10 – Barnsley Chronicle, Friday, July 29, 2011
To advertise telephone (01226) 734666
People aren’t always aware of the complexities and assume probate work is straightforward. It is true that it can be, but it is just as true that sometimes it isn’t.
Expert advice: The help of a professional can save you time and money.
ost of us will need to call in a professional at some point in our lives, whether it’s for expert legal advice or help with number crunching. Solicitors in particular are one set of professionals that we often call upon as we move through different stages of life. As experts in law they can provide assistance with many issues, from buying a house to making a will. There are many different legal subjects solicitors deal with including property, tax, divorce,
injury, commercial, employment and family, so it’s important to find the right one for you. A firm of solicitors may offer a wide range of services, but individual solicitors often specialise in one or two subjects so it’s worth looking around to find a solicitor with an indepth knowledge in the area you require help. When searching for the right solicitor it’s also important to bear in mind those in private practices must hold a practising certificate issued by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority.
This guarantees the solicitor is qualified to practise and has insurance to protect you if anything goes wrong. Although solicitors are viewed by some as expensive, in the long run they can save you time and money. Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) has recently warned of the risks run by individuals who apply for probate and deal with an estate, without seeing a legal expert. SFE is an independent, national organisation of lawyers, which includes solicitors, barristers and legal executives, who specialise in providing legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. Its members say they have noticed an increase in probate ‘DIYers’ returning to them to seek advice when they have made a mistake or find the paperwork too tricky. A spokesman for SFE said: “People aren’t always aware of the complexities and assume probate work is straightforward. It is true that it can be, but it is just as true that sometimes it isn’t. “In all but the most straightforward cases, it is important to seek timely
‘Solicitors often specialise in one or two subjects so look around to find a solicitor with knowledge in the area you require.’
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specialist legal advice that can actually save you money and worry.” Many SFE members’ practices will offer to work in partnership with the deceased’s family to help and support them with the legal and technical work. As elder law specialists, members can even add value to their work, for example by identifying cases where money is owed to the estate for care funding, which should have been met by the NHS and assist in making a claim. And solicitors aren’t the only professionals who can help you plan a more secure future, saving money along the way. In addition to tax help, an accountant can help you manage all aspects of your financial life, saving you money now and planning for the years to come. Personal services offered by accountants include financial planning, asset and investment management, risk management, retirement and estate planning to name a few. For businesses, in addition to bookkeeping and financial services, many accountants will offer business advice and consultancy.
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