and what you leave behind

Your legacy



Whether we are five or ninety five we seek and take advice on a daily basis.

Sometimes advice is welcome, sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is needed. Advice, when given, must be appropriate for you, your circumstances, and your needs otherwise you will simply not be interested. So, how about speaking to an adviser that listens to you before they speak, on your sofa or around your kitchen table where you are most comfortable?

Life is complicated. It is never simply about the problem in hand but how it affects all aspects of your daily life, your family, and your security. A problem never sits in isolation and without sensible planning and advice it may never go away. At Argo we hold your hand and guide you through practical, considered, advice that will make a difference to you and allow you to leave the lasting legacy you wish. Our clients benefit from a different approach to advice at Argo. We listen and think before we speak.

Whether it is drafting your Will, saving Inheritance Tax or using trusts to protect assets we are here to help. It is what we do.

Everyone wants to retain control of their finances and their personal needs for as long as they can. We help you appoint attorneys to make decisions at times when you most need them. We advise on issues that arise with capacity and help guide you through the maze that is the Court of Protection. We work with you, and your attorneys, in your best interest.

Illness can creep up when we least expect it. Being prepared takes some of the fear out of the panic illness can cause. Powers of attorney and Living Wills help to ensure your wishes are followed with practical sensible advice about funding care and benefits make life much easier. Let us make this difficult time easier for you and your family by giving you the knowledge you need to cope.

It is never easy to talk about death and dying but it is necessary to ensure a person’s end of life wishes are respected and documented and to help with the administration of their estate when the time comes. Grief can overwhelm and leave those behind feeling helpless. Let us help you deal with the practicalities so you can concentrate on what is important: you and your family.



There are times in life when things just get too much to manage. It may be you are unwell, do not have time because you are simply too busy doing the things you enjoy.

Maybe you do not have the time to help parents manage their complex financial and health needs or it is not so easy because you live some distance away, work away or do not have the expertise to deal with the issues. Argo can help.

We appreciate that people have problems in life which have legal implications not legal problems that have life implications. We recognise that clients need a broader level of advice and support than traditional legal firms can offer.

For us it is not simply about the law. You are what matters and this means that you need to have the support every day to ensure you lead the best quality of life you can whilst doing everything you wish whether this is sky diving, reading the newspaper on a Sunday afternoon, a tropical holiday or simply going to the pub for a beer with your friends.

We offer help and support to:

Provide quality of life: We ensure our clients are part of their local community. We help our clients go to yoga classes, play golf, tend their allotments and have family and friends around them at important times of the year. We find out who our clients are and plan an active life around their favourite past times.

Meet health and welfare needs: We ensure our clients attend hospital appointments, the opticians and the dentist. We liaise with medical teams over treatment, attend hospital discharge and best interest meetings and care planning meetings to ensure the voice of our client is heard and not ignored. We build care packages which have our clients at the beginning, middle and end of the care that is provided and think nothing of removing care providers which are not fulfilling the high standards we expect them to achieve.

Maintain and or adapt property: Your home is after all your castle and why should you leave it just because you struggle to manage its upkeep. We help clients remain in their own home by ensuring its continued safety. This could be fixing a leaky tap, installing a downstairs wet room or arranging for the installation of a stair lift. If residential care is needed we provide help and support in arranging the transition from home to home.

Manage finances: We help our clients manage their finances so they do not find themselves in difficulty. We streamline the administration of their financial affairs, we search the best utility provider rates, we claim benefits and we manage bank accounts. We work closely with independent financial advisers and accountants to ensure our clients maximise their income and mitigate their tax bills to support their standards of living.

Emotional support at difficult times: Holding a person’s hand when they are upset or in pain is the simplest thing, but it makes the greatest difference.

But we do more than that. We care.



A helping hand when you need it…

It isn’t always about giving and receiving advice. Sometimes you just need a bit of guidance to guide you through difficult times or situations. This is one of the reasons why Argo is different.

We appreciate that you may wish to do things yourself but do not know how to get started or the direction to go in. Sometimes it is just about having a friendly person on the end of the telephone.

For this reason Argo offer a guidance and support service to our clients. If you have drafted your Will or have prepared your own Power of Attorney we will check it over for you. If you want us to act as a Certificate Provider on your Lasting Powers of Attorney we can.

If you are appointed to act as an executor, a trustee, an attorney or a deputy but are not familiar, or do not understand your duties and responsibilities, we provide you with the knowledge so you can act to the best of your ability.

If you wish to administer an estate yourself, because you need to and you want to, we will check your paperwork to make sure it is completed correctly and help you obtain the grant of representation to administer the estate.

