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Interactive Diagnostic

Stratford-upon-Avon

13 The Courtyard
Timothy's Bridge Road
Stratford-Upon-Avon
Warwickshire CV37 9NP

01789 294484

enquiries@gjassociates.co.uk

London

7-8 Stratford Place
Mayfair
London
W1C 1AY

0207 495 0304

enquiries@gjassociates.co.uk

In the world of business, securing your future is a must. Without a solid estate plan, you’re leaving a lot to chance – which can significantly impact your efforts. Grenfell James has gone the extra mile from numbers to offering essential estate planning services. We caught up with Kerry Murphy, Trust & Estate Practitioner at GJ Estate Planning, to get the scoop on how she’s making sure every client receives a personalised plan that truly fits.


Tell us about your background. What drew you to specialise in this area?

My professional journey began at a respected probate provider, where I gained deep insights into the repercussions of incomplete estate planning. I’ve seen the aftermath of people passing without wills or with errors in their wills, often leading to further legal actions and unnecessary complexities.

But the impact goes beyond finances. Poorly crafted wills can trigger estate disputes, leading to costly legal battles and probate delays. With 17 years of experience in the private client sector, I’ve developed the expertise to navigate these challenges.

I’ve covered various areas within the private client sector, including will writing and estate planning, estate administration and probate, trust administration and taxation and LPAs. I hold the distinction of being a Chartered Legal Executive and a Full Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

What drives the Wills and Estate Planning team’s success?

Our vision centres around creating a team that excels not only in technical expertise but also in compassion, innovation, and a sincere dedication to enhancing the lives of our clients and their families through strategic, holistic estate planning solutions.

How do you make estate planning a comfortable journey for clients?

Family dynamics can be complicated; I have seen and heard it all! Our conversations are strictly confidential and judgment-free. As a trusted accountancy partner to many – we’re already well-acquainted with their financial aspirations. So, we focus on turning estate planning into a smooth, stress-free chat.

We dive into each client’s unique estate, crafting tailored and comprehensive plans. With personalised consultations and a deep understanding of their needs, we design strategies that fit their situations, desires, and worries. Starting with addressing death planning, we seamlessly move on to inheritance tax planning in the following stages.

Estate Planning should be a top priority for business owners. Neglecting this critical aspect can have far-reaching consequences for your business and your loved ones. Using an independent third party like GJ Estate Planning can also help smooth conversations around succession planning.

Tell us about your progressive approach to estate planning.

We’ve integrated the latest legal software for will writing into our workflow. This streamlined approach enhances efficiency and allows us to provide meticulously crafted wills that cater to your specific needs. This technology is a game-changer in an industry that sometimes relies on outdated methods, ensuring our clients a modern, customised experience. At GJ Estate Planning, making a will is simple. We equip you with everything you need to know to make a will.

How do you stay in the loop with legal and industry updates?

I meet annual Continuing Professional Development criteria – a requirement for maintaining my qualifications and memberships. Staying in the know about estate planning’s latest laws and trends isn’t just crucial; meeting those CPD goals is mandatory. Gaining this knowledge isn’t just for me. I can pass it on to the team so they can continually refine their skills, find innovative solutions, and serve top-tier advice and strategies for clients.

It’s a bit of a wild west out there regarding will writing. Not everyone’s qualified or experienced enough to give out estate planning advice. But at GJ Estate Planning, we’ve got that covered. We are proud members of the Best Foundation – accredited will writers, estate planners and probate practitioners.

How do you inform clients about estate planning and available options?

We start with a free will review and chat to understand their needs – like bloodline planning, asset protection, or inheritance tax.

We’ve also got transparent fixed fees for our documents. Basic wills are simple but might not cover everything. We’re here to protect what they’ve worked hard to achieve. And remember, every will is unique, based on individual needs and assets.

Give us some examples of how you positively impact your client’s lives.

Recently, we guided a client to employ a Deed of Variation. The result? Her late husband’s estate qualified for the residential nil rate band, a golden opportunity that wouldn’t have been there on her passing due to exceeding the thresholds. We saved her around £70k in Inheritance Tax (IHT). Now that’s a success story!

