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Solicitors and Estate Agents

Southport Office  01704 534034
Ainsdale Office 01704 574144
Churchtown Office 01704 211649     

Latest News

Spring 2018
Free Wills Month and Make a Will Month 2018

Once again this year we are going to participate in the Free Wills Month in March as well as the Queenscourt Hospice Make a Will Month in April. We were delighted to know that in 2017 a total of 16 solicitors were involved in the Queenscourt Hospice Make a Will Month which raised in excess of £17,500 to support the local hospice.

The charities that participate in the Free Wills Month hope that people who have wills prepared for them under that scheme may leave legacies in their wills to one or more of the participating charities.

Queenscourt Hospice Make a Will Month is designed to raise funds in 2018 for the benefit of the hospice. We are pleased to be able to continue with our support of Queenscourt Hospice.

January 2018

Happy New Year!

We would like to wish all our clients and colleagues a happy and healthy 2018.

November 2017

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (Martin Mere Centre)

Wills have been prepared for supporters of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust during November under their 2017 will month scheme.  The total of the amount raised is not yet precisely known.  All donations by clients in this area are used by WWT for the benefit of Martin Mere.

November 2017

Southport and Ormskirk Law Society

Val Hulton became the first solicitor since 1975 to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Southport and Ormskirk Law Society following the resignation on health grounds of the President elected in February 2017.

The Society’s annual dinner was held at the Ramada Plaza on the Promenade and was attended by a total of 90 people including members of the Society and their guests.  The President’s guests were:-

Sarah Lapsley Merseyside Council Member

Neil Latham Honorary Secretary of the Southport branch of the Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants

Carl Howard joint proprietor of Howards’ Funeral Directors

John Clarke Principal of Southport College,

Joe Egan National President of the Law Society

District Judge Judith Bond

Mike Hulton Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Member of the Institution of Water and Environmental Management

District Judge Ian Knifton

Val is delighted to continue to support the Southport and Ormskirk Law Society following a long line of former Presidents from Cockshott Peck Lewis and its predecessors including Arnold Lewis, John Loy, Gerald Belshaw, Keith Watson, Geoffrey Hough, Geoff Cottrell, Alistair Ford and Wendy Tyson.

12th October 2017

Dementia Friends

We were pleased to be offered the opportunity to be given Dementia Friends awareness training by Ellen Hingley Legacy Giving Officer with Alzheimer’s Society.  As a result of the training Geoff Cottrell and Val Hulton and some of the staff at Cockshott Peck Lewis are Dementia Friends.

March 2017

Queenscourt Hospice Free Wills Month

The three branches of the office participated in the Queenscourt Hospice will month in March this year making this the fourth year we have participated in the scheme since it was introduced by Queenscourt Hospice.

The total raised by our three offices in 2017 was £4,645. We are proud to be associated with Queenscourt and are pleased to be able to provide much needed funds for the charity.

March 2017

Free Wills Month 2017

The firm participated once again in the Free Wills Month in March which nationally raised over £5,876,387 in future income for the charities. All three offices took part and were able to prepare wills for people wishing to participate in this scheme with a view to raising funds for the charities supported by the scheme. Those charities are:-


Age UK

Marie Curie

Guide Dogs

Arthritis Research UK


Diabetes UK

The Royal British Legion


British Heart Foundation

The Salvation Army

Blue Cross for Pets

National Free Wills Network

The firm has continued to participate in this scheme which now has a total of 90 charities in the Network and enables the supporters of the participating charities to have wills prepared for them with no charge to them.

22nd March 2017

Croxteth Hall Alzheimer’s Society Legacy Event

Val Hulton attended the Legacy Event held at Croxteth Hall in Liverpool presented by the Alzheimer’s Society.  Val gave a presentation about wills and powers of attorney.

The Legacy Event programme provided information to supporters of the charity about legacies and research as well as personal experiences from people who have received valuable support from the charity.

Autumn 2019  

Queenscourt Hospice, Free Wills Month and National Free Wills 2019

We have continued our involvement with Queenscourt Hospice having participated in the Queenscourt Hospice Will Month in March 2019 which raised funds once again for our local Hospice.

