A Day In The Life Of A Wills and Probate Paralegal

Have you ever wondered what law in practice is like? Paralegal Lewis Mee takes us through a day in the Wills and Probate department at Gadbrook Park, Northwich.

There is no typical day as a paralegal in the Butcher & Barlow Wills and Probate department. I am required to carry out  a broad range of activities including carefully drafting Wills, continuously interacting with clients, and studying clients’ accounts in order to accurately prepare Inheritance Tax documentation.

Working in the Wills & Probate department allows me to put into practice what I have learned at University and see the real difference it can have in our clients’ lives.

I tend to arrive at the office early, get myself a strong black coffee and look through the emails I have received overnight. I can then locate the files I need and have them ready in priority order before I start the day. However, no matter how well I organise, it is an inevitability that on most days one email or phone call will completely change the plan of action – testing my adaptability and keeping the day interesting.

Surprisingly, working in Wills & Probate introduces you to a diverse range of clients, including those in the prime of their life. Accidents and illness can occur at any time in life and a Will ensures that a client’s assets, finances and wishes are dealt with in the way they desire rather than leaving it up to the uncertainties of intestacy. However, a Will deals with more than money – a Will can also set out where you wish to be buried, what happens to your children after you pass, or – to some people, much more importantly – what happens to your dog. People understand the importance of arranging their Will as soon as possible which ensures that there is always work to do including travelling to meet with clients and take their instructions, and carefully drafting their Will.

For more information on Wills, see: https://www.butcher-barlow.co.uk/personal-services/wills/

Currently, priority in the Wills & Probate department is being given to obtaining Grants of Probate. With the looming threat of the government’s introduction of significantly increased Probate fees, it is necessary that all documentation is prepared efficiently and accurately. This includes IHT400 forms which are required to provide details of someone who has recently passed and their assets for inheritance tax purposes. This ensures that our clients’ worries are dealt with as quickly and as stress free as possible at an understandably difficult time – with the added bonus of lower Probate fees! The thanks received from clients are of course incredibly rewarding.

For further information on Grants of Probate and Probate generally, see: https://www.butcher-barlow.co.uk/personal-services/probate/

Working at the Gadbrook Park office, I am also part of our Agricultural department working under experts in the field (pun not intended).  This allows me to see how Wills & Probate can be tailored to the needs of our agricultural clients such as by ensuring that agricultural relief is applied when calculating inheritance tax. A requirement of this is a good pair of walking boots. Visiting clients at their farms is a must to ensure their busy schedules are not interrupted excessively, giving the opportunity to see more of the British countryside and meet people I would possibly otherwise never come across.

If you are interested in becoming a Paralegal or Trainee with Butcher & Barlow click through to our careers page to find out more.

The Butcher & Barlow Wills & Probate Team covers the whole of the North West, from an office conveniently located near you.  Click here to see how our specialist team can assist you in your business matters.

an image of Lewis Mee, a paralegal at the Leigh branch of Butcher & Barlow LLP

Lewis Mee