Dedicated probate team launched by Garstang solicitors

Vincents Solicitors has launched a new dedicated probate team to help clients in the Garstang and north Lancashire area.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 6:02 pm
Donna Matthews, head of Vincents Solicitors’ new probate team, with Karen Cooper (left) and Amy Whiteside (right).

The new team, which has more than 50 years’ experience in probate matters between them, will work exclusively on probate cases enabling them to help more clients than ever before following an increase in probate work.

Donna Matthews from the Lytham office will head up the team and work alongside Garstang-based probate executive Amy Whiteside and Karen Cooper, who has been a probate clerk for more than 35 years, servicing clients across all six of Vincents’ Lancashire offices.

Chris Mathews, head of the firm’s private client department, will continue to deal with complex estates and contentious cases.

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Most estates go into probate following a death, with a Grant of Probate required by the beneficiaries to take ownership of assets and deal with issues such as closing bank accounts and selling property.

Disruption caused by lockdown and the advent of a new online portal by the Probate Registry has led to delays in finalisation of cases, particularly for members of the public trying to deal with probate themselves, who are unfamiliar with the process.

Vincents is hoping the new team will help clients to navigate the system and secure decisions more quickly with their support.

Donna, who has worked in probate for more than a decade, said: “The aim of our dedicated team is to help ensure a faster resolution for our clients. We are often executors for our clients’ wills which means the wheels can be set in motion immediately.

“However, sometimes friends and family members of the deceased are appointed as the executor and we are finding them coming to us for support after having found the whole process rather complex and time consuming, or too emotionally difficult following the death of a loved one.

"Because this is our area of expertise, we are able to progress matters smoothly and swiftly on their behalf.

“There have also been growing delays within the system which have been frustrating, but by having a better understanding of how things work, we can take that burden from clients and handle the situation for them.”

Donna and her team will be offering clients a range of appointment options, from socially distanced office meetings and home visits, to virtual online meetings and phone calls, depending on their circumstances and preference.

Face-to-face meetings can be held in any of the firm’s offices, in Garstang, Lytham, Chorley, Penwortham or Preston.

Chris Mathews added: “Probate is an increasingly complex system for which experienced professional support is more often required. Donna and her team have supported many hundreds of clients through the process, with a calm efficiency which is always appreciated by families at a difficult time.

"We are committed to providing the very best service that we can for our clients and hope the advent of this new dedicated team will prove beneficial in securing a resolution more easily than by themselves.”

For more information about Vincents’ dedicated Probate Team or to contact Donna Matthews directly please contact 01772 555176.