If someone lacks mental capacity then they may need not be able to make decisions themselves. A person can therefore apply to be their deputy, if a Lasting Power of Attorney has not been previously created and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
A person may lack mental capacity if:
A deputy will be appointed by the Court of protection to make decisions on behalf of the person that lacks capacity.
There are two types of deputy.
A deputy will be able to pay the persons bills and make decisions on financial matters such as buying and selling property
A deputy will make decisions about the medical treatment a person receives and how they are looked after.
We can complete the application forms on your behalf and lodge with the Court of Protection. Once the application has been considered and approved you will be provided with a Court Order allowing you to act as a deputy.
BBH Legal Services Limited can act as a professional deputy for property and financial affairs. This can often be a time consuming task as the Court will require you to keep records and accounts of financial transactions and decisions made. We have a dedicated team of experts who can take on this responsibility.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you (the Donor) appoint someone (the Attorney) to make decisions on your behalf. A Lasting Power of Attorney allows your attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf if you become mentally or indeed physically incapable of looking after your affairs or yourself.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney namely for Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare. Either can only be used once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare can only be used by your Attorney if you have lost the mental capacity to deal with your own health and welfare.
You cannot make a Lasting Power of Attorney once you have lost mental capacity. If a person has no Lasting Power of Attorney in place and loses the ability to manage their property and financial affairs or can no longer look after their own health and welfare, the Court of Protection may appoint a Deputy (which is a Court appointed Attorney) to make decisions on behalf of such a person. The process involved in such circumstances can be more expensive and take longer to organise.
Nobody can predict whether they may become mentally or physically impaired (or indeed when) and will need someone to look after their affairs. Such situations could be the result of an accident, illness or simply the ageing process. Having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place now ensures that your affairs are in order and that someone is appointed to assist (now or in the future) with your day-to-day management of affairs on an “in case” basis.
An LPA may never need to be used however the cost of making Lasting Powers of Attorney definitely outweighs the costs involved in making a Deputyship application with the Court of Protection.
This is the name given to a Will which does not deal with matters after a person’s Death but seeks to control medical treatment before they die. A Living Will may contain a statement or direction about what medical treatment will be applied if they become unable to communicate their wishes. In a living Will you can set out what medical treatment you wish to refuse or accept and specify in what circumstances that should apply.
An Executor is the person (or persons) who will administer – or execute – your affairs after you have died. Being an executor does not prevent the person from also being a beneficiary of your estate. Spouses, civil partners or partners can appoint each other as executor in the first instance and additional/replacement executors such as adult children or professionals can be appointed as substitute executors in the event of both deaths.
You should consider the appointment of your executors with care. The duties imposed by law on executors and trustees can be time consuming and can lead to personal liability. The partners of our parent company Thompsons Solicitors LLP are willing to act as executors of your estate, either solely or with a relative or trusted friend.
Even when a Will appoints an executor, a Grant of Probate must generally be obtained from the Probate Registry. A Grant is a Court sealed document confirming the appointment of the executors of your estate.
As part of the application for the Grant, a full inventory of your assets and liabilities must be submitted to HRMC. This may result in Inheritance Tax having to be paid. It is possible for your executors and trustees to appoint a solicitor to assist them with the administration of your estate in order to ensure that everything is dealt with appropriately and with expertise.
Once the Grant of Probate is obtained, assets of the estate can be collected and liabilities settled. This can involve time consuming work in dealing with a number of organisations.
Your estate will be dealt with quickly with the least amount of inconvenience to your beneficiaries.
Using solicitors also ensures that nothing gets overlooked, including Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and potential Capital Gains Tax arising during the administration period.
This service can help you safeguard the interests of your family, friends and dependants. It is important for both partners to make Wills because you might die at the same time. In any event you should provide for what should happen when you both die.
It is also extremely important for unmarried partners to make Wills. If you die without a Will, specific rules apply (called the “Rules of Intestacy”) and will dictate who inherits from your estate and in what proportion. Unfortunately the Rules of Intestacy do not recognise unmarried partners and your partner as such would receive nothing from your estate on your death.
Inheritance Tax, or IHT as it is sometimes referred to, is levied on a person’s estate when they die. We can offer effective Inheritance Tax advice, so that part of your estate is not lost in paying taxes. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/
A legally drawn up Will is a written statement of your wishes. It enables you to make important decisions that affect your family and friends after your death.
A Will specifies:-
All of these issues can be incorporated in a Will. A properly drafted Will can spare your family and friends a lot of unnecessary work and upset at what is already a difficult time.
It also reduces the possibility of making your Will invalid or open to challenge. You can alter your Will or cancel it at any time during your lifetime provided you have the mental capacity to understand what you own, how you wish to dispose of your estate and provided you understand the contents and implications of your Will.
BBH Legal Services Limited has a specialist New Build Property Team. They have vast experience in dealing with new developments
for residential purposes which includes many schemes such as:
In order to reduce the risk of losing your new build property, make sure that you instruct solicitors as soon as you decide to
reserve a new build. Early appointment with your proposed Lender is recommended to ensure you meet your Reservation Expiry Date.
When you buy a new build property it is usually purchased off-plan and the developer will require contracts to be exchanged within
a tight deadline. Once you have exchanged the developer will build the property and will then obtain a guarantee from NHBC
or a similar organisation.
