How can you plan for your future? When you think of the future, how do you feel? Organised, prepared and excited? Or anxious and a bit out of control?
There may be little you can do to foresee the future, but there are steps you can take to retain some control over it. These steps include deciding who you want to help you with your finances and healthcare decisions during your lifetime so that you are suitably looked after should you lose your mental capacity; who should administer your finances after your death; who should look after any young children you have, and who should inherit from you.
By putting in place a Power of Attorney and a Will you can achieve this control. Trusts can also be a very useful tool in reaching this goal. If you start planning early enough you and your family can look forward to a peaceful life knowing that all of your affairs are in order and that everything is taken care of.
The TSP Wills and Estates team can provide you with advice and assistance tailored to your particular circumstances in the following areas:
- Inheritance Tax (IHT)
- Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection
- Estate Planning
- The Administration of Estates
- Elderly and Vulnerable Client Matters
We pride ourselves on providing a service which is both friendly and professional and on understanding our clients’ objectives. We recognise that in many instances we will be advising you during a very difficult and distressing time. Based in both Colchester and Clacton, the team, led by Robert Ashworth, offers a flexible and friendly approach which includes home visits and out-of-hours appointments, as well as ample car parking and easy access for the disabled.
The Wills and Estates team at TSP has created a guide to help you understand how you can plan for the future. It explains the nature of the options available to you and the effect on your family and friends if you have these documents in place, and if you do not.
If you would prefer a have a hard copy, please fill in your details here and we will arrange for one to be sent to you.
The Wills and Estates team has, for a number of years been recommended by the Legal 500. In addition team leader Robert Ashworth was singled out as a Next Generation Partner in their Elite list of Lawyers nationwide.
In 2022/23 the Legal 500 said: Thompson Smith and Puxon‘s group is based in Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea. During 2021, the team acted for a varied client roster in the business and the agricultural sphere. The firm has long-standing and strong relationships with the regional rural community and has a substantial portfolio of agricultural clients. Clients describe Robert Ashworth as ‘excellent, patient and thorough’. Senior associate Nicola Healy joined from Tees Law in 2022.
‘Focus on supporting the end client, taking time to explain circumstances, processes etc. The relatively small nature of the firm really delivers a personal touch.’
‘Robert Ashworth has helped us navigate through a challenging scenario.’
‘Fiona Ashworth has helped me through difficult times and I know where to go if I have problems.’
In 2021/22 the Legal 500 said: Thompson Smith and Puxon’s wills and estates practice is highly prominent in the agriculture sector; its recent workload in this space has included advice to clients on farming family successions, high-value estate administrations and tax-related issues. Fiona Ashworth and Robert Ashworth are both members of the Agricultural Law Association, and along with Aileen Hirst, are members of the Tendring Hundred Farmers Association and Suffolk Agricultural Association. Beyond work for agricultural clients, the practice is highlighted for its advice to business owners and high-net-worth individuals on lifetime and succession planning. Elsewhere, the team’s other areas of expertise include Court of Protection deputyship matters, powers of attorney and contested wills. Associate solicitor Sarah White is another key individual in the group.
In 2020/21 the Legal 500 said: Preparation of wills, administration of estates and enduring powers of attorney are all handled by the ‘diverse and knowledgeable’ personal tax, trusts and probate team at Thompson Smith and Puxon. In addition, it provides specialist legal advice to the friends and family of the elderly, particularly in relation to Court of Protection applications. Team leader Fiona Ashworth is a specialist in the agricultural sector and is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Solicitors Aileen Hirst and Sarah White are accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly while Robert Ashworth is recommended for succession planning, with an emphasis on farming clients.
In 2019 the Legal 500 said: Thompson Smith and Puxon’s ‘impressive’ private client department is ‘very well versed in dealing with complex matters’ which include all aspects of wills, inheritance tax planning and the administration of estates. Led by standout practitioner Fiona Ashworth, who clients describe as a ‘real asset to the firm’, the team is proficient in handling high-value and often uniquely challenging transfers of inter-generational wealth. The agriculture sector has traditionally been a strong client focus of the firm. Aileen Hirst acts for high-net-worth clients and advises on trust planning and estates. Sarah White and Robert Ashworth are also recommended. Robert Ashworth, Aileen Hirst and Sarah White are all noted as Rising Stars.
In 2018 the Legal 500 said: “The ‘thorough, efficient and reliable’ private client department at Thompson Smith and Puxon ‘exhibits a high degree of professional experience and capability’ with ‘a caring and considerate side’ and a willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ in order to ‘provide a comprehensive and timely service’. Focus areas include will preparation, probate, trusts, tax and succession planning, registering enduring powers of attorney, and Court of Protection matters, as well as asset preservation relating to long-term residential or nursing care requirements. A large proportion of clients have a business or agricultural background. ‘Sharp-minded, sympathetic and hardworking’ Fiona Ashworth, who ‘has a wealth of experience’, leads the practice from the Colchester office and is a main contact for elderly and farming clients. In October 2017, ‘friendly and persevering’ Robert Ashworth and ‘conscientious, sympathetic and efficient’ Aileen Hirst, who ‘has a practical grasp of problems and solutions’, joined Clacton-based Sarah White at associate level. Clients further recommend ‘exceptionally professional and caring’ solicitor Adina Milleare.”