Mental Incapacity

Mental capacity solicitors

Have you considered what would happen if you lost capacity and were unable to make decisions? Who would look after your finances, or decide whether you should have a life saving operation?

If mental incapacity is something that you are concerned about, our solicitors can help you decide on the best course of action, whether that is a lasting power of attorney, or an “advance decision” or “living will” as they are more commonly known.

We understand how difficult it can be to discuss issues around mental incapacity. We will take the time to fully explain the options available to you and the implication of each course of action.

If you do not put provisions in place and you lose capacity, the Court of Protection may appoint someone to look after your affairs and make decisions that may not be in line with your wishes. Dealing with the Court of Protection can be complicated and time consuming. Our trusts and estates lawyers are experienced with dealing with these issues and can help take the stress away if this is something you are dealing with.

If someone does not have a will or their will is inappropriate for their circumstances, we can apply to the Court of Protection for a statutory will to be made on behalf of the incapacitated client. A statutory will can be used to help with estate planning and reduce inheritance tax liability, leaving gifts to charity where the intestacy rules would involve an expensive search for relatives and ensuring that gifts the client would have made if they had been capable of doing so are put into effect.

Several members of our trusts and estates department are Mencap recommended and are highly experienced in dealing with mental incapacity issues relating to wills and probate.

To speak to a trusts and estates solicitor about mental incapacity, call or email us today.

Who to contact

Louise Harrhy- Head of Trusts & Estates

Louise Harrhy

Partner, Head of Trusts & Estates

Louise Harrhy- Head of Trusts & Estates

Partner, Head of Trusts & Estates

Louise Harrhy

A Partner based in Cranleigh, Louise is also Head of the Trusts & Estates team at Hart Brown and has extensive experience in a broad range of Private Client work.

Louise helps clients with all aspects of Private Client work and deals with the formation and administration of trusts, lifetime and post death planning and will drafting. She also works with other professional advisors to provide a complete package of advice.

Louise has considerable experience of applications for probate and estate administration often including complex issues and overseas assets. Additionally, she can help clients with Court of Protection matters including lasting powers of attorney and court applications for gifts.

"Louise Harrhy is highly experienced in probate applications and estate administration especially matters involving offshore assets. She is skilled in Court of Protection matters, including deputyships and lasting powers of attorney." (Chambers UK 2016)

"Louise Harrhy is a really driven and committed lawyer. She advises clients on a wide range of areas, including the creation of wills, the establishment of trusts and the administration of estates. Her work also incudes Court of Protection matters." (Chambers UK 2017)

Louise is also a member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

What do clients say?

"Louise at Hart Brown helped me enormously in sorting out my deceased relatives affairs. I would not have been able to cope without her generous patience and understanding."

"Louise Harrhy was recommended to me as a highly professional and knowledgeable solicitor when I was seeking some advice on Estate Planning. This she certainly is and her advice regarding Wills, Trusts and LPAs has been reassuring and helpful in planning the way forward. I have been left with the impression of Hart Brown as a firm of solicitors that can be respected and trusted."

"I have had excellent attention from Louise Harrhy and her team at the Cranleigh Office recently, dealing with the Wills , Probate and Estate of 2 close relatives. These matters are never easy to deal with , but the combination of professionalism and kindness shown to me by Louise has been a huge help. I would not hesitate to recommend Hart Brown to anyone finding themselves needing help with such matters."

"I found Louise Harrhy to be very helpful and professional in her dealings with my late mother's estate. I would definitely recommend her and Hart Brown."

"Excellent!! Friendly and professional service by Louise Harrhy."

    Jordan Page

    Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

    Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

    Jordan Page

    Jordan is a Senior Associate with more than 5 years' post-qualified experience, specialising in Wills, lasting powers of attorney and the administration of trusts and estates. He is based in the Trusts & Estates department in Guildford.

    Jordan studied law at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2013. Whilst completing his LPC on a part time basis, Jordan worked in the firm’s quality and compliance department as the firm’s Chief Internal Auditor, before commencing his training contract in April 2016.

    Having previously undertaken trainee roles in the Family and Residential Property departments, Jordan qualified into the Trust & Estates department where he completed his training.

    What does Jordan regard as his specialism?

    "The administration of estates and inheritance tax planning in equal measure. My experience of administering estates and calculating inheritance tax liabilities has provided me with valuable insight into how this particularly unpopular tax applies. This type of work has given me the tools to advise clients as to the steps they can take in advance to mitigate their exposure to inheritance tax. I pride myself on providing legal advice in a straightforward manner, cutting through the legal jargon. I always endeavour to work as efficiently as I can in order to provide the best level of service."

    Jordan frequently receives great feedback from his clients:

    "Just thought I’d email to say thank you really - it’s been a long 11 months but some of the horror stories I have heard from friends who have had to deal with these affairs makes us all realise how efficient and effective you have been so I'd like to thank you on behalf of all our family."

    "“Thank you above all for all your exemplary and conscientious work on my mother’s estate, carried out with great patience and attention to every detail.”

