About Us

 

APS Legal & Associates and Assured Probate Services is one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the Will Estate Planning and Estate Administration profession. As one of the largest and most influential members of the IPW (Institute of Professional Willwriters), and with over 30 years of experience and hundreds of qualified Legal consultants and members of staff across the country, our approach in a traditionally fragmented industry has allowed us to build a strong brand name with rapidly increasing recognition. We cover all areas of the country, including England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 

We believe that providing legal services should be at the convenience of the client; not the convenience of solicitors or banks. We don’t expect you to visit us – we visit you in the comfort and privacy of your own home at a time convenient to you. And the services we provide are affordable and cost effective solutions to those alternatives offered by solicitors or banks.

 

We provide you with impartial advice and services, delivered in plain English and tailored to your individual needs. We will never pressure-sell and we will ensure that the service we provide fully complies with the law. Above all, we will treat every client with respect and provide personal attention from your first enquiry.

Our Services

The service that we offer provides a convenient and cost effective alternative to that offered by solicitors and banks.

  • Property Protection Trust
  • Inheritance Tax Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Flexible Life Interest Trusts
  • Single & Mirror Wills
  • Children’s Trusts
  • Disabled Discretionary Trusts
  • Discretionary Trusts
  • Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Decision
  • Pre-paid Funeral Plans
  • Right of Residence
  • First Registration of Property

  • Transfer of Property Ownership

  • Life Interest of Residue
  • Non-Mutual Deed of Severance
  • Secure Storage of our Client’s documents
  • Probate and Estate Administration Services
  • Declaration of Trust (in accordance with a conveyance)
  • Will Updates Parental Responsibility Agreements
  • Deed of Severance

Head Office: The Worksop Turbine, Shireoaks Triangle Business Park, Coach Close, Worksop, Nottinghamshire S81 8AP | APS Legal & Associates Ltd is a Member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters APS Legal & Associates Ltd complies with the TSI Approved IPW Code of Practice

Trusts

Having a Discretionary Trust in your Will means assets can be directed into it on your death for the potential benefit of any number of beneficiaries you choose.

 

Your estate can be paid in any amounts to any of the potential beneficiaries at the trustees’ discretion. This means that nobody has an absolute right to benefit from the trust, so this can be useful for example, where a beneficiary has an impending divorce (the trust may protect their inheritance from being part of a divorce settlement) or bankruptcy (the trust may protect their inheritance until such time as the bankrupt person has been discharged) or the beneficiary is in receipt of means-tested benefits (the trust can protect their inheritance from being assessed as part of their entitlement to benefits). In some cases a Disabled Discretionary Trust may be more appropriate.  

 

A more straightforward use for a Discretionary Trust could be where you may make future gifts to, for example your children, during your lifetime and so are unsure in what proportions you might want your estate to pass, to each of them on your death. Perhaps you would like to give your trustees flexibility to make those decisions at the time by taking into account a letter of wishes you might write to them. Another type of Discretionary Trust may be useful to mitigate inheritance tax where a couple are unmarried and do not have the more favourable tax position that married couples and civil partners do.

Business Property Trust

 

You may own a business that is eligible for an inheritance tax relief known as Business Property Relief, applicable to most types of trading or service businesses. Under some circumstances this relief may not be fully utilised, resulting in a much larger than necessary inheritance tax bill. A Business Property Trust is a type of discretionary trust aimed at avoiding this. However, more importantly those people with businesses virtually never plan for the passing on of their shares in their businesses, resulting in unforeseen consequences for the remaining co-owners as well as tax consequences.

 

APS Legal & Associates can provide expert specialist advice in this area.

 

Property Protection Trust Wills are very useful if you are house-rich, but what if you also wanted to ensure your hard earned money passed to your children too, instead of going to any new partner of your surviving spouse or partner?

Flexible Life Interest Trust Wills are a great way of ensuring that as well the share of the house you own, but also your capital, passes to your children, whilst not only allowing your partner to continue to live in your share of the house until they die, but also being able to use the income from any capital invested.

 

Again this type of trust is useful in care fees mitigation for those who are concerned about losing their wealth and house to funding their long term residential care.

 

Asset Protection Lifetime Trust

Instead of personally owning your assets, such as your house and your money, there are many advantages to transferring these into an Asset Protection Trust during your lifetime.

 

This type of trust can be useful for various reasons including bloodline planning, flexibility of inheritances, and reducing or eliminating costs in administering your estate so when you die your beneficiaries inherit more than they would have done under normal circumstances. It may also provide incidental protection against assets being used to fund long term residential care, but this cannot be guaranteed.

 

The trust also ensures your beneficiaries inherit immediately on your death rather than waiting for your estate to be administered, which can take many months and in some cases even years.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

 

These are documents that enable you to give legal authority to a person or persons who you trust, called Attorneys, to manage your affairs for you or make decisions on your behalf, when you are not in a position to do so yourself, for example following an accident, stroke or the onset of dementia.

 

There are two kinds of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), one that deals with your Property &&Financial Affairs and one that deals with your Health and Welfare. The former would enable your Attorneys to do things like draw your pension or pay your bills or sell your property on your behalf.

 

The latter would enable your Attorneys to make decisions related to your health and personal welfare, for example what sort of care you receive, but this type of LPA can only be used once you lose mental capacity. Both types of LPA must be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian, before they can be used by your Attorneys.

