About Us

Jennifer Melly law is a firm which specialises in private client work particularly in the area of elderly client law. The firm deals with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection, Trusts and Estates, Long Term Care Planning, Property Transactions, Tax Advice, Will Disputes, Agricultural and Rural Affairs. The firm aims to provide an efficient and friendly service, whilst also being approachable and putting clients at ease. The firm has experienced lawyers who are specialists in their fields and strive to provide a high level of service.

Instructions can be taken in Welsh if required. Jennifer Melly has been in practise in Neath for over twenty six years and started her own business in October 2011. Jennifer has built up an excellent reputation in the field of Trusts, Wills and all aspects of private client work, not only in Neath but in South Wales and England.

Both offices of Jennifer Melly Law are designed with clients' needs in mind and are accessible for both able and less able clients. Both of the bright and modern offices are located in the central commercial areas of Neath and Cardiff town centres, and are situated conveniently between the train and bus stations. We are happy to visit clients in their own homes if this is more convenient.

Neath Solicitors, Wills & Probate

The firm specialises in

Wills

Making a will means that you are able to decide yourself what will happen when you die. Your estate will then be dealt with in accordance with your own wishes rather than in accordance with the law. There are many good reasons to make a will:-

  • To make sure your loved ones are provided for
  • To make sure your wishes are clear and to try and avoid any arguments
  • To avoid leaving problems for those who are left behind
  • To appoint guardians for young children
  • If you are not married or civil partners then you can make sure that your partner is provided for
  • Wills can also help with tax planning
  • To choose executors to carry out your wishes

We aim to make the preparation of a will as straightforward and painless as possible. It is not an easy subject to think about and we will do our best to be sympathetic and understanding whilst providing you with the best advice. We are also able to act as executors with or without a member of the family if requested to do so.

Trusts

Whether you are considering putting assets into trust, whether in your lifetime or in your will, or if you are a trustee then we can advise you on all aspects of preparing, implementing and administering your trust. Trustees have many responsibilities and duties and we can advise you on this and help you to make sure that the trust is dealt with properly.

We are able to act as professional trustees if required to do so.

Estate Administration

When a loved one dies it can be a very distressing time and having professional assistance to deal with their estate can be a great help. We can help with all aspects of the administration of estates and give you all the advice and assistance you need. We deal with applications for Grants of Probate (where there is a Will) or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will), Inheritance Tax payments and planning, variation of estate (e.g. for tax planning), disputes and the general administration of estates.

Will Disputes

This fast developing area of law is one where we can provide expert advice for both claimants and defendants.

Tax - Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax

Although we can advise generally about tax our specialist areas of advice relate to tax mitigation and tax avoidance of Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax. There are measures that can be taken during a person’s lifetime to plan for a possible Inheritance tax charge on their estate and we can provide advice about lifetime planning including making gifts and trusts.

The Inheritance Tax nil-rate band is currently £325,000 and if your estate is near or above this level then we would suggest that you seek advice about possible tax planning measures. If a person dies without taking these measures then in some situations there are things that can be done to alleviate the tax burden, such as the use of Deeds of Variation and we can advise you depending on the specific circumstances.

Where you are considering the disposal of an asset, whether it is by gift, sale or as a transfer into trust then we can advise you on the possible Capital Gains Tax implications.

Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a document which gives power to a person of your choice to look after your money and property on your behalf. It can give them a general power to act for you or it can be limited to certain things. Your attorney will have the power to do anything with your money that you do yourself and will act under your instructions as long as you are able to tell them how to deal with matters. An ordinary power of attorney is no longer effective if you lack the capacity to make decisions for yourself.

If you prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney then your attorney will also have the authority to act for you even if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:-

  • Property and Affairs - this gives your attorney power to manage your financial affairs and as long as you can make decisions for yourself then your attorney will act under your instructions. This will allow your attorney to look after your bank accounts, pay bills and could even allow them to sell your property if necessary.
  • Health and Welfare - this would enable your attorney to make decisions about your health and welfare such as deciding where you live or who you see. It can also give them power to withhold life sustaining treatment if those are your wishes. This power can only be used if you are unable to make the decision for yourself.

A Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. We can prepare and register powers of attorney for you and give you all the information you need to make the right decisions for you.

We are happy to act as attorneys when there are no family members or friends suitable for the role

Deputyship and other applications to the Court of Protection under the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Where a person lacks mental capacity to make decisions for themselves and they have not prepared a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney then a deputy can be appointed through the Court of Protection. The deputy’s role is then to manage the person’s assets and property on their behalf and their role is similar to that of an attorney. Although a deputy can be appointed for property and affairs or health and welfare decisions it is more usual for a deputy to act in dealing with a person’sfinancial affairs only.

It is also possible to apply to the Court to make a Will on a person’s behalf where they lack the mental capacity to make a Will themselves and this is known as a Statutory Will. Other applications that can be made to the Court include pplications to make gifts on the person’s behalf or to appoint trustees in their place if they are appointed as a trustee of a trust and lack the capacity to act themselves. We are experienced in dealing with all types of application to the Court of Protection and are happy to act as deputy in appropriate circumstances.

Advice on Long Term Care

There is general concern about the implications of the need for care at home or in a Care Home setting, which may be a nursing or residential home.

We can advise on a broad range of matters relating to this such as welfare benefits, the cost of care and how this can be met or mitigated.

We are also able to advise on the availability of NHS Continuing Care Funding and care home fee planning.

Property Transactions

When considering selling or buying a property then we can provide a cost effective and user friendly service for both freehold and leasehold properties.

Agricultural and Rural Affairs

We provide agricultural advice and act in the following matters:

  • Sales and purchases of farms and small holdings
  • Farm business tenancies
  • Common Land and Common Rights
  • Tax structures for farmers including Partnerships and Companies
  • Sporting and Fishing Rights: Sales, purchases and leases
  • Inheritance Tax planning for farmers and landowners (including Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief)