Shona Newman

Chartered Legal Executive

I am a Legal Executive and registered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.  I have over thirteen years' legal expertise, in a range of areas, and am part of the Health and Community Care Team based at our Westgate House office.

I specialise in all Estate Administration in particular the niche area of Intestate Estates and family tracing.  I also deal with the management of Court of Protection matters and the production of Lasting Powers of Attorney.  

We offer professional deputy services, where one of our professional deputies assumes legal responsibility for managing the property and financial affairs of someone who lacks the mental capacity to do so themselves and does not have an appropriate friend or family member to help them.

This is a big responsibility, and when we obtain the Order from the Court of Protection appointing the Deputy, the work begins in earnest.  Each case will depend on the client's finances and personal circumstances but it is my job to provide long term support to them, tailored to their individual needs, to ensure that their finances are managed appropriately and used for their benefit.  This can involve me managing or selling their home, arranging and paying for care, reviewing benefit entitlements, paying bills and seeking independent financial advice to maximise investments.

Intestacy is when someone dies without making a will.  As 53% of the adult population still don't have a will, this is an incredibly busy area of law.  My particular field of expertise is in beneficiary tracing which is identifying and then finding relatives who will inherit under the intestacy rules.  In most of my cases, the deceased person had no contact with any family and very limited information - if any- about them.  It is my job to accurately research their family history and work out who should inherit by applying the intestacy rules to their family tree.  It's a lot of detective work that requires a good understanding of the available tracing records.  As you can imagine, when I do find and contact beneficiaries it can be a huge shock to learn that a family member that they may have fallen out with, or not even been aware of, has died.  Working alongside these family members - who may not even know each other - is rewarding and challenging, even more so when I think of the largest cases which have involved over 80 beneficiaries in 3 different countries.  I work with these beneficiaries in a sensitive, appropriate manner to ensure that I have built an accurate picture of the family, whilst dealing with the legal requirements of probate.

So please, if you are in any doubt and would like clarification on the Intestacy Rules or Family tracing please give me a call on the number above or use the contact box on this page.

 

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