    “Thanks again for all your hard and conscientious work on the estate and then the will. You have made what could have been a stressful process extremely easy and constructive. I really appreciate the time you have devoted to helping me navigate this.”

    "Hart Brown comes up trumps yet again"

    “I appreciate your efforts and thank you for helping me to understand the process!”

    "Thank you for your help, your ears will be burning, as I have been ringing your praises!!"

    “Thank you for all your input, help and time - it has been much appreciated.”

    “May I take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work and professionalism - it is a testament to all those who worked so hard on this case that it looks as though it will all be settled by the first year Anniversary. Quite remarkable!”

    "I would like to place on record my appreciation of the efficient and quick service you have provided, particularly as I wished to have the new will in place before my departure on holiday."

    “I have been impressed by the way you have dealt with the estate and the thorough way each step has been handled”

    "Thank you for the way you have handled my father’s estate. It made a potentially difficult task stress free. You may recall that I was executor for my Scottish aunt’s estate at the same time - let’s just say that was a far more unpleasant experience".

      Margaret Gale- Associate- Trusts & Estates

      Margaret Gale

      Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

      Margaret Gale- Associate- Trusts & Estates

      Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

      Margaret Gale

      Margaret is a Senior Associate and specialises in wills, the establishment and administration of trusts, probate, tax planning and powers of attorney.

      Margaret joined Hart Brown in 2017, bringing with her a wealth of experience to the Trusts & Estates department in Cobham. She has worked as a Private Client lawyer in Surrey for over 30 years, and is also a member of STEP and the Law Society Private Client Section.

        Sue Macleod -Associate, Trusts & Estates

        Sue Macleod

        Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

        Sue Macleod -Associate, Trusts & Estates

        Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

        Sue Macleod

        Sue is a Senior Associate in the Trusts and Estates department, primarily dealing with wills, estate administration, inheritance tax planning, powers of attorney and Court of Protection work.

        Sue qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and has worked for Hart Brown since 1997 apart from a 4 year career break.

        Sue’s clients provide excellent feedback: “An excellent and efficient service. Would highly recommend to friends and family”.

          Susanna Fowler

          Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

          Senior Associate, Trusts & Estates

          Susanna Fowler

          Susanna is a Senior Associate in our Trusts & Estates department in Guildford. Susanna had a previous career in Marketing and Business Development before pursuing her route to Law.

          She was a College of Law (now University of Law) prize winner and qualified as a Solicitor in 2006.

          Highly-experienced in a range of Private Client work, Susanna specialises in Wills, lasting powers of attorney, probate, administration of estates and Inheritance Tax planning.

          Her estate administration work is wide and varied from simple estates to those of far greater complexity with foreign assets, business interests and gifts to charity. Aware that this work involves assisting clients at such a difficult and challenging time in their lives, Susanna provides practical and clear advice in a sensitive and empathetic manner, helping her clients to navigate through the complexities of the administration process as easily as possible.

            Sunil Vasisht

            Associate, Trusts & Estates

            Associate, Trusts & Estates

            Sunil Vasisht

            Sunil joined the Trusts & Estates team in May 2022 as an Associate based in the Cranleigh office. Since he qualified as a solicitor he has worked in firms with offices in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Surrey.

            After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in Law with French, he decided to travel abroad for a year or so. Nineteen years later, after having set up an English language school/consultancy a stone’s throw from the Amalfi Coast, he returned to the UK to fulfil his childhood ambition of qualifying as a solicitor.

            Sunil has worked in the Private Client field for over 11 years, specialising in Wills, Estate Administration, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyship applications to the Court of Protection, all the while taking courses and qualifications to improve his skills and knowledge.

            He is a full member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and also achieved a distinction in the STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation.

              Kerry Dunn

              Barrister

              Barrister

              Kerry Dunn

              Kerry is a barrister in our Woking office.

              Kerry was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1999. She practised at 3 Stone Buildings (now Three Stone following a merger) until 2018 when she took a planned career break to spend time with her young family. During her time at the Bar, she specialised in private client work, both contentious and non-contentious. She has a wealth of experience advising on: trusts and estates; Wills, LPAs, probate and family provision (1975 Act claims); related inheritance taxation and professional negligence claims; Court of Protection and Elder Law; and co-ownership disputes.

              An experienced litigator and advocate, Kerry also qualified as a mediator in 2008 and is keen to work with clients to find sensible, cost-effective solutions to problems as they arise. She is experienced at advising clients across the spectrum, including HNW and UHNW clients.

              Kerry was a full member of STEP from 2005 to 2017 and will be reactivating her membership in due course. She was a committee member of the STEP Mental Capacity SIG from 2016-2017.

              Kerry is keen to give back to the community and was on the panel for the Bar Pro Bono Unit (now Advocate) from 2006-2017, volunteered at Surrey Law Centre and at Refugee Action Kingston. She is happy to give talks to the wider community, including care settings and at local schools.

              What do Kerry's clients say?

