Pavilion Row: Daring to be Different!

8th Oct 2020
Specialists in Wills and Probate At a glance, we’re a specialist firm providing services in… ...
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Pavilion Row: Daring to be Different!

8th Oct 2020

Specialists in Wills and Probate

At a glance, we’re a specialist firm providing services in Wills, Powers of Attorney and Estate Administration (Probate). You’ll know many companies who provide similar services, with whom you might even pass referrals to. However, scratch the surface and you’ll see that we’re far more than your average private client firm. This isn’t us saying ‘’we’re so much better, everyone should be working with us’’… in fact, far from it. We aren’t for everyone and we remain comfortable in the fact that ‘everyone’ isn’t for us. You see, our values underpin who we are and ensure we’re able to consistently provide value to our introducers and their clients. We believe in delivering the best possible advice through highly trained and experienced staff giving a flexible, friendly and efficient service that is personalised to you.

But it doesn’t stop there. Here are 5 main reasons we’re happy to be different:

 

Looking for a long-term partnership?

Instead of looking at things from a numbers perspective and thinking about our next referral, we want to work with introducers who are interested in and can see the benefits of, building a long-term relationship. We want to get to know you and your client, to understand their needs as you do, to make them feel valued. In doing this we’re able to provide the client with first class service and also highlight any additional or future financial services opportunities, that can be passed back to you.

 

The tools to develop your client relationships and identify new opportunities.

We understand that talking about Wills or Estate Planning with your clients isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Our partnership means we’re genuinely interested in helping our introducers and their clients.  That’s why we offer full support and provide you with guided questionnaires and telephone support. Our questionnaires are carefully structured to help you nurture different conversations with your clients.

 

What is an ABS anyway, and why is this an advantage?

Pavilion Row is set up as an Alternative Business Structure. This means that whilst we are still regulated and protected in the same way a traditional law firm would be, we are able to modernise our client focussed approach in a way that traditional law firms perhaps can’t, ensuring your client receives dedicated, expert advice and support throughout. Is this really an advantage? – You bet! Not only do we specialise solely in Wills and Probate, but we’ve been able to develop our business for over 10 years to ensure a consistent client focussed approach. And we still have the same level passion, care and dedication as when we started! We’re a caring company with a professional but relaxed culture and every member of team is committed to their own training, development and growth.

 

Honest, Reliable, Advice.

In essence, this our essence. Our Brand Essence, that is. We have worked hard to develop our Brand, our culture and our values. You can rest assured that from first introduction to our 30th phone call, you and your client will know you’re getting honest, reliable advice, without false promises or hidden agendas. Our team are approachable, our processes are efficient, and our fees are totally transparent. Only by knowing the right questions to ask and understanding the importance of the answers can we be sure that we give the correct advice for what our clients need and want. For this reason, the company was founded on the basis that all our advisers are qualified to the highest level through the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

 

A STEP in the Right Direction.

STEP is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning otherwise known as ‘Wills and Probate’. STEP strive to improve public understanding of the issue’s families face in this area and promote and encourage education and impeccably high professional standards among their members. STEP qualification and training is something we are incredibly proud of. All of our advisors undergo STEP training and qualification and are wholly committed to their continued professional development in their respective areas. It takes a lot of time, energy and resources to remain consistently on top, but these are the standards we expect of ourselves, and the industry as a whole.

 

By demonstrating this commitment to the learning and development of our team, we became STEP employer partners which means that STEP have recognised and accredited our internal training; allowing us to operate to the highest standards. This means that you and your clients are guaranteed the very best advice and support throughout your journey – advice you rest assured is up-to-date and solely for the clients benefit.

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Wills: It’s the advice you pay for, not the document’’

29th Sep 2020
You don’t know what you don’t know! Many of us have seen the advertisements for… ...
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Wills: It’s the advice you pay for, not the document’’

29th Sep 2020

You don’t know what you don’t know!

Many of us have seen the advertisements for cheap Wills and the DIY kits that are available, but are you really getting a good deal? A Will is a legally binding document that is essential in ensuring your clients assets and savings are distributed as per their wishes. But many people fail to prepare for what is arguably an unsettling eventuality and in the instances where an ‘off the shelf’, DIY approach has been taken, errors can easily be made and go unnoticed or whereby the legal witnessing rules aren’t followed correctly – it can make the Will invalid. Unfortunately, however, if there is no valid Will in place should the worst happen, your client’s assets will be distributed in line with the rules of Intestacy. This can often cause upset and grievance between family members.

