Zaneta is a first year trainee at Rollits. Her current seat is in the Property department.
August 2021 - August marks my last month in the Private Capital Department. I cannot believe that I have now completed my first seat at Rollits - the last six months have flown by.
One thing I have learnt about Private Capital department is that there is always documents to draft. Throughout this month I had the opportunity to further develop my drafting skills. I have drafted - several wills, letters of wishes, letters of advice/engagement, and trust documents such as deed of appointment and deed of variation, all of different complexities.
I also assisted in updating the estate accounts. One of the key things during an estate administration is to keep the estate accounts all up do date at all times. The estate accounts show the flow of money into and out of the deceased person’s Estate. They show the total sum of the estate’s assets, liabilities, fees and administration expenses. They also demonstrate how the balance of the Estate has been/ will be distributed to the beneficiaries.
I have learnt so much in the past six months and have further developed my skills which in no doubt will become useful in my next departments.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Private Capital Department. I met some amazing people who despite the current Covid circumstances and remote working have all made me feel as part of the team and were extremely supportive.
July 2021 - This month I have been asked to draft a Deed of variation. A deed of variation is used when a beneficiary wants to make changes to their entitlement form a Will after a person has died. A person may want to do this if they don’t need all of the inheritance and instead they would like it to go to someone else. Within this deed I therefore, had to draft clauses which detailed exactly how a beneficiary wanted their part of the estate to be distributed. I have also had a chance to draft a Deed of Appointment and Indemnity.
I have also drafted several more wills this month. I feel like I am becoming much more confident in my will drafting abilities due to the amount of experience I have had with them over the past few months. I find myself very much enjoying drafting wills as no will is the same due to the different personal circumstances which means that I am constantly learning new skills. In addition to this, I have also drafted several Letters of Authority (LOA). LOA is legal document that authorises Rollits to correspond with different companies such as banks on behalf of the executors.
This month Rollits has also welcomed some Vacation Scheme students. It was great to see some students in the office particularly as most law firms have had to cancel their work experience placements. Vacation Schemes are very important for aspiring lawyers as they provide an insight into what working for a particular firm is like, they also help people to improve their skills and legal knowledge. I have really enjoyed speaking to the students and offering them advice on how to secure a Training Contract.
August will be my last month in the Private Capital seat so I am going to use this as an opportunity to take in as much experience and knowledge as I possibly can.
June 2021 - June has flown by in the Private Capital department and it has been another great month.
This month I have had the opportunity to further develop my drafting skills. I have drafted several different Inheritance Tax forms (IHT) such as IHT205 and IHT400.
I have also carried out some research on Capital Gains Tax (CGT). CGT is a tax on the profit’s when you dispose of an asset that’s increased in value. However, there are some reliefs which are available to reduce the amount of tax payable. I was asked to look specifically at the different reliefs available and comment on those that would apply to the client’s situation. This task has allowed me to familiarise myself with the law on CGT and some of the provisions included in the Finance Act 1986.
This month I have also ticked off another one of my Professional Skills Course core modules which was Advocacy & Communication Skills. During this course, I had the opportunity to practice tactics of examination, cross-examination and re-examination. I also had to analyse documents and identify useful and irrelevant material and prepare an effective argument which was later presented in front of the lecturer who acted as a judge. The course has allowed me to improve on my presentation skills. I was also surprised at how much my confidence grew throughout the course. I am excited to use the techniques I have learnt in practice.
As the Covid restrictions are easing, I was also able to see a lot more of my colleagues in the office for the first time since I started my training contract. It has been great to be able to catch up with everyone and get to know my colleagues better.
May 2021 - May marks the half-way point of my time in the Private Client department; I cannot believe how quickly it has flown by. It has been a busy last few weeks and I have had the opportunity to learn many valuable skills.
This month I have had the opportunity to draft several different wills of different complexities. I started with drafting straightforward wills and was later challenged with more complicated ones which involved a number of different assets. This has allowed me to draft clauses that I have not previously dealt with such as guardianship clauses, gift of money, gift of pet animals and gifts to charity.
