Cheryl Bolt – Trainee Solicitor Blog – Part 2

2nd June 2018

Time for my second blog! Given that I am currently in the Private Client department completing my second seat I thought it would be interesting to base my blog on this. Private Client work ranges from preparing Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney to administering estates when someone passes away or dealing with a variety of trust work.

I had hoped to gain experience in this area of law as Private Client work can be very personal and I wanted the opportunity to be involved in close client matters.

I get up to all sorts being a trainee in this department, from drafting Wills and court documents to assisting in house clearances! I also get out in the community by attending house visits with my supervisor which creates a nice change of scenery from the office but also highlights the importance that everyone should have access to legal services and some of our more elderly clients that we attend at home would not be able to access these otherwise.

I have also been luckily enough to move to our Sidmouth and Budleigh offices to undergo my training in this department. Both offices are located in beautiful coastal towns which means that I can sit by the seafront on my lunch. Well when the weather is nice!

What I have found most interesting so far is the importance of creating a Will. Statistics show that over half of the people in Britain do not have a will. If you do not have a Will when you die then the distribution of your estate is determined by the rules of intestacy.  It’s important that people obtain advice on this as the standard rules of intestacy may not be their intention on how their estate is to be distributed. But without a valid Will to state otherwise the intestacy rules will stand in its place.

Another problematic rule of intestacy is that there is no provision for a surviving partner who is not a spouse or civil partner. This means couples who were in a relationship and or living together, whether for 1 year or 50 years do not have an automatic right to benefit from their late partners the estate.

I have already learned so much from my seat in the Private Client Department and am looking forward to the rest of my time here, meeting with clients and perhaps enjoying the odd ice cream on the seafront during lunch.