 

Although we all tend to think of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney documents as useful for later life it’s important to think what would happen now if you were unfortunate enough to have an accident or serious illness.

Inheritance Tax Advice

We all have a tax free allowance we can leave to whoever we choose when we die. However, if your assets add up to more than this tax free allowance then inheritance tax will be payable on the excess at a huge 40%. It’s easy to see how you can have more wealth than you think if you add up the value of your house, your bank accounts, investments and not only that but also any life assurance policies. We can help you to assess your liability to pay inheritance tax on your death, and advise on strategies to reduce or even eliminate your exposure to inheritance tax. It’s important to appreciate that to evade paying tax is illegal, but to avoid paying tax using perfectly legal tried and trusted strategies can mean your beneficiaries, such as your spouse or partner, and perhaps more importantly your children, will inherit more of your estate instead of the Government.

Standard Wills

 

It is important for everyone to have a professionally drafted Will, one that you can be certain will be legally valid when you die.

 

No matter how simple your affairs may seem or whatever age you are, a Will ensures that your wishes are set out clearly so that on your death your assets will go to the people you want them to go to. If you have young children you can also appoint Guardians in your Will to look after them should you die before they reach 18.

 

Although a standard Will might meet the needs of a small number of people, most would benefit from the more specialist advice and planning provided by APS Legal & &ssociates. This is because most people are not aware of the threats by Government and Local Authorities, or even certain family situations, to the assets that they have worked so hard to gain and which standard Wills may not protect against.

 

There are a number of Trusts that can be used either in your Will or set up during your lifetime to protect those assets.

What is Probate?

 

Probate is the estate administration process that takes place after a loved ones has passed away. It is the role of an Executor to administer the estate; but many people don’t understand what this involves. This is where we can help.

 

What is the role of an Executor? An executor is responsible for handling the administration of an estate after a loved one has passed away. They must do this following the deceased wishes, as stated in the Will, and distribute the assets accordingly.

 

What is there is no appointed Executor?

 

In which case an administrator will be appointed.

 

What if there is no will?

 

Often this is a daunting task and many executors don’t know where to begin or how to do it in the correct way. Sometimes a loved one may pass away appointing a family member as their Executor, or they may sadly pass away without leaving a Will. In which case, the estate has to be dealt with in accordance with the law of intestacy. It is a worthwhile practice for your family to appoint a professional and an experienced firm to act on their behalf, to relieve the burden ofadministrating your estate, which is a time consuming and sometimescomplex exercise.

Why APS Legal?

Why use APS Legal?

 

Depending on the Liquidity of the Estate, we might be able to release funds to beneficiaries before the process is finalized, which can often make all the difference and allows beneficiaries to progress with their lives without having to wait for 2 to 3 years. We have 4 Million GBP professional indemnity insurance and we charge a fixed fee upfront, not a percentage fee of the estate’s value. Banks are the least cost-effective options out there. They will often provide a free will but charge exorbitant fees and a large percentage of Estate value to administer the estate. APS fees cover solicitor’s fees as we have in house solicitors who will take care of all land registry Transfer fees, conveyancing fees, and the drafting of deeds. All of which are reserved activities meaning only solicitors can perform them.

 

Why use a professional for the probate process?

 

Being appointed as the executor or administrator of a will is often thought of as being an honor- but have you stopped to think about the complexities of it? Have you been made aware of what your responsibilities are and what you will be liable for?

As the Executor or Administrator of a will, you are opening yourself up to unlimited liability. Many things can go wrong if, for whatever reason, you misdistribute the value of the estate, then you might find yourself in hot water, and forever indebted to HMRC and the DWP as well as other organizations. It is a requirement to obtain clearance from such organizations, such as the HMRC BEFORE distributing the funds to beneficiaries. Most estates must pay inheritance tax to HMRC, and this process alone is very lengthy and complicated. Of course, it does come with a very handy guide. However, this guide in itself is 92 pages long. An example of when things can go wrong is the case of Harris vs. HMRC Has highlighted the pitfalls of serving as a personal estate representative. Under Harris vs.HMRC the personal representative of a family distributed a significant sum of money from the estate to a beneficiary on the basis that the beneficiary would pay the obligation of inheritance tax on that amount.

The beneficiary then left the country for Barbados before paying any of the tax due. The courts found that despite not possessing any of the estate itself, the personal representative is responsible for paying the tax bill.

 

This is a perfect example of the dangers of accepting a legal obligation and should act as a cautionary tale.

 

Because of reckless declarations, as in Usher & nor v HMRC (2016), it is far more probable for a personal representative to be held liable for minor offenses. Two unrepresented executors faced a £5,000 fine from the HMRC in this case, by inadvertently failing to disclose profits on a property. Although the two executors had no malicious intent, they were held liable for both the fine and the undeclared income tax.

 

In any case, however small, appropriate legal advice and support should be given to ensure that the process can move forward.

 

Both of these examples, among many others, demonstrate that the duties resulting from the management of an estate need not be taken lightly. Probate practitioners have the advantage of indemnity insurance as well as the experience and knowledge to avoid getting into cases like these, so that you can move forward With minimal risk and tranquility of mind you won't be responsible for costs you didn't expect.

Put Your Contacts Here

To schedule a free over the phone or in person consultation please leave your details

Field is required
Field is required Incorrect email
Field is required
Your message was sent successfully
Sorry, your message was not sent

2019 © APS. All Rights Reserved