Head of the personal planning team
As private client partner and head of the personal planning team, my focus is on leading a team to provide excellent advice tailored to the needs of individuals to plan and build their future. Helping people through tough times and supporting a proactive approach, I combine legal knowledge with down to earth, practical advice delivered in an understandable way.
The clients I work with appreciate my honest and friendly approach, as shown in their feedback, which includes:
"Donna Holmes was well-prepared and professional. Willing to pause and expand on any queries. Very honest and friendly approach."
"I have learnt lots of things I didn't know that will help me with my situation."
As a STEP member, I advise individuals about planning their future - advising on wills, tax planning, probate, and trusts, (particularly personal injury trusts.)
As an Office of the Public Guardian Panel Deputy, I have wide experience with of mental capacity property and affairs matters - appointment of a deputy, assisting lay deputies, deputyship administration and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Thinking about the legal status of being a cohabitant probably isn’t at the top of the ‘to do’ list.
The MCA was the first Act of Parliament to be built upon a set of principles – firm foundations to underpin the ethos of empowering and yet protecting people within a decision making framework.
Known as Testamentary Freedom, a person making their will (a testator) can decide to make provision and leave gifts to family, friends and/or charity on their death – and also to exclude people from benefiting.
Having been the Judge of the Court of Protection for over 20 years, it is quite the condemnation of LPAs that have been increasingly advertised by the Ministry of Justice (through the Office of the Public Guardian) as a great solution for individuals to plan for their future.
In regards to mitigating inheritance tax in particular, the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 contains some really clear (and straightforward) tax planning opportunities and tax exemptions.
We are delighted that our team was recognised as a national and an international leader for the work we undertake in supporting and advising vulnerable individuals and their families, with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners’ prestigious "Vulnerable Client Team of the Year" award.
This is good news for tax payers, particularly higher-rate taxpayers who can look to concentrate on capital growth rather than income generation through their savings and investments, to generate tax efficient investment performance where appropriate.
Related BBC article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34186128. The charity sector relies on public goodwill and funding to deliver its objectives – and many people support the aims and objectives of charitable organisations – but perhaps not their publicised ‘slipshod’ tactics for fundraising.
Well, the honest answer at this stage is ‘we don’t know!'. Not altogether helpful I appreciate but, unfortunately, it is a true reflection of where we are! The Conservative Manifesto promises to increase the Nil Rate Band (NRB) for Inheritance Tax purposes.
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