Often, clients worrying about paying more in IHT than they should is a common concern. While we can’t erase IHT, we ensure they claim every possible relief. Second marriages also bring extra considerations. Many parents worry about their children possibly missing out if their surviving spouse or civil partner were to remarry. Second marriages can also bring additional complexities and post-death disputes. It can all turn into a costly courtroom saga, heightened by the emotions of grief. We’re here to simplify things and ensure your loved ones are protected.

What makes GJ Estate Planning stand out in the estate planning industry?

Our personal and progressive approach to making a will and crafting personalised estate plans is at the heart of our initiatives. We’re not just about ticking boxes but empowering individuals to secure their legacies effectively.

Workshops are on our radar, creating a space to connect and share insights. An open-door policy for all client queries is paramount. It’s all about making estate planning accessible and empowering everyone while maintaining our commitment to service excellence.


Kerry Murphy is the Trusts & Estates Practioner at GJ Estate Planning. For advice and support in making a will or estate planning, call Kerry on 07833 207913 or contact the team at 01789 294 484. Please also feel free to connect with Kerry on LinkedIn.

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Grenfell James Technology Adoption Index

How does your business perform against others adopting financial tech? Find out with our interactive diagnostic:

1.

How does your business receive invoices?

A)

Invoices are mainly received in paper form

B)

Invoices are mainly received by email

C)

Invoices are emailed then automatically forwarded to a designated mailbox

2.

How are purchase invoices processed?

A)

Invoices are entered manually

B)

Invoices are attached to manually raised invoices

C)

Automated software (e.g. ReceiptBank, 1Tap, HubDoc etc) collates invoices

3.

How are accounts processed?

A)

Using Excel/paper-based

B)

Using Computer-based, offline software

C)

Using cloud-based accountancy software

4.

How often is business data revised?

A)

Data is updated annually

B)

Data is updated quarterly

C)

Data is updated monthly or more often

5.

How is banking updated for your business?

A)

Banking is updated manually

B)

Banking is updated by imports

C)

Banking is updated via a live feed

6.

How are bank payments made?

A)

Bank payments are manual

B)

Bank payments are made using bulk imports

C)

Bank payments are made directly via accounting software

7.

How are bank receipts reconciled?

A)

Receipts are chased and reconciled manually

B)

Receipts are chased and reconciled automatically

C)

A third-party platform is used to chase debts and collect fees

8.

How often are management reports produced?

A)

No reports are provided

B)

Reports are provided but often too late to be valuable

C)

Reports are automated with real-time information

Score 8-12:

Curious Exploration

Your financial technology phase is Curious Exploration

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Switching accountancy systems may seem like an upheaval, but can be much more straightforward than most businesses imagine. From talking to our clients, they have found moving from paper invoicing and desktop-based accounting software to the cloud and apps quickly makes the transition process a worthwhile investment of time. Digital accounting solutions bring in streamlined processes, up-to-date business data and greater confidence in the accuracy of information when making financial decisions.

Grenfell James works with your team to fully assess the needs of your business and minimise the impact of any transitions for solutions we recommend.

Find out more about App Advisory

More

Score 13-19:

Measured Discovery

Your financial technology phase is Measured Discovery

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Once cloud accountancy software is in place, there’s still plenty of scope to improve your accountancy processes and make sure your business is maximising the benefits of adopting a digital accounting solution. Grenfell James assesses each business to understand how any implemented solutions are being used, identify areas for improvement and the needs of the business overall to support your business goals and achieve success.

Our team of experts can discuss a range of time-saving automation and get different apps and cloud-based solutions talking to create and manage a digital accountancy eco-system to help your business grow.

Find out more about App Advisory

More

Score 20-24:

Bold Innovation

Your financial technology phase is Bold Innovation

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

You know the benefits of accounting technology and the impact it can have on your business goals. If you want to take it a step further, our team can conduct a systematic review of your processes, apps and business goals to ensure your digital accountancy ecosystem is keeping pace with the changing needs of a growing business.