When people don’t know what’s involved in writing a Will or they’re unsure what the cost of having a professionally written Will would be, the price can often drive the decision making and lead people to searching for ‘cheap’ (often online) alternatives or picking up a DIY kit from a local retailer. Like Pavilion Row, we think all legal practices and Will writers should want to be transparent about their fees, displaying them clearly on their website (see our fees here). The key here is educating people, providing your clients with enough relative information to allow them to confidently make an informed decision. It isn’t the document itself that your client is paying for, it’s the specialist advice that guarantees your client receives a valid Will that accurately represents their final wishes and ultimately gives them peace of mind that their loved ones won’t be left with any unexpected surprises or unnecessary upset during probate.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the pitfalls your client could fall victim to, without the right knowledge:

Will DIY Kits

As mentioned above, with this kind of approach errors can easily be made and go unnoticed which ultimately means your clients final wishes aren’t guaranteed to be followed; and whereby legal witnessing rules aren’t followed correctly, the Will can actually be classed as invalid – meaning your clients assets may not be distributed / gifted as they would have chosen. It’s also worth noting here that when a person chooses this method of Will writing, they’re often (through no fault of their own) unaware of the legal nuances, particularly around financial matters and beneficiaries; such as up to date inheritance tax legislation and how to protect and provide for a ‘blended family’ model. We however, can ensure your client has (for example) a valid Will that protects both their immediate family and other long-term wishes.

In addition to this, your client risks leaving their family with unnecessary financial and emotional stress that could lead to additional legal bills and unexpected tax. A recent study actually suggests that ineffective DIY Wills are the cause of prolonged probate ordeals for over 38,000 families per year.

‘Cheap’ or Free Wills

A quick Google search for cheap Wills will see results coming up from £19.99! Although this may appear like a good deal on the surface, this should in fact be a warning. Remember, it isn’t the document itself that your client is paying for, it’s the specialist advice that guarantees your client receives a valid Will that accurately represents their final wishes and ultimately gives them peace of mind that their loved ones won’t be left with any unexpected surprises or unnecessary upset during probate. In addition to running the risk of being left with an ineffective or even invalid Will as mentioned above, there have also been numerous cases whereby not being made aware of the small print, has cost families dearly. After all, the devil is in the details. A recent article uncovered cases where families were charged over £30,000 by banks to administer estates. In the small print that many clients were unaware of, the banks who offered the free service reserved the right to be named executor – charges for which were only made clear when probate began. Although extreme, not having an executor of the clients choosing isn’t out of the ordinary, under these circumstances. Many people who opt for a cheap / free Will, often end up with a document that fails to accurately detail all assets. In some (but not all) cases, families are not made aware of the fees for handling estates after death. Any discrepancies after death can go unresolved and cause unnecessary family upset, during what is already a delicate time.

Many of the cheaper or free Will writing services are done online, offering no support and no guarantees. Many cheap wills state that they are checked by a solicitor. Although this may sound reassuring, all they are really doing is checking that the document is valid. A document can be valid, but it does not mean that it is right for your clients’ needs or accurately reflects their wishes. What is important is the advice your get. However, when you speak to a qualified, experienced adviser they know what questions to ask and the relevance and importance of the answers given. They are able to provide tailored advice according to your unique set of circumstances -therefore ensuring that you get a document that truly fits your needs and requirements.

Without getting the right advice and support, your client could lose out by paying too much inheritance tax on money or assets that they leave. Your client deserves the opportunity to ask questions or gather advice from professionals who understand the complexities of Will writing. A common complexity is knowing the difference between an Executor and a Trustee, and how you can legally appoint a guardian to take care of young children, should the worst happen.

Ultimately, there are many issues that can occur if your client has a Will written without receiving expert advice and guidance. The most common are:

  • Difficulty locating the Will after death
  • Not updating the Will when personal circumstances change
  • Failure to sign the Will or have the signing witnessed
  • Having a witness that is also a beneficiary
  • Oversold Wills that are unnecessarily complex
  • Having a Will that is valid but inconsistent with the client’s wishes

In addition to the client receiving poor to no advice around Wills and Probate, they’re also not advised of any other financial matters. We work with our introducers and their clients so that the client has a team of experts working together long-term and in tandem with each other, ensuring their peace of mind and their financial future is taken care of, in a way that works for them and their loved ones. We have a duty of care to ensure that the Will is actually completed. We don’t ‘take the money and run’ once the document is sent out for signing and our duty of care does not end. We follow up to ensure that the wills are signed and returned to us for checking and provide full support to you and your client, throughout the journey.

A STEP in the right direction. All our advisers are trained and qualified to the highest standards outlined by STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). Choosing a STEP qualified adviser means your adviser is the most qualified and highly trained in this specific area of Law and as such, is able to provide you with highest level of services and advice.

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UPDATE ON LEGISLATION FOR SIGNING OF WILLS

31st Jul 2020
This week the Government have announced that they will be introducing temporary legislation to allow… ...
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UPDATE ON LEGISLATION FOR SIGNING OF WILLS

31st Jul 2020

This week the Government have announced that they will be introducing temporary legislation to allow people to use video link to witness a will being executed.

This legislation does not extend to permitting electronic signatures. Wet signatures of the person making the will and the witnesses are still required. Also, witnessing pre-recorded videos of the person signing the will is not legally acceptable. It must be viewed in real-time.

IMPORTANT; the guidance states that the remote method should only be used in an emergency when conventional witnessing is impossible.

When signing remotely there are defined stages that must be followed to ensure the validity of the will and the attestation clause must be changed to reflect that the will has been signed by this method.

We are advising clients that if they need to sign their will via this method, then they must inform us in advance so that we can change the attestation clause. We will also be the witnesses to ensure that an appropriate file note has been made of the signing.

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