Topic overview

Personal law

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Private client solicitors can guide you through the range of family and personal law issues that affect individuals. From buying or selling a home to what to do if you are injured in an accident, professional advice from a private client solicitor is a must. Equally, planning ahead to deal with key personal law issues can help you to avoid significant problems such as dying without making a will.

Personal law – common advice

For many private client solicitors, property law makes up a significant part of their personal law activities. Whether you are buying or selling a property, becoming a buy-to-let landlord or thinking about equity release, a private client solicitor can offer advice, handle the paperwork and negotiate on your behalf if you wish.

Other personal law issues may arise in less happy circumstances. Family law often focuses on separation and divorce, with a private client solicitor helping to negotiate the financial terms of an agreement. Private client solicitors can also manage the estate when someone dies, acting as executor and dealing with probate.

You should take specialist personal law advice if you suffer a personal injury. If the injury is someone else’s fault, a private client solicitor can help negotiate compensation.

Personal law – planning ahead

Many individuals consult a private client solicitor only when there is a clear and immediate need. But planning ahead with the right personal law advice can be a valuable investment.

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Drawing up a will is essential if you want to ensure that your assets will be dealt with the way you want. At the same time, proper tax planning may significantly reduce the potential inheritance tax liability.

Drawing up appropriate powers of attorney helps protect you if you later lose the capacity to take care of your own affairs.

For those considering marriage or cohabitation, a private client solicitor can advise on a pre-marital or cohabitation agreement. While some consider this area of personal law ‘unromantic’, an agreement can provide important protection for both partners.

Cost-effective personal law

Whatever aspect of personal law you need advice about, you will want to ensure that you use your private client solicitor cost-effectively.

To start with, you should think carefully about what you are trying to achieve. You should also gather any paperwork you need. A private client lawyer can act more effectively on your behalf with clear instructions and the right information.

It’s worth taking legal advice early, for example, to ensure that you don’t say or do anything you shouldn’t. Your lawyer can advise you if there is an opportunity to keep costs down by negotiating the main points of an agreement yourself.

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