Lesley Sullivan

Partner in Private Client

+44 (0)845 257 9449

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Lesley has worked in private client practice for over 15 years and is a registered Trust and Estate Practitioner.  Her specialisms include advising on wills, trusts, administering estates, Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning and Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Lesley advises business owners and high net worth individuals, ensuring their personal affairs are in order.  This can include IHT planning through lifetime trusts and also incorporating trusts within wills.  Lesley works closely with any other professional advisors who are connected to her clients and is happy to meet clients at their home or at their offices.

Advising on trusts, including trust set up, trust administration and acting as a professional trustee are areas which Lesley also covers, both during lifetime and after someone has died.

In addition to lifetime planning, Lesley administers estates when someone has died which includes advising executors or, taking on the role of a professional executor.  A full review is also made to see if IHT can be avoided, or reduced, through the use of deeds of variation.

Lesley's Experience

Advising a married couple how best to structure their wills. This couple has children from previous marriages and sadly none of their children speak to each other or, to their parent’s spouse. The couple was extremely concerned of the implications this will would have when one of them dies. After several long meetings with them, their wills have been structured in a way that they are comfortable that will meet the needs of the surviving spouse and their own children

Dealing with an estate whereby an elderly unmarried couple had a large IHT bill. The couple had worked together and run a successful business for over 30 years, however all of their wealth was in the name of Mr G and not Miss S. They were not married and so, if Mr G died first then Miss S could not take advantage of the spouse exemption rules. Sadly, Mr G died first and therefore a large IHT bill was due. Lesley put forward a case that Mr G held half of the estate on constructive trust for Miss S. This case was successful with HMRC and saved Miss S over £140,000 in IHT

Setting up and administering a trust for a disabled beneficiary, working closely with the trustees and accountant to obtain disabled beneficiary status with HMRC

Advising a business owner who recently sold his business for £86 million. This included setting up trusts before the sale of the business took place and reviewing the wills for him and his wife, once the business had sold


Lesley enjoys exercising, particularly cycling, circuit training, yoga and hill and mountain walking – her favourite being Helvellyn in the Lake District – as well as cooking and spending time with her family.

Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Diploma – August 2014

Lesley's Updates