Private Client Solicitor

Private Client

With one of the leading and largest Private Client teams in the North East, we have an expert pool of knowledge and will be right by your side offering guidance, support and practical advice as you structure your affairs to protect your assets and plan for your family’s future.

How we can help

We have extensive experience of delivering a pragmatic and proactive service to private individuals, trustees, entrepreneurs, businessmen, professionals, landowners, farmers, charities, high net worth individuals and foreign nationals, advising on all aspects of Wills, Powers of Attorney, deputyships, trusts, tax planning and estate administration.

We pride ourselves on taking the time to get to know you and your family, so we can fully understand your needs. Our standout ability to balance intricate technical, legal and tax knowledge, complicated family and personal circumstances and the often-sophisticated business structures that you may face, enables us to provide clear and robust advice.

As a full-service firm you can rest assured that we can also assist in dealing with disputed trusts, Inheritance Act claims and probate disputes. Our commercial teams provide expert advice on all your business needs. You can also call on our wide circle of professional advisor friends to guarantee all of your goals are met.

We are recognised for our ability to advise on digital assets, and in particular cryptocurrencies, with instructions for both administering such assets as part of a deceased client’s estate and in succession planning.

Several members of our team are qualified by global professional body, STEP, as well as being a part of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and the Agricultural Law Association (ALA).

Winners of the the Northern Law Awards 2022 'Team of the Year' in the Private Client category.

We strive to be as open and honest as possible about our fees.

  • Wills

    Making a Will is vital and deciding what happens to your assets may be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Doing so ensures certainty that everything you own will pass to the persons of your choice. If you do not make a Will, the law will dictate who receives your estate. This could lead to disappointed beneficiaries, a potential expensive claim against your estate and it may not be tax efficient.

    Wills also provide the opportunity to consider matters such as guardianship of your children, funeral wishes, provision for young or vulnerable family members and the payment of Inheritance Tax.

    Your Will should also be reviewed on a regular basis to account for changes in legislation and in your personal circumstances such as marriages and children.
    Get in touch to find out how we can help.

  • Powers of Attorney

    The importance of putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney should not be underestimated, giving assurance that should you lose capacity to manage your affairs or no longer want to, someone can make those decisions for you.

    We have specialist expertise in relation to all types of Power of Attorney and can advise on the preparation, execution and registration of these documents as well as helping with appointing your attorney(s) and in dealing with the registration at the Office of the Public Guardian.

    Get in touch to find out how we can help.

  • Probate, estate administration and Letters of Administration

    The loss of a loved one can be a very emotional and distressing time, even more so if you are faced with sorting out their financial and personal affairs. We are here to help take the legal burden away from you.

    Our specialist team can deal with as much or as little as you require during the administration of an estate, including valuing the estate, Inheritance Tax liability, applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will) as appropriate, collecting in the estate assets and distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or the Intestacy Rules.

    Our experience ranges from large, complicated estates, including estates with business assets, faming assets and foreign assets, to small estates with limited needs.

    Get in touch to find out how we can help.

  • Inheritance Tax

    On death, if the value of your estate is worth more than the tax-free allowance, known as the nil-rate band, Inheritance Tax (IHT) may be charged at the rate of 40% on the excess over the nil-rate band. Currently the nil-rate band is £325,000.

    We can advise you of the IHT implications on your death and on any lifetime IHT planning you may like to consider reducing the IHT payable on your death.

    In addition to the nil-rate band, there is also the residence nil-rate band (RNRB) which provides an additional IHT allowance in respect of a property if certain conditions are met. Currently the RNRB is £175,000 and we can advise whether this is relevant to your personal circumstances.

    Certain assets that you own may not be subject to IHT on your death, for example, assets transferred between spouses, if they qualify for Business Property Relief or Agricultural Property Relief. We can advise you how to maximise these valuable reliefs.

  • Trusts

    Trusts are often created during your Will or can be set up at other points during your lifetime. They can safeguard assets, protect your beneficiaries and help make Inheritance Tax savings.

    We can advise on the right type of Trust to create to suit your needs and ensure that your Trustees comply with their legal obligations.

    Get in touch to find out how we can help.

  • Deputyships

    If your loved one has not put in place a Power of Attorney and has lost capacity, we have expertise in assisting with applications to the Court of Protection for you to be appointed as Deputy to act on their behalf.

    We can also help with other applications which may need to be made including applications for authority to buy and sell property, Statutory Wills and applications relating to lifetime gifts.

    We can also act as a Court appointed professional Deputy, particularly in cases where our Clinical Negligence team recover substantial amounts of money for brain damaged clients, where families do not wish to undertake the role themselves, or where they are in dispute as to who from the family should be appointed.

    Get in touch to find out how we can help.

  • Digital Assets & Cryptocurrencies

    Understanding the assets our client’s own is central to the advice we provide about succession planning, Wills and Estate Administration (‘Probate’). This is particularly important for those who own Digital and Crypto Assets.