In March we participated in the Free Wills Month which has generated funds for some of the participating charities. Those funds were in the form of legacies for some of the charities in the wills that we prepared for the clients that took advantage of the scheme.

Two relatively new schemes that we have been involved in are free wills for:-

 Woodlands Hospice in Aintree which runs in April

 Amnesty International which runs in March

We are also taking part in the Clatterbridge Will Month in November 2019

We still participate in the National Free Wills Network scheme which has in November 2019 a total of 136 charities in the Network.  This scheme enables supporters of the participating charities to have wills prepared for them with no charge to the supporters.  This firm receives a modest payment for our work from National Free Wills Network.  Once again, the participating charities have income generated for them by legacies bequeathed to them in the wills of their supporters.  

The scheme runs throughout the year and is not limited to one particular month in contrast to Free Wills Month, Queenscourt, Woodlands Hospice, Amnesty International and Clatterbridge make a will months.

3 January 2017

Inheritance Tax Changes

There is to be a significant change to inheritance tax liability for individuals who own, or have owned, their own residence which will take effect from April 2017.  In addition to an individual’s inheritance tax free allowance of £325,000 (known as their “nil rate band”) there will be a new residence inheritance tax allowance which initially will be an additional £100,000 to add to the personal inheritance tax allowance of £325,000.

The new allowance will be known as the “residence nil rate band”.  It will increase annually by £25,000 each year from 06/04/2018 until 06/04/2020 to a maximum of £175,000.

The residence nil rate band is only available if certain conditions are met and gifts into certain types of trusts will not qualify for the new relief.

Sale of a residence and purchase of a less expensive residence (commonly known as downsizing) or sale of the residence to move into rental accommodation or residential care will not result in the residence nil rate band being lost.

People who own a property or have done so in the past may wish to review their wills although their wills may not necessarily need to be changed.

Our News Archive can be found online here

January 2020

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Enduring powers of attorney were introduced in 1985 so that people could choose attorneys to deal with their property and financial affairs. The attorneys would continue to have that authority even if the donor of the power of attorney were to lose mental capacity in the future.

In 2007 the Government introduced a new type of power of attorney called a lasting power of attorney.  There are several major differences between the old style enduring power of attorney and the newer style lasting powers of attorney.

Enduring powers of attorney completed prior to the autumn of 2007 remain valid and can be used when the donor of the power wishes his or her attorneys to provide assistance with financial and legal matters.  In the event of mental incapacity the attorneys have a duty to register the enduring power of attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian.  This is something that this firm can assist the attorneys to deal with.

All lasting powers of attorney created since the autumn of 2007 must be lasting powers of attorney of which there are two types.  One is a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney which replaces the enduring power of attorney.

The other is a health and welfare lasting power of attorney.

t is recommended that anyone in their mid-50s or older should have both types of lasting power of attorney to ensure that the people that they would like to make decisions regarding their healthcare and to deal with their property, financial matters and legal affairs can do so.  No individual has legal authority to deal with another person’s property and financial affairs unless appointed as an attorney.

Healthcare professionals may take into account the wishes of close family members if an individual loses mental capacity and is unable to make his or her healthcare decisions.  Unfortunately, this is becoming less common place and more and more frequently the medical and healthcare professionals are unable or unwilling to take instructions from family members on healthcare matters and are insisting that a health and welfare lasting power of attorney must be in place.

The reassurance of knowing that you have selected the people that are closest to you that you love and trust to make all these important decisions cannot be overestimated.

Lasting powers of attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.  The registration process takes approximately two months to complete so it is important that all lasting powers of attorney once created are registered at that time rather than being left to be registered at a later date when the need to operate arises otherwise there may be a period of time when there is a lasting power of attorney in existence but it cannot be used as it has not been registered.

March 2020

Corona Virus

We are still working at each of our three offices but we are not meeting clients.  We are happy to take instructions and deal with matters where possible by telephone appointment so please do contact us by telephone, post or e-mail if you would like to arrange an appointment for advice or to instruct us to deal with any matters on your behalf.