A weekly feature on the lives and loves of people from our city.
My day: After a commute for 50 minutes, through beautiful countryside, I arrive in the office just after 8am.
With a cup of coffee, I clear some of the paperwork, dictating letters or answering emails.
My first appointment, lasting an hour, is with a recently bereaved family. My role is to apply for the Grant of Probate, the court authority to allow the collection of the deceased’s assets. I will prepare the application and the account for H M Revenue & Customs. At this meeting I explain the process and listen to the family’s concerns.
Back at my desk, I set up the file and dictate letters to the deceased’s asset holders, eg his bank, notifying them of his death.
I have a quick chat to a colleague, for a second opinion on a draft will with some technical requirements. I need to consider all the various scenarios that might arise.
Half an hour later I meet a couple wanting advice on their wills. They say that their previous wills are old. I confirm they remain valid, so they need upgrading to reflect their current intentions. We have a chat about inheritance tax issues too, as this may have a bearing on the structure of the will. They want to think through their options, before I begin drafting wills, so we fix another appointment, to keep that ‘ball rolling’.
After a sandwich lunch, during which I catch up on emails, I pop out to the bank to pick up papers for a trustee bank account.
In the afternoon I drive out, with a colleague, to a nursing home, out of town, to visit a client. I have upgraded her will in light of recent changes. We check this and chat before witnessing her signature.
A quick dash into town, as the traffic is building up, gets me back into the office to clear some of the administration that’s essential.
I head home, at about 5.45pm, and while taking the dog out for a quick walk I untangle a neighbour’s sheep from the fence. My walk gives me time to wind down and relax.
We have a quick supper then head out to a Welsh learners’ evening, in the local chapel. We practise our Welsh through games and chatting to neighbours and other learners.
Once home there’s time for a drink before bed.
Dress: I tend to wear a suit to work, but this is not compulsory.
What is the favourite part of your job? Meeting clients and getting to know their life story. You might argue I am nosey but it helps understand a client’s requirements and needs, especially when their wills are not standard.
What is the least favourite part of your job? Red tape! But all these compliance requirements are there for a reason.
What would be your dream job if you weren't doing what you do now? Dog walking (as long as the sun shines).
How do you relax when you are not working? Socialising with friends, walking and singing in the chorus of Ruthin Musical Theatre productions. I have also, recently, joined a pilates class, which I am loving.
What is your favourite film? The Thomas Crown Affair – the Pierce Brosnan version.
What is your favourite book? Woman in White by Wilkie Collins or I could say Bleak House by Charles Dickens but that is probably too close for comfort as it gives lawyers a bad press!
What is your favourite song? Avicii – Levels always makes me smile but it’s not really a song.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? Julia Roberts.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame? Yes but only on stage with Ruthin Musical Theatre, so far!
Name: Louise Eccleston
Job: Private client solicitor – specialising for 20 years in wills, estates for those who have died, managing finances for trusts or those who are infirm or lack mental capacity.
Born: Streetly, a village not far from Sutton Coldfield.
Live now: In the Vale of Clwyd.
Education: After school in Edgbaston, Birmingham my degree was in Theology at Durham University. I then studied law for two years at Christleton College of Law, before completing my training at a practice in Birmingham City Centre. Once I had qualified as a solicitor I worked for three enjoyable years in Monmouth, South Wales, before moving back to Chester where I have been for the last 17 years.
Family life: I am married to James, a painter, and we own an energetic dog.
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