formalities in a cost effective and sensitive way. If the proceedings are not contested, a court hearing is not normally necessary. We can ensure that the process goes smoothly and the necessary papers are completed accurately.
Either made in contemplation of future divorce, or by unmarried couples who wish to formalise their separation by recording an agreement reached between them. It is important that these documents are drafted correctly to ensure that all issues are addressed and that disputes about what was agreed do not arise later.
Financial Arrangements in Divorce
The Courts have a very wide discretion about dividing family assets between a divorcing couple and expert advice is essential in order to ensure that you receive your fair share. It is important that any agreement is formally recorded and preferably converted into a court order as until a court order is made, it is open to either party to reopen financial claims, possibly years later.
Residence, contact, parental responsibility, financial provision, child abduction and adoption are all matters where expert advice is essential.
Violence in the Home
You do not need to suffer unnecessarily. The law is there to help you and rapid and effective Court procedures are available to prevent intimidation or assault and in some cases the offender can be excluded from the family home.
There is no such thing as the "common law wife". The best course of action is to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement when the relationship starts. We can advise you on the legal consequences of living together and prepare a Cohabitation Agreement. We can also advise you on the implications of the new Civil Partnership Law.
Although not officially recognised in this country, the Courts are paying increasing attention to the contents of such agreements when the relationship breaks down. For further information please click here for our contact form.
It is always advisable to have a valid Will to ensure that your wishes are followed after your death. If you are married or in a relationship it is beneficial to you and your family for you to have prepared a Will. A Will is used to state your wishes after you have passed away and so is there to provide you with peace of mind that your money and other assets will be distributed as you wish and that your dependents will be taken care of. If you do not have a Will your assets will be divided according to the Rules of Intestacy.
We provide constructive advice on every aspect of preparing your Will and help you to make informed decisions in relation to your property and assets. We will draw up your Will making sure that provision is made for all the people important to you, advise you on your assets to ensure protection of your wealth and arrange for your Will to be signed. Where appropriate we will always recommend that you take independent financial advice before we prepare your Will.
We offer clear advice and prepare your document and arrange for it to be formally signed to ensure it is valid.
We provide you with a fixed fee for Wills and a discount if a couple are having identical or very similar Wills prepared.
Review of Existing Wills
It is important to have your will reviewed at major life events such as births, deaths, marriages and HYPERLINK "http://www.thomasogorman.com/family-law.html" \o "Thomas O'Gorman Solicitors - Divorce"divorces. You should also have your will checked and updated if your financial circumstances change significantly so that your estate is structured to minimise Inheritance Tax liability. We can look at any existing Will to see if it still meets your needs. We do not charge you a fee for providing this advice. If we advise you to prepare a new document we would then give you a fixed fee for the work to be carried out.
Storage of Will
We can store your original will in a fireproof safe here so that your will is in a safe place and can be easily accessed by your executors when the time comes.
We can visit you at your home or so you at our Office in Heswall.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
It is sensible to plan ahead and set out in advance what you would like to happen should you become unable to make decisions for yourself in the future.
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to select an individual, who must be over the age of 18, to act on your behalf.
There are two types:
• A property and financial affairs LPA for decisions about finances
• A health and welfare LPA is for decisions about both health and personal welfare
All LPA’s must be registered correctly before they can be used.
We are extremely experienced in dealing with LPAs. We take instructions, prepare the paper work and submit the papers for registration within a few days, providing reassurance and peace of mind.
We provide a fixed fee and can see you at your home or in our office. We are happy to have a no obligation discussion about the options that you have.
If someone close to you has recently lost mental capacity we can help you make an application to the Court of Protection to the effect that you should be appointed as your loved one’s Deputy meaning that you will then be able to make financial and other decisions on behalf of your loved one.
This is a complicated procedure, usually required at a stressful time. We prepare all the documents and ease you and your family through the process. We will provide you with a fixed fee and details of other costs such as the Court Fees and any other fees.
Probate is the term used for dealing with the affairs of someone who has died. It covers the whole range of situations, from dealing with a simple estate to a highly complicated one, whether there is a Will or not. Our fees are competitive. Our service is comprehensive and we are regulated and insured in accordance with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We are independent and local.
We will guide you through the process and keep you regularly updated.
If you are involved in proceedings in the County or High Court we can help.
Need to bring a claim? We can help. We deal with all aspects of General Litigation from small Claims to the larger disputes. We can provide you with the appropriate advice and where necessary we can instruct an experienced barrister to advice and assist in preparing papers. In all cases we will give you clear advice on the cost implications of running or defending a Claim.
Solicitors Specialising in Contested Wills
Contesting a Will (or contentious probate as it is often known) is sadly becoming increasingly common. It is however a specialist area of law and we strongly recommend that if you are thinking of Contesting a Will, you need to choose a Lawyer who is really experienced in this area. Our Jacqueline Campion has experience in this area and is also about to complete the last year of a 3 year Specialist course with ACTAPS (the association of trust and contentious probate Solicitors)
Reasons for Contesting a Will
Inheritance Claims– claims that dependants or family did not get 'reasonable financial provision' from the deceased’s estate under the Will or the intestacy rules (under the Inheritance Act 1975)
• Professional negligence claims against solicitors or Will writers arising from negligently drafted Wills
• Disagreements between executors
• That the deceased lacked mental capacity when making the Will
• That the testator made the Will under duress or undue influence.
• That the Will was fraudulent
• That the Will was not validly made in the first place
• That the Will had already been revoked and is not effective
• That the Will is not the last Will of the deceased
• Time limits for Contesting a Will
Any claims for Contested Wills must be made within six months of the grant of representation and ideally within six months of the death of the testator. If you are thinking of Contesting a Will, contact a specialist Contentious Probate Lawyer straightaway.
How much does Contesting a Will cost?
We offer a FREE initial consultation. At that stage we should be able to give you an estimate of our legal fees. You can then choose whether to go ahead with contesting the Will and decide whether you wish to instruct us.