Cheers for Reading: A Day in the Life of a Private Client Paralegal
By Sarah Cheers, Paralegal, Wills, Trusts & Estates Team
Hi, I am Sarah Cheers. I joined Cullimore Dutton’s Wills, Trusts & Estates department earlier this year, and I am sharing this series of brief insights into my time as a paralegal.
In this post, I share with you a day in my working life.
I start my mornings by logging on, reviewing my emails and responding to, or dealing with any work enquiries that need to be actioned. I then update my to do list which is essential for me to stay on top of my workload.
It is then time for our Departmental Team Meeting. We have a Zoom team meeting twice a week in which we discuss any issues, updates and the team’s priorities. This is also an opportunity to check that everyone is okay and to see if anyone needs any support. I find this meeting is really helpful and it is nice to see the rest of the team regularly.
I then have a phone call with my line manager and Head of Department, Adele Bebbington-Plant. We discuss which matters need to be progressed that day/week, adding relevant actions to my to do list, we then check over various tasks which Adele has asked me to complete. This serves not only to supervise the work that I do, but also aids my training and development.
I then return any telephone calls that are outstanding. I may need to contact clients to make appointments for them to discuss Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or to discuss an estate. I set these appointments up and liaise with the relevant Fee Earner.
I then start to work through my to do list.
On this particular day, Adele has a new probate matter for me to start on. I will need to open a new file on our case management system, ensure that our risk and client care procedures are being complied with and commence the estate administration. This includes establishing what assets and liabilities the deceased person had, notifying the relevant financial institutions of the death and making relevant enquiries. I then set up Estate Accounts where we will record all of the financial information, in time, this information will be used to complete the Inheritance Tax Return and to apply for the Grant of Probate.
In addition to the new probate file, I have to draft a Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney, once this is complete, I make a note to go through the LPA with Adele when we next catch up.
It’s time for lunch! After which I go for a quick walk with my dog Poppy, it’s nice to get out in the fresh air.
I have an off-site appointment with Adele as she needs me to act as a second witness at a Will signing. We meet at the client’s home. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to enter the client’s house. Instead, we stand socially distanced in the garden and complete the Will signing there. Luckily it’s a nice day, so this does not create any issues. Once completed, we head home.
Once I’m back at home, I log back on and reply to any emails I have or calls that have come in. Then its back on to that to do list; I have to chase a number of banks as we are waiting on several date of death balances on various probate files. There are also a number of forms to be completed to enable these accounts to be closed. Finally, I contact a number of clients with updates on their matters.
I then go through and update my to do list and my calendar, logout and finish for the day.
Every day as a paralegal is different. The work I undertake is varied and diverse, this is one of the things I love most about my role.
Until next time…
Get in touch with Cullimore Dutton Solicitors on 01244 356 789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.