Here at Applewood Independent Ltd, we like to advise our clients throughout their entire investment and pension journey with us.

That means that we do more than just find out their aims, ambitions and attitude to risk, so that investments and pensions are properly managed.

We also look after them on a regular basis and see them at least once a year to review their investments and their current circumstances. 

So, when the worst should happen to one of our clients, we are always there for them and can help guide the executors, family members and beneficiaries through the entire probate process.

Being the first port of call for our clients’ beneficiaries 

Many of our long-standing clients instruct their executors or beneficiaries to make their first call to Applewood Independent in the event of their death. This is because we have been working with them for many years and know all of their financial circumstances and their investments, pensions, etc.

Most of these people have never had to go through probate before with a loved one, and it can be a difficult time because of all the emotions involved.

The personal element of the probate process is why people sometimes struggle to focus on what a solicitor is saying to them as they are preparing the paperwork, and can lead to stress and confusion.

A relief to our clients 

So, having someone they trust, who is experienced in these matters, can be a real relief to our clients. We have helped well over 100 families over the years deal with probate by breaking it down for them and explaining it in simple terms.

We can provide all the details about the deceased’s investments for the probate figures the solicitor needs, but we can also help sort out things like trusts and pensions we arranged, which are usually outside of probate and aren’t dealt with by the solicitor.

Then, the executors will need help deciding the best thing to do with the assets, where they’re going to be distributed, and how they will be distributed. 

Holding their hands through the process

Obviously, many of our clients are in a very emotional state at the same time, which makes it hard for them, but we’re there to hold our clients’ hands and help guide them at this most difficult point in their lives.

During this period, when the worst happens, some clients need us most because they have never experienced this before and will need to rely on our expertise and experience to guide them through the process.

At Applewood Independent Ltd, there are no additional costs or charges for us to provide this help. In many cases, we have found in the past that we’ve done as much work as some of the solicitors who may have charged thousands of pounds for that probate.

Looking after the entire family 

For us, it’s about looking after each client’s best interests in any way we can, and that also extends to their beneficiaries.

Our clients don’t have to have their children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren as our clients for us to help them. In this context, we don’t limit our assistance to existing clients at all. We will do whatever is best for our clients’ families as a whole. 

Solicitors don’t always get it right

The thing about having solicitors do everything is that not only is it expensive, but it’s potentially far slower too. In some cases, we can deal with things much quicker in the investment, trust and pension world because we know exactly who to go to, and we have an experienced team that looks after that side of things.

We can provide help and guidance in those situations, and we will always have time to do that. 

Having someone who you trust to get you through it 

The important thing to remember about this time is that you must have someone you trust, with a wealth of experience to draw on, to get you through this emotional time.

Also, an experienced independent financial adviser will, in some cases, be able to provide you with this help without any extra fees, which for many is a big relief!

But perhaps most importantly, someone with real knowledge in this area can end up saving you a lot of money.

Potentially saving you a fortune

I remember working with one of my long-time clients who had an estate estimated at around £3.5 million. I’d done quite a large trust seven years before she died, but the solicitor got the probate wrong and spoke to a financial adviser who spoke to an accountant who miscalculated it.

It was overcalculated by £257,000!

After I argued with the solicitor and with the adviser, they all went away and agreed that it was too high and dropped it.

This is the real benefit of having an independent financial adviser with years of experience in these matters on your side. They can make the process far less stressful and can potentially end up saving you a fortune too. 

I hope this has been useful, and if you have anything else to add, I’d love to hear from you. To find out more, feel free to get in touch by emailing david@applewoodindependent.co.uk.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not constitute financial advice. Applewood Independent Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For financial advice designed for you and your specific circumstances, please contact the author using the contact details provided in this article or, alternatively, contact the Applewood Independent Ltd office on 01270 626555.

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