              "...it’s such a relief. I feel like a big shadow has been lifted and I can move on. Thank you for all your help. I knew the instant I spoke to you that you were the right person to help us. I appreciated your understanding and compassion for our situation coupled with your extensive knowledge of the law and your no nonsense approach."

              "We were treated very well. Kerry was so kind and understanding, could not have wished for better."

              "Very thorough and clear, and responded well to my tight timetable and somewhat complex requirements."

                Belinda

                Belinda Packer

                Associate, Trusts & Estates

                Belinda

                Associate, Trusts & Estates

                Belinda Packer

                Belinda is an Associate at our Godalming office.

                Belinda has over 10 years’ experience in advising private clients, specialising in dealing with a wide variety of matters including wills and testamentary issues, estate planning and the administration of estates and all Court of Protection matters such as Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyships.

                In dealing efficiently with the legal processes, Belinda aims to put clients at their ease and by being sensitive to their situations, to provide clear advice in a way that clients are easily able to understand.

                Belinda previously had experience at the Care Quality Commission, she has advised at the Citizens Advice Bureau and she has also represented clients at Court.

                Belinda feels most rewarded by having satisfied and happy clients.

                What do clients say?

                "My thanks to Belinda Packer on behalf of myself and my family for her assistance in recently dealing with the Probate of my late mother's estate. She was professional and efficient throughout the process, which was greatly appreciated by all of us during that difficult time."

                "Belinda was extremely good.... we told her what we wanted and she did the rest."

                "We were so relieved to have our wills and power of attorney completed , Thank you."

                "Belinda was extremely thorough and helpful and explained everything I needed to know about making a will and explained any queries I might have had."

                  Marie-Claire Robson- Senior Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

                  Marie-Claire Robson

                  Associate, Trusts & Estates

                  Marie-Claire Robson- Senior Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

                  Associate, Trusts & Estates

                  Marie-Claire Robson

                  Marie-Claire joined the Wills, Trusts & Estates team here at Hart Brown in 2020 as an Associate based at the Guildford office.

                  After graduating with an LLB in Law and German language in 2004 from Surrey University, Marie-Claire subsequently worked for a firm in Bournemouth before moving to live in Guildford in 2013.

                  Since qualifying, Marie-Claire has achieved full STEP membership and she has completed the STEP Advanced Certificate in Will Drafting.

                  Marie-Claire specialises in the preparation of Wills, lasting powers of attorney, Court of Protection applications, administration of estates and the setting up and administration of trusts.

                  Clients appreciate her approachable, friendly manner and focus on maintaining regular contact with updates from start to finish.

                    Emily Wiggins

                    Consultant, Trusts & Estates

                    Consultant, Trusts & Estates

                    Emily Wiggins

                    Emily specialises in inheritance tax planning, the administration of estates, trusts, wills and lasting powers of attorney.

                    She is a member of the Law Society Probate Section and takes the opportunity to write articles and has been published in the local, regional and national press.

                    Her clients are delighted by her kind approach and efficient way of dealing with their matters, regularly writing to the head of department to comment on how pleased they have been with the service.

                    Having trained in the City, Emily joined Hart Brown in 2004.

                    Emily 's clients have commented: "Emily was very helpful and a pleasure to work with - she made the experience very easy we will happily recommend Hart Brown."

                      Kelly Smith

                      Legal Executive, Trusts & Estates

                      Legal Executive, Trusts & Estates

                      Kelly Smith

                      Kelly joined Hart Brown’s Trust & Estates Team in January 2024 as a Legal Executive working towards her CILEX Chartered Legal Executive and Probate Practitioner qualification that she is due to complete shortly (April/May 2024).

                      Kelly has worked in law for 25 years and has over 10 years’ experience in Private Client. Kelly’s expertise includes Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and all aspects of estate administration.

                      Kelly is personable and takes a pragmatic, friendly approach when assisting her clients. She is committed and likes to communicate regularly with her clients so as to keep them updated and build confidence in their relationship.

                      Outside of work Kelly enjoys time with her family and friends.

                        Yiskah Butcher

                        Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

                        Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

                        Yiskah Butcher

                        Yiskah joined Hart Brown in January 2023 as a Trusts & Estates Solicitor based in our Cobham office. Yiskah assists clients in the preparation of their Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney and in the administration of a loved one’s estate.

                        After studying Criminology and Sociology at Roehampton University, Yiskah completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in Bloomsbury, gaining a distinction in Private Client.

                        Yiskah qualified as a solicitor in 2010, having completed training seats in family, property, commercial and private client matters and returned to law in 2022 following a career in the childcare sector, where Yiskah established and ran an Ofsted Good rated registered childcare setting in south west London.

                        Yiskah is an experienced and patient communicator, committed to assisting her clients with clarity, care and sensitivity. She enjoys pilates, property renovation, 5k runs and networking.

                        What do clients say about Yiskah?

                        "Both Yiskah Butcher and X have been fantastic with their communication... would absolutely use them again."

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