If accounting is not your strong point we offer support to prepare estate accounts, trust accounts or Court of Protection accounts. You provide the information we provide the finished product.

If you need deeds and documents prepared to help with the administration of a trust but wish to deal with the daily administration yourself, that’s fine. We can help with what you need.

For us it is about being there for you, in whatever form you need us.

Frequently asked questions

Is an enduring power of attorney still valid if one attorney has signed after 1 October 2007?

If there is only one attorney appointed then the answer to this question is no. The enduring power of attorney is not valid as both the donor and the attorney had to sign before 1 October 2007. If there is more than one attorney then those attorneys who signed before 1 October 2007 can still act as attorneys under the power. It is only the attorney who signed after 1 October 2007 who cannot act.

Do my attorneys have to make decisions together?

You can decide how you want your attorneys to act for you. You have the choice of whether you appoint your attorneys jointly or jointly and severally. Jointly means they have to decide on everything together. Once cannot make a decision on their own. You need to think carefully before you decide on this option. If one of your jointly appointed attorneys dies, is unwilling or unable to act then none of your attorneys can act and your power of attorney is effectively useless. Jointly and severally means your attorneys can act together or independently if and when circumstances require them to, or it may be your choice that jobs are carved up between your attorneys so you have the best qualified attorney doing the most appropriate jobs.

Can my attorney look at my will?

Whilst you have capacity you remain in charge of all of your property. This includes your will. Your attorney has no right to see your will whilst you are capable. In the event you become incapable of managing your property and affairs your financial attorney can look at the terms of your will. If you do not wish this to happen you should put a specific restriction in your power of attorney. Be careful however in making this decision hastily as it could lead to your attorney doing something with an asset that you have specifically given away in your will!

Who can witness my will?

You need to make sure that you have independent witnesses. As we are overly cautious Argo recommends that you do not use anyone who could benefit under your will or their spouses. We prefer totally independent witnesses. We also do not like the witnesses to be married. There are ocassions when the witnesses need to give evidence in court. If the witnesses are married and move away we may never find them! You can use work colleagues, neighbours or why not ask your friendly lawyer who drafted the will!

I am about to divorce my husband. Is my will still valid?

Yes it is. However you need to be very careful with the wording in your will so it might be best to make a new one so your soon to be ex is not mentioned. The Wills Act states that any gift to a former spouse is to be treated as if they had died at the date of the divorce so any gift you have left will not take place. However if the wording in the will indicates that the gift to your ex was to happen even after your divorce then the gift will still stand. REMEMBER that this only applies from the date of your decree absolute, not before. If you die during your divorce you are still married and therefore any gift to your ex will take place. We would always advise that as soon as you separate or begin divorce proceedings you put a new will in place so that there is no potential problem.

I have found my mother's will but it is not dated.  Is it valid?

To answer this we have to look at the rules surrounding signing wills set out in the Wills Act. This piece of legislation says that for a will to be valid it must:- 1. be in writing 2. be signed by the person making the will 3. be clear the person signing the will intended to give effect to the will by signing it 4. have been signed by the person making the will in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time 5. be signed by each witness There is no legal requirement for a will to be dated and the lack of a date does not invalidate a will. It is likely that the Probate Registry will require evidence to confirm when it was signed. This usually takes the form of an addidavit of due execution which is prepared at the time a Grant of Probate is obtained.

My will is so old it has fallen apart!

Well, initially we would say that it is clearly overdue for a review then! For it to have fallen apart it must be really old and therefore it is likely to be older than your children and grandchildren who may not feature in it!! But, don't fret your will is not invalid just because it has fallen apart. Gather the papers carefully together and put them in a secure folder as it is still a valid document. Whilst it is preferrable for a will to be bound, as it demonstrates it has not been tampered with, if a Grant of Probate is required the Probate Registry will require evidence of its condition to prove that it is as it always was. This will be done by an affidavit of plight and condition which will need to be signed by the executor to confirm the state it was in when they found it. We think you need a new will!

I'm not keeping my married name when I divorce and am going to change it.  Do I need to change my will to?

Just because you change your surname you do not need to change your will. A deed of name change simply changes your name but does not alter your identity. In the future it will be important for your executors to show that the will they have belongs to the correct person so they will need to make enquiries in all of your names when they try to identify your assets. It would be sensible to keep a copy of your deed of name change with your will or if it is not too much trouble get the will amended to show your new surname and get it resigned.

Oh and by the way I have a house in France!

Not a problem! Your will simply needs to be restricted to deal with assets in England and Wales. This is an easy issue to solve. You must make sure however that your will is worded to ensure it does not revoke your French will. If you don't have a French will then you MUST HURRY UP AND GET ONE!