It is important that you understand the transaction and any potential difficulties, which may arise.
By appointing us to act on your behalf you may be assured we will:-
We will ensure that a Highways Act Agreement is in place. The agreement is made between the Local Authority the Developer and a
third party providing an insurance guarantee. The agreement confirms that the estate roads are the responsibility of the developer
until they become publicly maintained (adopted) by the Local Authority.
Completion is usually required within a set period of time, which can range between 10 and 14 days notice being given by the developer.
Our team will ensure that you meet every deadline and that everything is prepared beforehand and that you don’t miss out on
your new home.
Providing that you and (if applicable) your partner are over the age of 55 and you are a homeowner then Equity Release allows you
to release money tied up in your property. There are a wide variety of plans on the market which allow you to take a tax-free
lump sum or a regular income, or a combination of both. There are no repayments to make during your lifetime. Your financial
advisor is qualified to recommend an Equity Release Plan which will meet your needs. It is our job to ensure that you understand
exactly what you are doing, your legal obligations and what the immediate and longer term consequences might be, so that you
can make your decision to proceed with confidence.
If you do not have a financial advisor but are interested in Equity Release then we may be able to introduce you to one. Please
contact us for more information.
1. Lifetime Mortgage: – with this plan the money you release is not repaid until you leave the property or die and there are no
repayments to make during your lifetime. Interest rolls up during the lifetime of the mortgage and will be included in the
2. Home Reversion: – with this plan you sell all or part of the interest in your home in return for money and a lease which allows
you to stay in your property for life rent free.
Your financial advisor will recommend the best scheme for you.
Equity Release is not new, but it is now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You also have the assurance that your financial
advisor will be fully authorised and qualified to give expert advice.
Releasing capital from your home is now accepted as a popular method of planning for retirement and boosting your finances. The
benefits and variety of Equity Release have improved significantly over the years, with more and more retired homeowners taking
advantage of the equity built up in their home.
When you have decided on the house you want to buy and your offer has been accepted, this is the time to talk to us. We will contact
the sellers solicitor to obtain the contract papers, liaise with them and sort out any queries that may arise. We will then
raise a number of enquiries on the property.
The seller will provide us with a list of the items included in the sale and the contract which will be checked with you. We will
liaise with your lender, check your title and look to arrange completion as soon as possible.
As part of your mortgage application a Valuation Survey will be carried out. The information obtained from this is limited and
as the sellers are not obliged to point out any defects, we recommend that a more detailed survey of the property is undertaken.
All the necessary searches will be carried out, including Local Authority searches and local planning checks relating to the property.
If you are selling one house and buying another we can usually use the sale deposit from one house for the purchase deposit on
the other. Obviously, if you are trading up you may need to provide more money.
Both you and the seller will have been sent copies of the contract. Once these have been signed, contracts will be exchanged with
the seller’s solicitor for the house you are buying and we will pay over your agreed deposit.
When contracts are exchanged, the completion date is also agreed. This is the day when the balance of the purchase money is paid
and the house becomes yours.
Re-mortgaging means replacing the existing mortgage on your property with a new one. People re-mortgage their properties all the
time for a whole host of reasons. The mortgage market is very competitive and you may have sourced a lower rate of interest
that can reduce your monthly payments, wish to consolidate several loans into one payment, or you may be borrowing more than
your present mortgage to pay for home improvements or a family holiday.
We will write to your present lender and ask them for a Mortgage Redemption Statement for your property. At the same time we will
send off your Local Authority search and any other necessary searches. During this time you should have made an application
for a new mortgage.
Once your new mortgage application has been finalised a Mortgage Offer will be issued. Where your lender allows we will use a local
search Indemnity Policy rather than full searches. This keeps costs to a minimum and allow early completion. An Indemnity Policy
provides cover should something be found to negatively affect the value of a property whilst searches asses potential risks
which are then reported to yourself and your new lender.
A completion date is arranged for the earliest possible date and the Mortgage Deed sent to you for signature and return. We will
also ask your current lender for a Mortgage Redemption Statement so we have the exact figure owing to your existing lender.
As soon as we have received the money from your new lender we will send the amount owing to your existing lender in order to pay
off the mortgage. Any balance due to you will be sent to you the same day.
We will send the Mortgage Deed to the Land Registry so they can amend and update their records.
Now you have received an offer for your house, what should you do next? Call us as soon as you decide to put your property on the
market so we can start to get your deeds and contract papers ready to help avoid delays later on. At this time we will also
send you a questionnaire asking for information about the property. It will help to speed things up if you complete and return
this to us as quickly as you can.
The contract papers will be prepared and sent to the buyer’s solicitor for agreement. When agreed we will forward one copy of the
contract for you to sign.
We will send to you a questionnaire which includes a checklist to make it easy for you to decide what is included and what is not.
Only when both you and the buyer have signed and the contracts have been exchanged does the sale become legally binding on you
When exchanging contracts we will also ask the buyer’s solicitor for a deposit. The amount is usually 10% of the purchase price
but this may be negotiable. If buying simultaneously this can be used towards the deposit on your purchase.
When contracts are exchanged, the completion date is also agreed. This is the day when the balance of the purchase money is paid
and you must move out of the house.
If you are selling through an agent the fees will be due on completion of the sale. There is no need for you to worry about this
as we will pay these fees from the proceeds of the sale unless instructed otherwise.