Associate Director Louise Holmes specialises in drafting wills, tax planning, trusts and inheritance tax planning and drawing up Powers of Attorney. She joined the Cullimore Dutton team in June and is passionate about changing the lives of our clients. Here she talks about her work with clients approaching retirement, her home visits and her love of Chester.
What inspired you to become a solicitor?
I picked a career in the law because I wanted to really help people and to make a difference to their lives. For example, one of my specialisms is drawing up Powers of Attorney for people.
This is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you or act on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so. It is important for anyone who has money or assets they want to protect – or who wants someone to act in their best interest when it comes to healthcare choices – in a scenario when they can’t personally make the decision.
Most people I help are making them when they hit retirement age and want to get their affairs in order. Having a Power of Attorney in place is like a kindness to a family because it can potentially save a lot of stress.
How did you get started in your legal career?
I began by volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Chester whilst I was completing my Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and really enjoyed it. Before that, I studied Business at Coventry University. Today, working in a busy Wills department really makes me think I have achieved my goal to help people.
Working with the elderly
I am a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly (there are only a few of us in Cheshire), which means I specialise in dealing with older and vulnerable clients on a regular basis. Being able to explain legal information and options in a clear and sensitive way is particularly important. If clients can’t come into the office, or feel nervous about doing so, I often pop out to see them in their home. I feel very privileged to be invited into someone’s home and to be trusted to help them resolve a legal issue. Sometimes I can be the only person they have spoken to all week and I love chatting to them and hearing about their family history.
What do you love about Chester and working at Cullimore Dutton?
I grew up in Chester and love working in such a beautiful city that is proud of its history.
The people and the excellent reputation of Cullimore Dutton are what makes it such a special place to work. I also like working for an MD who isn’t a solicitor, but has a business background, which fits with my business degree!
Life outside work?
My weekends are a whirlwind of activity running three young children and walking the family’s 8-year-old pet Cavapoo. I am also treasurer of our primary school’s PTA and help to run the Tarvin toddler group every Friday.