WELCOME TO CITY LAW ASSOCIATES

Legal advice from City Law Associates, We are an experienced law firm based in the Middle East with partners all over Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Middle East and offer legal expertise to both private and business clients.

Asset & Wealth Protection

Getting a good Will drawn up to ensure that your wealth is safeguarded after your death and benefits the right people is an essential part of estate planning. For those who want or need to make lifetime arrangements to provide for young children, vulnerable relatives or family members suffering from a disability should consider establishing a trust within which cash and other assets can be held for their benefit but without giving them control.


We have an experienced team of lawyers that can advise you on whether or not a trust is appropriate in your situation. If that is the case, a lifetime settlement can be established or perhaps a trust can be written into your Will. We can assist you with the ongoing administration and taxation of a trust and, if you wish, act as a trustee.


We are part of the Wills & Inheritance Quality Scheme which sets high client service standards to ensure transparency in process, costs and communications.


Administration of Estates 

Are you an executor of an estate of someone who has died recently and want to know what your responsibilities and liabilities are? Has a relative died without a Will, or with a Will that, for whatever reason, you are not happy with?


Our substantial Probate Department can advise on the administration of estates including application for all types of Grant and distribution of assets thereafter. Our partners are often appointed as executors of an estate and can provide a sensitive and independent view of the issues during what can be a difficult time.


We recognise that many people like to deal with everything to do with an estate whilst others simply want ‘hand holding’ through the forms and procedure necessary to wind-up an estate.


We would be happy to discuss the various levels of our services and how we might be able to help you.


Trusts 

Trusts are a peculiarly English-law concept by which a donor, or "settlor", can place cash and other assets into a structure distinct from his/her legal ownership but over which he/she can continue to exercise a measure of control. Trusts are sometimes used to achieve protection from creditors but are more regularly associated with passing wealth, such as important country houses, from generation to generation whilst minimising the inheritance tax which would fall due had the asset remained in the outright ownership of the settlor. 


Similarly, trusts can be used to help those in more ordinary circumstances who wish to provide for young children or grandchildren or family members who may have long term care requirements. 


We have an experienced team of lawyers that can advise you on whether or not a trust is appropriate in your situation. If so, then we can recommend what type of trust might be suitable and guide you through the process of creating a lifetime settlement or write a trust into your Will. We can assist you with the ongoing administration of a trust, advise on the tax implications and can if you wish act as a trustee.


Powers of Attorney 

If a friend or relative has made a power of attorney the document will state who has been appointed as the attorney.


A power of attorney creates the authority to act on behalf of the person giving the power, often known as the "donor". There are several types of powers of attorney, the most straight forward one being a general power to manage financial affairs and property. This is a useful power of attorney to cover a temporary absence abroad, for example. A general power of attorney would no longer be valid if the donor loses capacity through age or infirmity. 


Enduring Powers of Attorney (which can no longer be made, but which if already in existence can still be used) or Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Affairs survive incapacity but can be used only once registered with the Court of Protection if the donor has become incapacitated. It is also possible to nominate attorneys to make decisions about health and welfare under a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare. 


Our lawyers are very experienced in drafting the appropriate documents and making the necessary registrations with the Court of Protection. We understand that this is often a very difficult time for families and take a sensitive approach to make the process as simple as possible.


Wills & Tax Planning 

If you die without a Will then your assets will be distributed in accordance with the statutory rules of intestacy to your closest relatives in strict shares and order of priority, fixed by law, which may well not be what you would have wanted. Your husband or wife will not necessarily inherit all your estate if you have children. An unmarried partner or a stepchild would not be included as a beneficiary of your estate. It is therefore wise to have a Will which truly reflects your wishes and circumstances and to review such document from time to time.


A well drawn Will will minimize the amount of Inheritance Tax payable on death, as can the use of trusts during your lifetime, though care needs to be taken that any wealth-mitigation schemes comply with the ever more stringent requirements of the Inland Revenue.