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  • Overview

    Our expert team of trusted lawyers will work with you to identify your preference and the best means of holding and passing on your estate, which takes account of your particular circumstances and minimises your tax liabilities.

    We can also ensure that any trusts created in your lifetime or by will are administered effectively, and that your own and your trustees' tax compliance obligations to HM Revenue & Customs are discharged correctly.

    Quick links
    Webpages wills or estate planning
    Know-how 'Will or estate planning, which one is right for me?'

    Webpages Probate or contentious probate
    Know-how 'Bereavement Guide'

    Webpage Trusts
    Know-how 'Discretionary Trusts'

    For further information please contact one of the team.

    Most of the partners of this firm who supervise and manage the preparation of wills are a member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).  It has published a Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales, which can be seen on their website or we can send you a copy on request.  As a firm, we adhere to STEP's Code in relation to work which we do in connection with wills in this jurisdiction.  We are independent and are not part of any other company or group.


  • Related Client Stories

    The complete package

    Ultra high net worth clients have complicated affairs. We are able to provide peace of mind through a complete advice service.

    Peace of mind when entering a second marriage

    A long-term client has recently entered into a second marriage and they wanted the interests of all the client’s children protected in a tax efficient way.

    Managing a families literary estate

    One of our partners is a trustee of a trust which owns the copyright of a famous English comic author who died in the second half of the 20th century. Applying a flexible approach has enabled the author’s brand to develop, while in appropriate costs protecting the intellectual property rights.

    Tax reduction on a substantial inheritance

    During the administration of an estate, which included shares in a property investment company, our advice resulted in a capital gains tax saving of over £250,000 for the beneficiaries. 

    Estate planning review following re-marriage

    We advised a wealthy client on changes to his Will that could save several million pounds in inheritance tax.

    Capital gains tax saving for beneficiaries

    Following a significant increase in the value of a property during the administration of an estate, we were able to achieve a substantial capital gains tax saving.

    Tax planning disaster averted

    Our clients were faced with a potential inheritance tax liability of over £1.2million but, following our intervention, HMRC accepted that no inheritance tax was due. 

    International musical estate

    We advised the executors of a complex estate containing assets worth over £25million and we were able to reduce the inheritance tax bill by over £500,000.

    The Art of Tax Planning

    This case study demonstrates how careful planning can achieve an immediate tax advantage and avoid a longer term tax disadvantage.

    Undercover security officer recovers damages for injuries following an assault at work

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Personal Injury team who recently recovered a six figured sum for an undercover security officer who was assaulted by a suspected shop lifter.

    Administration of estates

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Probate team and provides a useful reminder to us all to ensure that we have a Will in place, and that it is reviewed and updated regularly.

    Inheritance tax avoidance

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Wills, Trusts & Tax Planning team who have recently advised a client on deeds of variation, inheritance tax and discretionary trusts.

    Farming estates & inheritance tax

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Wills, Trusts & Tax Planning team who have recently settled a farming case, saving a potential IHT liability of over £500,000.

  • Latest Updates

    Law Commission’s consultation on the law of wills

    Thomson Snell & Passmore has responded to the Law Commission’s consultation on the law of wills.

    Frequently asked questions from across the practice

    Every month we answer frequently asked questions from across the practice and bring them together to help bring clarity to your legal needs. Each of the sections below lead off to a more comprehensive bank of information.

    FAQ: Tax Planning

    Q. We want to help our 20 year old daughter buy her first flat, but we’re worried about putting such a valuable asset directly in her name. Is there anything we can do to protect the property until she’s a bit older?

    Firm hire: Thomson Snell & Passmore

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is excited to welcome Christopher Walker who joins the firm today as an equity partner in its renowned private client team.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Private Client team further bolstered by lateral hire

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is excited to welcome Christopher Walker who joins the firm today as an Equity Partner in its renowned Private Client team.

    IHT considerations for unmarried couples

    Solicitor, Stuart Price from our Private Client team speaks to Professional Adviser about IHT considerations for unmarried couples and the practical steps they can take.

    Industry call for clarity on digital legacies

    New powers over what happens to digital legacies upon death have been called for by solicitors and legal academics

    Digital legacies need legal protection say lawyers

    Solicitor, Sarah Nettleship from our Private Client department speaks to The Law Gazette about digital legacies.

    Inheritance tax is changing

    The residence nil rate band is being introduced in stages between April 2017 and April 2020, subject to a number of conditions, some of them complex.

