Charlotte celebrates STEP Success

A Coventry solicitor has been awarded a qualification following studies that have hugely improved her technical knowledge in advising clients in the trust and estate practice.

Charlotte Macalister, solicitor in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team at Band Hatton Button, has achieved a Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) diploma.

The diploma also saw Charlotte undertake exams in the administration of trusts and the administration of estates, and has increased her understanding of the administration of trusts and estates to enable her to provide specialist advice when advising clients.

Charlotte is now one of only five lawyers in Coventry to hold the qualification following four and a half years of studying, which has given her the technical knowledge to advise vulnerable clients on critical decisions relating to their care and making sure they plan ahead for the future.

She said: “I’m delighted to have achieved this qualification, particularly when our population is ageing which in turn increases the need for families to seek advice on the assets and care of their vulnerable loved ones.

“The cost of care for an elderly relative is a particular concern for many families but not many are aware of technicalities that can help them with this.

“That’s why the Advanced Certificate for Vulnerable Clients is so important, as it helps solicitors such as myself to understand the more technical points relating to trusts, estates and tax to determine how vulnerable clients and their families can plan for care home fees, and if there is entitlement to state support.

“It’s essential that people with assets prepare for later life as soon as possible by putting in place a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to ensure somebody has been nominated to carry out their desired wishes.

“A common example of the importance of having an LPA in place is to provide someone with the authority to manage your finances which could include paying bills or setting up a direct debit to pay for care home fees.

“If decisions like this are left until a loved one is no longer able to make decisions for themselves or manage their own finances, then family members would have to seek a Deputyship Order from the Court of Protection which will appoint someone to manage their affairs and this can take longer and be costly.”

Charlotte joins Michelle Gavin, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Band Hatton Button, who is also a STEP member and diploma holder.

Mark Moseley, Managing Director at Band Hatton Button, added: “We’re really proud of Charlotte’s recent achievement. Customers rightly do their research before deciding which law firm to use, and to have two solicitors listed by STEP as experienced practitioners in their areas of expertise reinforces our position as a leading operator in Coventry and the wider region.”