In May 2019, Kings Court Trust travelled the length of the country to provide educational seminars to over 100 of our business partners. The seminars took place in Preston, Durham, Warwick, Maidstone and finished with a session in Bristol, where Kings Court Trust are based. The agenda for each seminar included breakfast, lunch, networking and presentations from industry experts.
After receiving great feedback from the delegates, we have conveniently summarised the seminar highlights from the final session in Bristol that took place on Thursday 23rd May.
‘Potential pitfalls of Wills preparation that impact upon estate administration’ by Andrea Pierce, Legal Services Director at Kings Court Trust.
Our first speaker of the day was Andrea Pierce, Legal Services Director here at Kings Court Trust, who started the presentations with a detailed and engaging session on the pitfalls that arise when preparing a Will. Andrea began by providing our partners with this real-life scenario:
“When Mrs Smith made her Will she had already signed it before meeting with her two witnesses. She did say to the witnesses that it was her signature. Is this a valid attestation?”
The audience took some time to discuss what they thought the answer was, creating a room full of interesting discussion. After going through Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 which discusses the best practice when signing a Will, Andrea proved that the scenario was, in fact, a valid attestation. Andrea then went on to talk about shaky signatures, dating the Will, alterations, drafting errors and many more aspects that can prove troublesome when preparing a Will and how to avoid these in daily practice.
‘Identifying and tackling elderly financial abuse’ by Claire van Overdijk, Barrister at Outer Temple Chambers.
Our second speaker of the day was Claire van Overdijk, a specialist Public Law and Private Client Barrister from Outer Temple Chambers, specialising in private international law.
Claire set the scene for her presentation with an overview of financial abuse and its effect on the elderly today. Claire discussed the red flags, warning signs, and typical actions of financial abusers. Some of the typical actions of abuse are made through online banking, gifts of valuable chattels, changes to testamentary dispositions, and many more. Claire talked her about recent cases in the Courts that showed significant signs of elderly financial abuse and gave advice on how best to recognise and reduce the increased risk.
‘The estate administration timeline’ by Steph Hubert, Team Manager at Title Research.
Following the lunch break, we were joined by Steph Hubert from Title Research. Title Research has been carrying out genealogy research and asset repatriation work for over 50 years. Steph leads part of the Title Research Service Delivery team and is responsible for ensuring they deliver excellent client service whilst completing projects quickly and efficiently.
Steph invited the delegates back with a detailed presentation on the estate administration timeline and the complications that can arise when administering an estate. She discussed how Title Research can help deal with overseas assets, foreign shares and funds, missing beneficiaries, insurance solutions and the options open to unclaimed estates.
Steph provided a number of insightful case studies to put it all into perspective for the audience, including one where Title Research were asked to locate a missing legatee who had lost contact with their family. As it turns out, the family thought the legatee had moved to a village in Spain, so Title Research sent the researcher to visit the village. Here, it was discovered that the legatee was living in a cave in the mountains! Fortunately, he collected his post from the local post office when buying other provisions, so they were able to make contact.
‘Understanding mental capacity’ by Tim Farmer, Director at TSF Consultants.
Our last speaker was Founder and Director of TSF Consultants, Tim Farmer. TSF Consultants are the UK’s leading provider of independent mental capacity assessments with a network of expert mental capacity assessors across England and Wales. Tim Farmer, is one of the UK’s leading experts on the assessment of mental capacity and author of an Amazon bestseller: ‘Grandpa on a Skateboard; the practicalities of assessing mental capacity and unwise decisions’.
Tim’s interactive session on understanding mental capacity and the practicalities of assessing provided useful real-life tips and examples from his own experience, offering a chance for our partners to critically reflect on their practice and ensure continued compliance. He discussed how to assess testamentary capacity and capacity for Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs), looking at some of the less well known caselaw in order to ascertain where to set the threshold of understanding. Tim’s passion for mental capacity assessment and ambition to improve the industry left our partners feeling empowered and ready to assist the individuals concerned.
At Kings Court Trust, we are committed to helping your business grow by developing mutually beneficial partnerships and providing unlimited access to expert knowledge through digital resources and useful training sessions, like our informative seminar series. Our partners who attended the Bristol seminar said:
“The topics were very informative and relevant for my day to day practice and delivered in a manner that was easy to understand but not condescending. Andrea’s presentation was especially helpful and demonstrated her wide and varied knowledge of the subject.”
Tara McInnes, Shoosmiths LLP
"You always come away realising there is so much more that can be done due to the constant changes in the sector, but also a sense of affirmation that we are on the right path in terms of the advice and the service we provide. Kings Court Trust are always a really positive group of people to deal with and it's a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues from other firms in the sector."
Trevor Worth, Portcullis Legals