    The net widens

    Solicitor, Sarah Nettleship from our private client team speaks to ePrivate Client about the upcoming changes to IHT and the government’s reforms of taxation of ‘non-doms’.

    Owner managed businesses : tax-efficient wills for company directors

    Owner-managed businesses : tax-efficient wills for company directors

    Giving away shares in the family company

    Giving away shares in the family company

    FAQ: Family

    Q: I have recently separated from my long term partner, we were not married.  Am I able to make a financial claim against them?

    Pension changes: the options available to your estate and passing on benefits

    The pension landscape has changed dramatically following the changes to the rules on 6 April 2015. An element of freedom, a word not often associated with pension arrangements, has been granted by these changes. Pension owners now have real options as to how their pension benefits should be passed on following their death.

    Rental income: should the husband or wife receive it?

    The end of another tax is a timely reminder to all those couples who are married or in a civil partnership to consider which of you should continue to receive the income from rental property. This article outlines the options available.

    Autumn Statement: the City reacts

    Nicola Plant, partner and head of private client speaks to Spear's and gives her opinion on the lack of announcements on stamp duty land tax in the Autumn Statement.  

    It’s not rocket science - get a will and keep it updated

    Solicitor, Stuart Price from our Private Client department speaks to Wealth Briefing about the preparation and challenges to a will. He also discusses some factors that should be taken into account before drafting a will.

    Pension changes: the options available to your estate and passing on benefits

    The pension landscape has changed dramatically following the changes to the rules on 6 April 2015. An element of freedom, a word not often associated with pension arrangements, has been granted by these changes. Pension owners now have real options as to how their pension benefits should be passed on following their death.

    A technical update for buy to let

    The Chancellor, it seems, has taken a dim view of individuals taking advantage of low interest rates to buy property to rent out, and obtain income tax relief for the interest on borrowings used to purchase those properties.  The new rules, which will see tax relief restricted to the equivalent of basic rate tax on the finance costs of purchasing buy to let properties, are to be phased in over three years starting from 6 April 2017.  The full restriction will therefore apply to interest payments from 6 April 2020.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Private Client Team triumphs at the Law Society Excellence Awards

    The Private Client team of leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is thrilled to have come away with top prize, the ‘Excellence in Private Client Practice’ award at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2016 which took place at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel in London on Thursday 20 October.

    Reforms to the taxation of non-domiciles: The extention of deemed-domicile status

    This article will focus on the position of the resident “non-dom” and the extension of deemed-domicile status but we will first take a look at what these terms mean and the current position. 

    Celebrate Gifts But Don’t Get Hit By Taxman

    Mark Politz, Partner and chartered tax adviser in the private client team at Thomson Snell & Passmore considers some of the issues that arise when gifting money between friends and family.

    Family Investment Companies – an alternative to trusts

    A Family Investment Company can be very beneficial for inheritance tax planning, asset protection and wealth accumulation.  Nicola Plant, Partner in our Tax Planning team, gives an outline of the Family Investment Company and its uses.

    Top 25 UK Law Firm

    We are pleased to receive, for another year, the accolade from eprivateclient of being listed as one of the Top 25 Law Firms in the UK.

    Dying tidily

    In Dying Matters week, Nicola Plant wrote for Spears Magazine and produced a test to see how tidy you are, or whether you might need further advice on your Will, trusts or tax planning.

    FAQ: Budget

    Q. Was there any good news for SMEs in the Budget? A. Whilst not transforming the landscape for SMEs, there was certainly some good news.  The Chancellor looked to shift some of the tax burden onto large corporates, giving him some room to assist smaller businesses.

    Planning carefully will protect your lump sum

    Thomson Snell & Passmore give MexxaMixx's company directors advice on what they should do with their lump sums from a tax and estate planning perspective after they agreee to sell the entire issued share capital of MexxaMixx to a mjor competitor.

    What's the point of Civil Partnership?

    Heterosexual couples may soon be allowed to enter into civil partnership. Nicola Plant from our Private Client department speaks about why some heterosexual couples prefer the idea of civil partnership over marriage and what it will mean to them legally.

    Protecting your business

    Many business owners, when thinking about protecting their business, insure against common business risks such as property damage, theft, third party liability and business interruption.  A few also look at keyman insurance to cover the risk of the owner becoming incapacitated because of some physical or mental condition or unplanned absence abroad but very few create a lasting power of attorney which will give an individual the authority to run the business in such situations.

