WITH recent studies showing that over half of adults don’t have a will a Leyburn accountancy firm is one of the first in the North of England to offer probate services.

Starting in 2004 with just a single client, Dawn Clarkson has come a long way since then. Joined in 2007 by her son James they became a limited company in the same year; now as Dawn Clarkson Associates they have a team of eight staff and a portfolio of over 500 clients.

With the Ministry of Justice granting accountants the right to offer probate services two years ago, Ms Clarkson thought it would be good to get on board experiencing the process as an executor herself for a friend who had no family.

After going through series of exams and training including: probate delivery, will training and qualifying as a family business advisor Ms Clarkson was accredited and licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to provide the service.

Quoting the example of a terminally ill client who only completed a will shortly before his death. She explained: “It’s surprising how many people don't have a will. If you die without a will your wishes may not be carried out.

“Whether it relates to your estate, or simply where you want your ashes placed or simply the music at your funeral, if your wishes are not met it is such a shame.”

Trading as Wills and Estate Planning Ltd, she is joined by Terry Newman who is an accountant at the firm and Penn Shewring the legal services PA.