The chances are that you need a solicitor for any significant life event. This generally means any event which either creates a major change in your life or involves a lot of money (or both). Typical examples of this would include buying a home, starting a business, settling down, becoming a parent and end-of-life planning. Here is a quick guide to what a solicitor can do for you in these situations.

Buying a home

Property purchases are often the largest purchases a private individual can make. It’s therefore vital that each purchaser is clear on exactly what they are buying. Surveyors advise on the physical aspects of a property. Conveyancing solicitors, often just known as conveyancers, advise on the legal aspects of a property. These are just as important because surprises here can turn out to be nasty and expensive.

Starting a business

In the UK, when you start a business, you can do so as a sole trader or as a limited company. There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches. A solicitor can advise on which route is the best one for you. If you opt to go down the route of being a limited company, they can guide you through the process. 

You may also find it helpful to get legal advice when making key business decisions. For example, if you use contracts, you need to make sure that they are legally enforceable. If you take on employees, you need to ensure that your employment practices are legal. You also need to ensure that your security (physical and digital) is managed lawfully.

Settling down

If you reach a point in your life when you want to share it with someone else, then it’s advisable to put that relationship on a legal footing. These days that may or may not mean marriage or a civil partnership. If you choose to enter into a marriage or civil partnership then your spouse/partner will usually be the default beneficiary in the event of your death. If you do not, then you need to ensure that your partner is protected.

Regardless of your relationship status, it’s always advisable to consider the possibility that you may wish to go your separate ways. You may therefore want to have a prenuptial/cohabitation agreement. These agreements lay down the framework for the division of your assets in a future separation. Setting this down when you are both on good terms can save a lot of stress later.

Becoming a parent

If you don’t have a will before you become a parent, you certainly need one as soon as you do. Your will is your chance to set out what should happen to your child in the event of your death. Typically, this will set out financial arrangements in the event that only you die. It will also set out care arrangements in the event that you and your partner both die (or you’re a single parent).

Unless you specify your wishes regarding the guardianship and care of your child, the courts will make the decision for you. This could result in your child spending time in foster care. It could also mean that the court reaches a decision you may not have made and, similarly, that a future guardian may raise your child in a way you may not have wished.

Consider Getting in touch with Best Solicitors for Family Issues

End-of-life planning

Younger people can benefit from having a power of attorney in place along with a will. The older you get, the more important this becomes. Drawing up (or updating) your will also give you the opportunity to look at your overall estate planning. In particular, it will enable you to investigate ways to limit your estate’s Inheritance Tax liability.

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