    Needle meets digital haystack

    Richard Hearne from our Private Client team speaks to legal trade magazine Private Client Adviser about digital legacies.

    All change for estate planning?

    The rules governing pensions changed fundamentally on 6 April 2015. The changes now mean that anyone who has a money purchase (often called a defined contribution) pension can now pass the remaining value of their fund on death to anyone free of all tax if the individual dies before the age of 75, and on a more favourable tax basis if the individual dies after reaching that age. This is a big improvement on the old regime, where passing on lump sum death benefits could attract a 55% tax charge and any dependant’s pension was restricted to a narrow range of people.

    What’s a Will worth these days?

    This is the headline in an advertising feature for a local law firm following the decision in the recent Court of Appeal case, Ilott v Mitson where an estranged daughter, whose mother had disinherited her and left all her property to three national charities, successfully challenged the Will and received an inheritance of approximately one third of the estate. The claim was pursued under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the Act).

    The family home allowance

    Or to give it its proper name the ‘residence nil rate band’ (RNRB).

    Auto-enrolment for deputies

    The appointment of a deputy under the Mental Capacity Act is a significant responsibility and a responsibility which continues to grow. All deputies who act as employer must now also be sure that the legislative obligations under the Pensions Act 2008 are fully considered and met.

    Challenging an English Will

    When a loved one dies, it is a hugely emotional and challenging time. Family tensions often run high, and where the deceased has left behind a Will that is not as expected, creates disappointment or jealousy, or perhaps even arises suspicion as to the circumstances surrounding its creation, the situation can become all the more difficult.

    Can you renegotiate your divorce settlements after death?

    Rajvinder Kaur from our Dispute Resolution team speaks to wealth management magazine Spear's addressing if the renegotiation of a divorce settlement after death can happen. This article follows a recent sensitive case which highlighted a unique loophole in Will disputes.

    FAQ: Corporate & Commercial

    Q: My business partner and I run a successful company together.  We are both directors and each have a 50% shareholding.  We want to protect our shares should the unexpected happen and one of us dies.  How can we do this?

    Law firm says its growth is organic

    Local newspaper, Kentish Gazette (Canterbury) shares and insight into our organic growth. First published July 2015.

    Caring for elderly relatives from a distance: legal and practical steps

    In an increasingly competitive and international economy, it is more and more usual to seek new opportunities abroad. However, the lure of exciting new prospects will invariably weigh against concern for those left behind – not just friends and familiar faces, but parents and other relatives. While it may no longer be possible to call in and check up on elderly parents, there are steps that can be taken to give them the support they need and their far-flung children the reassurance they need.

    A second home in Europe

    One of the challenges faced by UK nationals owning second homes in mainland Europe has been how to pass on their property satisfactorily after their death. There is much greater awareness these days of the limitations imposed by many Continental systems of inheritance. These often confer rights on certain family members such as children (forced heirship). Consequently, the ability to leave overseas property to, say, surviving spouse may be severely curtailed.

    Are you aware of your digital assets?

    For most of us, and increasingly irrespective of age, the digital world has crept into our lives. Whether we manage our bank accounts or investments online, store our photographs in the cloud or manage our social lives through Facebook, our digital footprints are becoming deeper and deeper.

    When to review your Will

    Life events usually trigger a need to review a Will. The most significant of these is marriage or entering into a civil partnership, since any previous Will is revoked, unless it has been made in contemplation of that marriage or civil partnership. This is the case even if both parties have already provided for each other in their existing Wills.

    How to hire a financial professional

    Nicola Plant speaks to The Times about foreign property assets, inheritance and tax planning, appointing guardians for minor children and drafting lasting powers of attorney.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore expands its private client team

    We are pleased to have expanded our private client team at Thomson Snell & Passmore with the appointment of Nicola Plant.

    Securing English grants of probate for managing the British-based assets of deceased persons who were domiciled outside the UK

    We are frequently called upon to secure English grants of probate for managing the British-based assets of deceased persons who were domiciled outside the UK. Our proficiency in these matters is demonstrated by the following case study.

    FAQ: Dispute Resolution

    Q.  I have been cut out of my parents Will, what can I do?

    Jeremy Passmore is recommended by Citywealth Leaders

    We are pleased to announce that Partner, Jeremy Passmore, has again been included in the 2015 Citywealth Leaders list.

