Jenny is Head of the Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity team at Wards and specialises in Will writing, probate, long term care planning, capital tax planning, elderly client law and trusts and law relating to mental incapacity.
Examples of her expertise include:
- Writing tax efficient Wills and always considering protection issues (for example, ensuring exemptions are not missed where a widow or widower have remarried), setting up Wills containing trusts to protect vulnerable beneficiaries, drafting Wills to preserve assets from assessment when a client may need to go into care, emergency Wills where a person wants to put something in place but has a short life expectancy, standard Wills and those where there are capacity issues to address.
- Court of Protection and Mental Capacity work – Will applications to the Court of Protection where a client who has lost mental capacity either hasn’t got a Will or needs to change their current Will (for example, where a gentleman made a homemade Will leaving legacies that totalled more than his estate was worth with the residue passing to four beneficiaries who would have been disinherited. An application was made to the Court for a Statutory Will in which the legatees received a proportionate sum of money and the residuary beneficiaries all received a share of the estate. Court approval was given), challenging gifts made when a person lacks capacity or seeking Court permission to set gifts made outside the Attorney’s powers aside.
- Advising on and drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney and liaising with mental health assessors where necessary. This can sometimes be in emergency situations where a client has had a diagnosis of, for example, dementia and their health is starting to go quickly downhill.
- Inheritance Tax Planning – helping people take advantage of legitimate exemptions both during their lifetime and upon death (for example, creating a lifetime trust to get funds away from a widower’s estate, which providing she survives seven years, will pass outside of her estate.
- Deeds of variation – where there is a Will or someone passes away intestate. These can save a lot of tax depending upon the beneficiaries circumstances (for example when a daughter died before her mother and without a Will. Everything went to the mother, creating a tax issue in her estate. The mother lacked capacity. Wards Solicitors acted for the brother and approached the Court of Protection for an order approving a deed of variation so that the sister’s estate passed to the brother. He had a taxable estate but was likely to outlive his mother. The potential tax saving in this example was around £100,000).
Jenny says: “Clients tell me that they appreciate my being genuinely interested, engaged, sympathetic and empathetic as well as really caring about their circumstances”.
Legal 500 2020 Wards Solicitors is recommended for Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate
Legal 500 2019 Wards Solicitors is recommended for Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate for providing ‘service levels of a very high standard’. Specialising in advising elderly and vulnerable clients, Jenny Pierce heads the practice.
Legal 500 2017 Wards Solicitors is recommended for Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate and Jenny Pierce is recommended in the editorial – ‘Jenny’s knowledge is highlighted in the guide as ‘exemplary’ and clients praise her ability to ‘explain everything in a manner that is easily understood’.
Qualifications and Experience
- Geography degree 1987
- Qualified as a Solicitor in 1994
- Full member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) since 2006.
- STEP Advanced Certificate in Advising Vulnerable clients since 2016
- Full member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) since 2012
- SFE Client Care in Practice Award since 2015
- Regional Coordinator for Bristol & Bath Solicitors For the Elderly (SFE) since 2002
- Director on the national board of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) since 2018
- Appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian’s prestigious Panel of Professional Deputies in 2015
- Member of Law Society Probate Section
- The Winner of the Association of Women Solicitors 2010 award for the Best Woman Solicitor Managing a Probate Practice
- Has specialised in Will writing, probate, long term care planning, capital tax planning, elderly client law and trusts and law relating to mental incapacity since 1994
Supervised by Rebecca Parkman