    From social media accounts, YouTube channels and PayPal Accounts to Cryptocurrencies, NFTs and play to earn gaming, these assets present challenges with regards to the rights which may pass under the terms of a Will and, more importantly, how they will be identified, accessed and ultimately dealt with on the subsequent death of the owner. Due to their nature, valuing such assets and accounting for the Inheritance Tax payable on death can also be of difficulty.

    As the creator economy and tokenization of assets continues to grow, our team are well placed to help clients navigate the nuances of leaving Digital and Crypto Assets under the terms of their Wills and dealing with such assets as part of the administration of a deceased person’s estate.

  • Agriculture & Rural

    We have a specialism in advising on the most effective succession plans for owners of agricultural land, property, or businesses.

    Traditionally, farms are passed down through successive generations, but it is crucial that your property and business assets are divided up according to your wishes so that you can preserve them for the next generation. The issues involved are complex and costly, but lengthy disputes can easily be avoided when expert legal advice is taken. We can advise you on capital gains tax, Inheritance Tax and the appropriate reliefs that may apply.

    We work closely with your other professional advisers, such as bankers, accountants, and land agents, to ensure that you achieve the best solution in the most tax efficient manner. We have strong relationships with many national and regional organisations and recommend that clients in the rural community need their trusted adviser “team” to all work together for the best results to be achieved.

    We are also members of the Country Land & Business Association.

    Find out more about our expertise here and get in touch here to find out how we can help.

  • Succession Planning for Business Owners

    As the owner of a business, it is imperative to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place should something happen to you.

    Have you considered:

    • Who will continue to run the business?
    • Who to pass the business, or your share of it, to a particular family member Will they continue to run the business, or do you simply want them to have the cash value?
    • Co-shareholders or business partners who will want to continue to run the business? Will they have funds to buy out your share or will they have to run it with your family?

    We can discuss these scenarios with you and advise on the best options available to achieve your wishes. This planning may involve key man insurance, cross option shareholder agreements, trusts, life policies or pension death benefits. We will involve colleagues in our commercial department and also work closely with other professional advisers such as independent financial advisers.

    Your business may qualify for Business Property Relief and so our advice will also include structuring your Will and any lifetime planning to maximise this valuable Inheritance Tax relief.
    You may also own premises or other assets which are used as part of your business. The way in which you own these assets can have tax implications. Our team can advise on this and can also discuss with you how these assets are to be dealt with under your succession plan.

    Get in touch to find out how we can help.

  • Foreign Assets & Domicile

    We are experienced in advising clients seeking a Will who have assets of an international nature and ensuring that, where necessary, Wills in a different country are also prepared in order to fit in with a person’s succession planning here in the UK.

    We are also experienced in administering estates with foreign assets, executors based overseas, and beneficiaries based in other countries. Our affiliation with both STEP and Euro juris places us in the best position to assist in dealing with estates with international assets, whilst our experience ensures that all elements of an international estate, and their interaction with English assets, are dealt with from a holistic position.

    Your domicile status is relevant for Inheritance Tax purposes and there can be advantages if you are not domiciled in the UK. This may be the case if either you or your parents are not originally from the UK or if you have permanently moved away from the UK. We can advise on your likely domicile status, how it can be changed and the ways to maximise any Inheritance Tax advantages of not being domiciled in the UK.

    There may be adverse Inheritance Tax implications if a person domiciled in the UK intends to give assets to their spouse or civil partner either on death or during lifetime and that spouse or civil partner is not domiciled in the UK. If this is relevant to you, we can advise on the Inheritance Tax implications of such gifts and the steps that can be taken to mitigate the Inheritance Tax.

    Get in touch to find out how we can help.

Personable, knowledgeable individuals who have a passion for what they do. They always take the time to get to know their clients and their individual needs. As an independent longstanding firm, they are well respected in the North East of England and beyond.

Legal 500

Good all round knowledge, very approachable, friendly practical advice, excellent client service.

Legal 500

Very personable, friendly and empathetic senior team.

Legal 500

A very warm and caring team.

Legal 500

Highly recommend Hay & Kilner who dealt with our Wills & Power of Attorney in a sensitive and professional manner and gave us advice which we had never thought about.


We now know that writing a Will can be very complicated and requires an expert understanding of the law in order to have your wishes met. Hay & Kilner provided this service to us.


Meet the team

Relevant insights & events

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‘Hay & Kilner’ and ‘Hay & Kilner Law Firm’ are both trading names of Hay & Kilner LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales with registered number OC418767. Our registered office is at The Lumen, St James' Boulevard, Newcastle Helix, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5BZ and we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (Authorisation number 643191). We use the word ‘partner’ to refer to a member of Hay & Kilner LLP. A list of the members is available at our registered office.