A leading law firm has reinforced the confidence of clients in its will and probate team with all five specialist solicitors now appointed to the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Rollits, which has offices in Hull and York, has also drawn on the expertise of the team to help Dove House Hospice take the proceeds of its annual Make a Will Fortnight to almost £70,000.
Emma Fawke (above), who qualified as a solicitor in 2011, is the latest solicitor from Rollits to become a full member of STEP after successfully passing her exams and is now a qualified trusts and estates practitioner (TEP).
As a specialist in wills, estate planning, lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters in addition to probate and administration of estates Emma is also a member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), which she achieved in 2019. SFE is a national association of independent lawyers who specialise in legal services for older and vulnerable people.
She said: “The whole private capital team of five lawyers across our two offices now have STEP membership, which is a kite mark for what we do. It indicates the knowledge and experience we all have in dealing with private client matters.”
John Lane, head of Rollits’ private capital department, said: “We are all extremely proud of Emma’s achievement. She has worked very hard to complete her exams alongside her day-to-day work and in the midst of a pandemic and that hard work has paid off. We congratulate her on her STEP qualification.”
The department’s work includes raising awareness of the importance of having a will, and that process is supported by the Make a Will Fortnight.
Emma said: “We have taken part in the Dove House campaign for some time and I have had the privilege of being involved every year since I joined Rollits, in 2018. We donate the time and instead of paying us the clients make a donation to Dove House, which generates about £2,000 a year from our work alone.
“It’s also about raising awareness of the importance of having a proper will, which is massive in terms of making sure a person’s estate is handled in line with their wishes and because it enables you to identify who has the responsibility for handling the estate immediately.
“It makes sense to get a properly drawn up will in the first place rather than have to pay substantial fees to rectify something afterwards.”
Jethro Shearring, regional fundraiser for Dove House Hospice, said Make a Will Fortnight has been running since 2012 and had generated £68,500 before the latest campaign which has just ended.
He said: “Make A Will Fortnight is a crucial part of the hospice’s annual fundraising calendar. The appeal relies completely on the generosity of local solicitors, who waive fees for a certain number of will writing appointments with participants donating to Dove House instead.
“We are incredibly grateful to Emma and her colleagues who have been a cornerstone of the appeal in recent years. We fully expect the amount from this year’s campaign to take us past the £70,000 milestone with contributors again helping to make a crucial difference to those receiving specialist care at Dove House.”