In addition, I have also drafted a Land Registry Form known as ‘SEV’. This form is used in circumstances where the individuals want severance of the Joint Tenancy and as a result they will own the property as Tenants in Common in equal shares. This is a significant alternation as it means that if the other party passes away, then their share will not pass automatically to the other co-owner like it would under Joint Tenancy.
I have also attended the PSC Client Care & Professional Standards course this month. Due to the current circumstances, the course took place online. Despite this, I have found the course to be very useful and informative. The course broadened my understanding of the significance of client care and professional conduct issues.
I am enjoying my time in the Private Capital department and I look forward to gaining more skills with the weeks to come.
April 2021 - April has marked my second month in the Private Capital department. April was a busy month and I have had the opportunity to be involved in a variety of different tasks. I also feel as though I have learnt so many valuable skills already.
This month I have drafted several different Inheritance Tax forms (IHT). One such form was IHT205; this form is used when there is no tax to pay on the estate. As well as the IHT205 form, I have also drafted IHT400 form. This is a much longer and complex form which comes with several different schedules - it is usually used for larger estates. This was a very useful task as I was able to develop my knowledge of Inheritance Tax, which is an area of law that I have never felt particularly comfortable with.
I have also drafted several other documents such as Lasting Power of Attorney’s and different types of Wills. All of these drafting tasks allowed me to improve my drafting techniques, which as we all know if an essential skill for any lawyer.
Furthermore, I have also attended several client meetings as a witness to their will in a safe outdoor environment. In order to make a will legally binding the client and two chosen witnesses must physically sign the document and everyone has to be physically present to do so. I have, therefore, had a lot of face to face client contact which is an aspect of the role that I really enjoy.
I am enjoying my time in Private Capital and I look forward to seeing what next month will bring.
March 2021: My first week at Rollits consisted of inductions on how to use the system and familiarizing myself with the company handbook. Despite the current lockdown restrictions, my induction week has been very organised and I was able to communicate with a lot of my colleagues via zoom calls. Everyone has made the effort to make me feel welcome whether it be an introductory email or phone call which I appreciated.
It is now week four in the Private Capital department and I am feeling a lot more settled into my job role. I feel a lot more familiar with the system which makes the overall work less stressful and I am becoming more efficient with my tasks due to this. This month I have had the opportunity to practice my drafting and research skills as well as the opportunity to draft two different kind of wills. These were both a Spousal will (when the residue estate passes to the spouse upon the first death) and also a children’s will (when the residue estate goes to the children). I found this task very interesting as no will is ever the same due to how circumstances vary on a client by client basis.
I also completed extensive research in order to advise a client on the consequences of Capital Gains Tax when selling a gifted estate. This was a useful exercise as it allowed me to familiarise myself on the law in relation to Capital Gains Tax and the different reliefs available.
In addition to this I also drafted an application to register a Lasting Power of Attorney for financial decisions, as well as health and care decisions. Once the forms were drafted, I sent these to The Office of the Public Guardian for registration.
This week I also joined in on the Easter event organised by the firm. This consisted of bingo and a raffle; I won a huge hamper in the raffle which was very exciting and the chocolate has gone down a treat!
I am really enjoying my time in the Private Capital department and I look forward to gaining more skills with weeks to come.
My journey to becoming a Trainee Solicitor at Rollits LLP:
My interest in law first sparked following college, when I was at a cross roads not knowing what course to study at the university. As I was researching potential careers and courses to pursue I kept finding myself gravitating towards searching into legal career.
This led me to studying a Law degree at The University of Hull. I thrived in the different challenges that I faced whilst studying law. After graduation I then started the Legal Practice Course with a Masters at the University of Law in Leeds. Throughout my studies I completed various different work experiences in Law including the Vacation Scheme at Rollits LLP in June 2018. Following the Vacation Scheme I immediately looked into applying for a training contract at Rollits LLP as I knew it was a team that I wanted to be a part of for longer than just the two weeks.
I am now a Trainee Solicitor at Rollits LLP and I am very much looking forward to seeing what’s to come.