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It is critical  for anybody involved in a business to have a Will specifically setting out what should happen to such business interests in the event of death. For a sole trader this is of particular relevance as the Will should set out clear instructions on giving executors power to carry on running the business. The Will can also suggest whether the business is to be continued longer term, wound up or sold. Without such express powers, the executors may not have the authority to carry on running the business which could be detrimental to the estate.

Having an interest in a business can provide inheritance tax planning opportunities but again this is only the case if this is specifically addressed in the Will. It is common to include a discretionary trust of business interests in the Will so as to provide the executors and family an opportunity at the time of the death to distribute the business assets in the most tax efficient manner possible. Without such bespoke Will drafting, a significant opportunity to mitigate an inheritance tax liability can be lost.

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Blacks’ Private Client Team is a very friendly, well established and experienced Team offering the full range of private client services.


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Can we pre-empt a change in the law for assisted suicide in Lasting Powers of Attorney?

Monday November 12 2018

At present, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for health and welfare allows a donor to decide whether they give consent for their attorneys to make decisions regarding their life sustaining treatment. However, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) brought … Continue reading

Reforming the Law on Wills – Time For Change?

Wednesday September 12 2018

In recent years the Law Commission have made clear their view that the law relating to wills should be updated and brought into the modern age. While this is still under review, the circumstances of the recent case of Ubbi … Continue reading

Cutting a cohabitee out of your will?

Monday April 09 2018

The recent case of Thompson v Raggett has highlighted the risks of cutting a cohabitee out of your will.  In this case Ms Thompson had lived with her partner, Mr Hodge, for over 40 years. Over the years Mr Hodge … Continue reading

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Wills & Probate
Nick Rhodes
Nick Rhodes
0113 227 9247

Nick Rhodes trained at Blacks Solicitors and qualified as a Solicitor in 2006. He became a Partner in 2016 and is currently Head of the Wills & Probate team.

He has a wide range of experience in the preparation of Wills, which can include highly effective care fee planning as well as Inheritance Tax (IHT) Planning for high net worth individuals and business owners. Over the years, Nick has helped numerous families preserve their wealth so that it is passed on to future generations.

He also assists people who are planning for the future by preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) which allows family members named in the LPA to assist the person who made it in the event of their incapacity.

Nick also deals with the Administration of Estates following bereavement. He is able to collate all the paperwork necessary to complete the probate papers to lead to a Grant of Representation to the Estate, and also corresponds with the Inland Revenue to ensure any IHT due is correctly paid. Nick commonly advises clients on mitigating IHT following a death by way of a Deed of Variation.

Nick is recognised by The Legal 500 for “liaising well with clients and understanding what they are trying to achieve, and making sure they understand what is being put in place”. He is also described as “very personable and approachable”.

Lucy Rigden
Lucy Rigden
0113 227 9263

Lucy Rigden joined Blacks Solicitors in 2011 where she trained and then qualified as a Solicitor in 2013. She became a Partner in 2018 and works in the Wills & Probate team where she specialises in all aspects of private client law.

Lucy is an expert in the administration of Lifetime Trusts and Will Trusts, assists with the administration of estates with a foreign element, and regularly prepares tax returns and estate accounts on behalf of Trustees.

In addition, Lucy also advises clients with regards to Inheritance Tax Planning, including the newly introduced Residence Nil-Rate Band, and more routine matters such as Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Lucy regularly presents seminars to financial advisors and accountants and is recognised by The Legal 500 for her work in estate administration.

Nicola White
Nicola White
0113 227 9235

Nicola White has worked at Blacks Solicitors since 2016 and is currently an Associate Solicitor in the Wills & Probate team, where she leads the Firm’s Contentious Probate service.

Prior to qualifying as a Solicitor in 2007, Nicola worked as a social worker in a hospice and for a local authority specialising in older people’s care.

After initially working in a general litigation team Nicola began to specialise in contentious trust and probate matters and has practiced solely in this area for the last seven years.

This covers issues such as: contesting the validity of a Will; claims by disappointed Beneficiaries for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (provision for family and dependants) Act 1975; disputes with or between Executors; and disputes relating to Trusts or Trustees, working for both Claimants and Defendants.

Eleanor Eastwood
Eleanor Eastwood
0113 227 9392

Eleanor Eastwood joined Blacks Solicitors in 2016 and is currently a Paralegal in the Wills & Probate team. She has recently completed the GDL part time at BPP University in Leeds.

Ellie has worked on, and assisted with, a variety of Wills and probate matters including the preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), the Administration of Estates, and the regulation of Trusts. She also deals with a number of ongoing Power of Attorney cases.

In addition, Ellie has recently undertaken training to become a Dementia Friend which is an initiative to change people’s perceptions of Dementia.

Gail Sandford
Gail Sandford
0113 227 9253

Gail Sandford joined Blacks Solicitors in August 2016, after 16 years in another Leeds based practice, and is a Paralegal in the Wills and Probate team.

She advises on a range of private client matters including all aspects of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), and the Administration of Trusts and all types of Estates.

Gail is a trusted adviser to colleagues and clients alike, assisting a range of individuals, and families, all of whom value her detailed technical knowledge and her compassionate approach.

She is also an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and in 2016 she achieved the acclaimed STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation.

Nadine Owens
Nadine Owens
0113 322 2824

Nadine Owens qualified as a Solicitor in 2014 and joined Blacks Solicitors in 2017, where she currently works in the Wills & Probate team.

Nadine specialises in the preparation of Wills, estate planning and the administration of Lasting Powers

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