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I am a trainee solicitor at Alexander & Co Solicitors LLP, currently developing my experience in the Wills & Probate Department. I assist clients with Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. I help to apply for probate and administer estates, and I also work alongside the litigation department to assist with research and drafting.
Here is a day in my life.
I arrive at our Friar Gate office in Derby and log into our case management system. I use this time to review my to-do list from the day before, and to assess any deadlines I need to meet during this week. I will also check my emails, flagging any of high priority.
I begin by completing any research I have been assigned. First, I investigate a client's potential Inheritance Tax bill, and consider how this could be reduced. I then collate my research into a report to a partner of the firm before we advise the client accordingly.
I have had an urgent research request from a solicitor in our litigation department regarding a contentious probate matter where we are challenging the validity of a Will. I report back with my findings.
I have an appointment with a new client, who has contacted Alexander & Co through our email service: enquiries@AandCo.co.uk, wishing to make a new Will. Whilst this appointment has been scheduled at our Friar Gate office in the city centre, we also have offices in Spondon and Alvaston, and can arrange home visits where necessary. We can also meet clients remotely through most video conferencing applications.
I talk my client through the process of preparing a new Will and discuss her family and financial circumstances, so that I can tailor my advice to her requirements. I provide her with advice about Inheritance Tax and she informs me that she has fallen out with one of her children, whom she does not intend benefit in her Will. I advise of the possible consequences of leaving a child out of a Will, and offer guidance on how we can make the Will as robust as possible against any potential challenges.
After our meeting I open a new file for the client, review my hand-written notes and log an attendance note of the points we discussed during our meeting.
I review the post I have received today; good news – another of my clients' Lasting Powers of Attorney have been registered. These documents enable my clients to appoint trusted individuals to act on their behalf in relation to their property & financial affairs and also their health and welfare in case they become unable to deal with these matters themselves.
I send certified copies of these completed documents to my client, and store the originals in our deeds safe. We store our clients' Lasting Powers of Attorney and Wills for free, so our clients can have peace of mind that their documents are kept secure. I also send our Client Satisfaction Questionnaire. We value feedback from our clients, and take onboard any comments they may have.
I take a call from the executor of a Will to discuss the administration of the estate. We specialise in the administration of estates, whether the deceased left a Will or died intestate, and we are happy to be of assistance to anyone who needs our help.
I call an estate agent with whom we have a deceased's house up for sale. She advises me that we have had an offer for the full asking price, and she awaits our instructions. I confirm that I shall speak to my client, the executor, as soon as I can.
I call the client to confirm the offer on the property. He is happy to proceed; I make another phone call to the estate agent to accept the interested party's offer. I prep our Conveyancing Department who will take care of the sale of the house.
I attend a meeting with another solicitor at the firm. The meeting is about an application to the Court of Protection by the family member of an incapacitated individual. As a trainee solicitor, I attend meetings with some of my more experienced colleagues. This enables me to gain more client contact, and to watch my colleagues work and provide solutions to challenging scenarios, so that I will know how to deal with these in the future.
Our expert team has several decades worth of experience and holds accreditation with the Law Society's Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); and the firm as a whole also holds LEXCEL certification from the Law Society, demonstrating excellence in the way we run our firm.
I begin drafting my client's Will whom I met earlier in the day. My work is checked by a solicitor and I send a draft to my client to review.
As I move towards the end of the day, I spend some time updating my Training Diary. As a trainee solicitor, I have to keep a record of the work I have done, alongside any additional training or development experiences that I have undertaken. This is required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, by whom both I and Alexander & Co Solicitors LLP are regulated.
The end of the day. I make sure that I have responded to all of my emails, and prepare my 'to-do list' for the following day.