Private Clients and Estates

Estate Planning and related services handled with professionalism and compassion

At Trott & Duncan, we have a qualified team comprising over 80 years of combined experience in a variety of Private Client matters. Our team prides itself on providing personal service to our clients which in some cases requires us to attend their homes and the hospital to take instructions.

The main focus of our practice is to provide advice to our clients for Estate Planning and draft documents such as Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Directives (Living Wills).

As part of our community service, over the past four years we have conducted over seventy presentations to various organizations and individuals in the community in an effort to provide guidance and assistance on the importance of drawing up an Estate Plan.

In addition to Estate Planning, our team is experienced in applying for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration, handling each case with care and sensitivity as these are often difficult times for individuals seeking assistance in this area.

Our Private Client and Estates services

Trott & Duncan can assist with sensitive matters relating to Private Clients and Estates including:

Wills and codicils

A Will is a “powerful” document defined as a legal instrument that permits a person, the testator, to make decisions on how his/her estate will be managed and distributed after his/her death and only takes effect upon death. We take instructions from clients and advise on the best way to make provisions in their Wills particular as it relates to providing for their love ones after their death. In the event of a change being required a Codicil can be drafted to amend the terms of the Will.

Powers of attorney (enduring, general and specific)

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a written document whereby an individual (called an Attorney) is appointed to act on behalf of an individual in relation to financial matters. The Enduring Power of Attorney only comes into effect in the event an individual is mentally or physically unable to conduct your financial affairs for themselves and their inability to do so has been confirmed by a doctor. Our team will take instructions from a client, and in some cases, liaise with doctors and social workers to ascertain an individual’s ability to make decisions at the time of instruction.

Receivership applications

In some unfortunate circumstances, individuals require assistance for loved ones who do not have the mental capacity or ability to handle their affairs and have never had an Enduring Power of Attorney drawn up. Our team is experienced in making receivership applications to the Supreme Court under the Mental Health Act 1965 and will handle each case with compassion and sensitivity to ensure that the client’s needs are met.

Health care directives (living wills)

The Health Care Directive allows you to name someone to make decisions about your health care including decisions about life-sustaining treatment if you can no longer speak for yourself. We take instructions from clients to ascertain what their wishes are in the event that they are no longer capable of making decisions concerning their care. We also liaise with the hospital and their medical provider to ensure that this document is retained on their files for future requirements.

Probate and administration applications

When an individual dies their assets will need to pass to their beneficiaries as per their Will or as per the Succession Act 1974 when there is no Will. Our team will advise on the requirements involved in making the necessary application. We liaise with banks and insurance companies and realtors to determine the value of assets and liabilities of the estate to name a few of the items addressed during the process.

Estate administration

Once we have received the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court, we work with various parties such as banking and investment institutions to collect in the assets to distribute in accordance with the Will or the Succession Act 1974.

Primary family homestead applications

A Primary Homestead Certificate application is the process of designating a property in Bermuda as a homestead to minimize death tax upon an individual’s death. You must be Bermudian or a Bermuda Status holder and own a home in Bermuda. The process can be daunting as it requires providing legal details in relation to the property as well as those who own the property. Our team has the experience to advise appropriately and expedite the application.

We help clients with

  • Advising on Administration of Estates Act, the Succession Act 1974 and the Mental Health Act 1965 and particular rules and regulations pertaining to individual matters
  • Reviewing and advising upon legal documents received
  • Drafting legal documents
  • Assisting and submitting various applications
  • Liaising with the Supreme Court, financial and insurance institutions and Government departments to obtain necessary information when processing various applications.
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