March marked the end of Zoe Ratcliffe’s seat in the Wills, Trusts and Probate Department.
The trainee solicitor has written this article in reflection of her time with the team and how this has helped her development.
A new seat
Trying out a new seat has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and work in a different environment.
From my first week I was attending client meetings with my supervisor. This was for a variety of enquiries including wills, Lasting Power of Attorneys, probates and estate planning.
My daily tasks included attending these meetings, drafting documentation, putting together probate and LPA applications, as well as responding to emails and undertaking legal research.
During my seat I independently conducted home and care home visits for signing and taking instructions. This was whilst working from both our Preston and Chorley offices. I was regularly able to collaborate directly with an associate director which gave me a wide exposure to a broad range of work.
Attending various webinars enabled me to keep up to date with changes in law including the introduction of video witnessing of wills since the COVID19 outbreak and the changes made in relation to excepted estates and trust registration.
We had monthly team meetings to ensure we were aware of any upcoming events and to keep abreast of relevant changes to the law.
We also had the chance to attend ‘lunch and learn’ sessions. These helped me to brush up on any areas any of the team wanted more information on.
Completing this seat has given me more in-depth knowledge of more areas of law. I chose to do a seat in the Wills Team after enjoying studying the Private Client elective on my LPC. I wanted to ensure people’s wishes could be accurately put into place.
It was great to build on personal relationships with clients. I knew I’d helping when some of them needed it the most.
I am incredibly grateful to the team. All members have been so accommodating in assisting me throughout my time in the department. They assured me that no question was a stupid one.
I am now moving on to complete a six-month seat in Family Law. I chose this seat after partaking in a mini-pupillage and wanting to gain more exposure in the area.
I look forward to getting started in the Family Law Team, where I’ll be getting involved with Children Law and attending court to widen my advocacy experience.