    Agricultural property relief (APR) Q&A

    Each month solicitors Thomson Snell & Passmore will be answering frequently asked questions from across the practice. This month, it is Helen Stewart, Partner and Head of Probate, has answered two common issues surrounding agricultural property relief (APR).

    Tax Carrots

    The inheritance and income tax promises from party manifestos are little more than tinkering. They are only likely to complicate tax matters further.

    Top 25 Private Client Law Firm

    We are pleased to announce that we have again been awarded the accolade of eprivateclient’s Top 25 Private Client Law Firms for 2015.

    Best Lawyer award

    We are delighted that Partners Simon Brown and Gilbert Green have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the forth edition of Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom ®.

    An exciting new company launches in Kent: Mexxa Mixx

    These case studies were serialised in the Kent and Sussex Courier, but are collated together in this case to show all of the different stages a company can go through and how we can assist. MexxaMixx is a ficticious Kent-based business which manufactures and sells a range of Mexican style cooking sauces.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s bumper year in the Chambers UK rankings

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is pleased to announce its excellent rankings in the new Chambers UK guide, published last week.

    Trusts and their uses

    As a legal structure, the trust has proved to be remarkably adaptable over several centuries. Today, trusts are a commonplace of everyday life, from the pensions and investment world to the ownership of land.

    Everything advisers need to know about the new intestacy laws

    New rules affecting the rights of spouses or civil partners of those who died without making a will came into force last week.

    Beware the tax pitfalls of retiring abroad

    Families are becoming more internationally mobile and it is therefore not surprising that many individuals are choosing to retire outside the UK. However, many people are not aware of the estate planning pitfalls that can arise.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s good wills for charity

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is delighted to announce today that the firm’s Private Client team raised £5,348.75 over the course of 2012 for the charity Will Aid.

    Beware of Grob rules when giving property as a gift

    By Laura Sparrow, Assistant Solicitor. Contact Thomson Snell and Passmore 01892 510000.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Private Client team top ranked for fourth year in a row

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is delighted to announce today that the firm’s Private Client team has once again been included in Private Client Practitioner magazine’s “Top 25 Law Firms”. This is the fourth consecutive year that the team has been included in the highly regarded rankings.

    The Fine Art of Taxing Fine Art

    When is a painting not a painting? When it’s a plant. Confused? Jeremy Passmore explains why your painting of a plant may be taxable – but your plant of a painting may not be.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore Retains Excellent Rankings

    Thomson Snell & Passmore has achieved outstanding rankings in this year’s Chambers & Partners – with an impressive 24 lawyers recognised as “leaders in their field” – four more than last year.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Private Client team top ranked for third year in a row

    Thomson Snell & Passmore today announces that the firm’s Private Client team has been named as one of the “Top 25 Law Firms” by Private Client Practitioner magazine for the third year in a row.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s leading Private Client Practice

    Thomson Snell & Passmore is delighted to announce that Private Client partners Jeremy Passmore and Simon Brown have both been recognised as a ‘Leading Lawyer – Prominent figure’ in the 2012 edition of the Citywealth Leaders List for the second year in a row.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore Retains Excellent Rankings

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore has achieved outstanding rankings in this year’s Chambers & Partners and has an impressive 20 lawyers recognised as ‘Leaders in their Field’ – retaining its position as one of the region’s leading law firms. Chambers & Partners is one of the foremost independent guides to the legal profession and this year Thomson Snell & Passmore has maintained its strong reputation across all its practice areas.

  • Know How

Get in touch

Despite the HM government department being very slow with their replies, we were always kept up to date with any progress.


From our very first meeting, we were made to feel at ease. Information was exchanged, and what to us could have been complicated, we felt the situation would be resolved. We were kept constantly up to date with progress.


Kirsty was always treated with courtesy and my questions were answered in full whether they were in person or by telephone by everyone I spoke to.


Jeremy Passmore is 'experienced and creative'; and Mark Politz is recommended for his tax expertise.

The Legal 500 2015

I always feel listened to and have been treated very well.


I have used various departments of TS&P and have ALWAYS been VERY happy with all advice correspondence, help and professionalism that I have received.


Helpful, clear, and direct advice during conversations followed by similar meeting notes.


We have had the conveyancing, the making of wills and probate as the three main things and they were dealt with from different departments. I really cannot fault any of it. Although costs seem very high in these matters, I felt that we paid for the best and we got the best.


We needed a law firm in Tunbridge Wells for our house purchase in 1980 when we moved back from the USA, and we chose Thomson Snell & Passmore. We have used them ever since for conveyancing, wills and trust etc.


