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Trainee Talks: Day in the Life


I arrive at the office, put my lunch in the fridge in the staff kitchen and grab a coffee from the coffee machine.


After logging in at my desk, I have a look at my to-do list for the day and read any emails that have come in overnight.  I prioritise and respond to any emails with requests that I can deal with quickly.


We have a new probate matter where the executor has provided us with a large bundle of documents relating to the deceased.  I spend some time reviewing these documents and pulling out anything that will help us identify what assets the deceased owned, and what liabilities need to be settled by the estate.  After discussing the matter with my supervisor, I email the executor to ask for any missing information. 


With my supervisor, I attend a client at their home.  We are drafting their will for them, and this meeting is to discuss their wishes and give some advice on inheritance tax planning.  I make handwritten notes of the meeting and write up a formal attendance note when we are back in the office.


I have lunch in the staff kitchen and catch up with some of the other trainees and paralegals.


On a probate matter where BPE are acting as executors, we receive the final pieces of information we need about the estate from the family.  I update the estate accounts and draft the inheritance tax forms using the firm’s system for drafting standard forms.  I also prepare the legal statement to be sent to the probate registry when making our application and send everything to my supervisor to review.


We have drafted a will for a couple where their respective shares in the family home are to be passed down to their children.  We therefore need to sever the couple’s tenancy so that they hold their house as tenants in common and the share will not automatically be passed to the other on the first death.  I draft a deed of severance and the required Land Registry forms and send these to the client for signing. 


I am asked to carry out some research in relation to re-sealing a grant of probate issued in another country.  I use the firm’s online library resources and send a summary to the fee-earner.


On a probate matter, I prepare initial letters to send out to utility companies informing them of the death and requesting final bills.


After writing up my to-do list for tomorrow, I log out and go home.

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of articles only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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