Departmental Focus: Wills, Trusts & Probate

Laura BywaterOur Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate here at Price Slater Gawne is Laura Bywater.

Laura has years of Private Client experience and assists clients in a variety of areas including:

capital gains tax planning
asset protection
complex wills
creation and administration of trusts (including Home Protection Trusts)
administration of estates
post-death deeds of variation

We’ve recently been chatting to Laura to find out a little more about her and her role; and how she became a specialist in assisting clients with their future planning.


How did your career path lead you to become Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Price Slater Gawne?

I studied Law and Accounting at The University of Manchester and qualified as a solicitor in 2007. On finishing University, I decided to stay in Manchester and joined a city centre practice known as Halliwells to complete my training contract. I completed 4 six-month seats in different departments and Private Client was the department I enjoyed the most; so I suppose I made an early career decision that this was to be my area of specialism. I spent over a year as a qualified solicitor at Halliwells before moving to Laytons LLP and Gateley Plc as part of a wider team move. I joined Price Slater Gawne in 2019 when I made the decision to leave the city and work closer to home. I now realise what a great decision that was!


Did you always want to be a solicitor? What made you eventually decide to take up the profession?

I think I knew from quite an early age that I needed a career that challenged me, and working in the legal sector means that each and every day is completely different. In fact, I really enjoy that aspect of my role. I like the fact that I get the opportunity to work with clients from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom have unique circumstances and are striving for different outcomes. I’m truly passionate about supporting my clients and ensuring that their legacy lives on in exactly the way they choose.


What made you choose Wills, Trusts and Probate as your specialist area of law?

I have a natural urge to help people and I see Wills, Trusts and Probate as a particularly constructive, rather than destructive, area of law. I’m fully committed to supporting families who are looking to structure their affairs for personal reasons, tax mitigation and asset protection. It really is about helping people look after, grow and ultimately pass on their hard-earned assets to the next generation.


What do you love most about your work?

My colleagues, my referrers and my clients. I love the fact that we all seem to work together towards a common goal; making smart decisions, getting things done and ultimately helping clients. I work hard to ensure my client’s wishes and needs are met and their expectations exceeded, and I work particularly well with those people who share the same ethos.


What do you do outside of work?

I absolutely love to travel and I spend holidays visiting new countries and experiencing different cultures with my family.


Tell us about one of the best moments of your career?

I often meet clients who have a discernible fear of putting a will in place; often because they consider it to be tempting fate (however, I can assure you that this is not the case). I had one particular client who this was a real concern for. She was absolutely terrified but knew it was the right thing to do for her and her family. Whilst the gathering of the particulars of the will was pretty straight forward, it took an unfathomable number of meetings and calls to get her to sign the final will document. Of course, she did finally sign it in the end and couldn’t thank me enough for my persistent guidance which eventually gave her significant peace of mind.


Are you a member of a Professional Body?

I am a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); a professional body focused on assisting people with their future planning requirements. I also lecture frequently to groups of professionals on a wide range of private wealth matters.


What would you say to someone who’s thinking about qualifying as a Wills, Trusts and Probate lawyer?

This area of law changes so frequently that keeping up to date with the changes in legislation is key! Yes, it’s rewarding and really enjoyable, and it’s amazing to meet so many different people from different walks of life. But you must be prepared for an element of continuous professional development if you’re to stay ahead of the game.


What would you say to someone who’s thinking about contacting a Wills, Trusts and Probate lawyer for help?

You’re never too young/old to start the ball rolling. And once you’ve made contact, the rest is easy! There are no silly questions and we’re all a really friendly bunch!


Laura Bywater – Head of Wills, Trusts & Probate

Tel: 0161 615 5554
Mobile: 07939 121341