Clients appreciate his ability to combine 'great technical skill with a very personable manner'.

Chambers UK 2015

They have very wide-ranging and deep expertise. 

Chambers UK 2015

I commend them for their legal advice and emotional support.

Chambers UK 2015

Thomson Snell & Passmore provides ‘an outstanding level of service’.

The Legal 500 2014

Clients note the firm’s ‘very reasonable costs’.

The Legal 500 2013

Excellent. Quite personal‚ explaining everything in words and language that I could understand and keeping me up to date.


I cannot speak too highly of the care, attention and sympathy that I have received.


Cheerful, caring, prompt and knowledgeable legal service.


We were looking for the best and have never been disappointed.


I have every confidence in TS&P; especially with the lawyers who deal with my private matters.


Helpful, committed and responsive, who do a great job and treat their clients well.

Chambers UK

"The firm strikes just the right balance between talking and listening. The advice is proactive, but takes into account one's own views and aims in a sensitive manner." "A well-organised team which is available, able to empathise and communicates well."

Chambers UK 2016

Joint head of department Simon Brown is highly praised by clients for his "extremely acute intelligence and undoubted sensitivity in his bearing." He has significant expertise in estate planning and asset protection.  

Chambers UK 2016

We have had excellent service from your firm in my family over three generations of us. This is another example of the way you treat clients - and potential clients. Thank you.


Everything was handled professionally and courteously


The service Nicola provided was highly professional; her flexibility with timescales was especially appreciated


Excellent experience overall with 2 brilliant legal professionals at the firm. Indeed I have already recommended their services to another individual requiring legal representation and assistance


Rosie is an absolute star and it’s always been very reassuring to know that our affairs have been in such capable hands.


Una is very professional and knows her stuff! Very competent, but also friendly.


I was treated very professionally and all my queries were answered satisfactorily.

Nicola's experience and practical application of private client law coupled with her ability to really understand clients' requirements sets Nicola apart.


Stuart Price was extremely polite, helpful and attentive to our specific requirements. He made us feel very comfortable and at ease throughout the entire process


The advice and support from the initial phone call through to the completion of the document was clear, thorough and very efficient. I felt I received a personal service tailored to my needs


At the first meeting, they listened carefully to my needs and clearly explained the options available to me and how this could be achieved. I left the meeting with a clear understanding of what to do next  


The Deed of Variation and Trust that I required needed to be completed to a short deadline which was met. This was due to the efficient and effective work of the lawyers I worked with


Thank you for providing such clear advice and executing this in such a painless and professional way.  I don’t think I can recall the last time someone did some professional work for me where there were no typos or mistakes, or where I didn’t have to chase and do part of the work myself  


Excellent response when initial time constraints were addressed quickly and effectively.


They explained the process simply and clearly; they helped us sort out a particular clause in the will to share out our affairs with the children, to be fair to all of them. This provided peace of mind that we have left an easily manageable will for our benefactors with your help.


Our initial meeting helped clarify what we would be doing and gave me time to discuss what we wanted with my husband. When planning the will, we were very clear about what needed to be in the will. The legal side was explained very clearly, the costs were clear at the outset


I am very grateful to Thomson Snell and Passmore for helping me through some difficult times; sorting Mum's affairs out when she passed away, between exchanging contracts and completion, sorting her will out, and then making our own wills and LPAs. They gave great advice and support. Thank you


we have always received sensible, knowledgeable, and prompt advice on a range of matters, including estate planning, property transactions, and wills.


We would have no hesitation in recommending the firm. The professional service that we received was exceptional.


They provided a comprehensive strategy for resolving the issues arising in the transaction that we wanted carried out. The advice was clear, and any queries were quickly addressed. Where issues arose with third parties, we received balanced and thoughtful advice on the best course of action. They inspired complete confidence.


The advice that we received specifically addressed the issues that needed to be resolved. The process that needed to be carried out and the likely timescale was clearly laid out. We were kept fully advised as to the progress of the matter throughout. We were given prompt and well considered advice with regard to issues that cropped up.


Nicola is very helpful and patient. She was prepared to answer any questions and explained everything fully and carefully. She is also very friendly and interested in her clients.


Sarah listened very carefully to what we wanted; she explained very clearly all of the legal ramifications, and she was highly efficient.


Clare was efficient and very thorough, as well as being a very pleasant person to work with


Meet The Team

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