TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses for over 30 years. We offer a range of advice and services. Your first appointment is free to help you weigh up your options.
We offer appointments in Hartlepool, Durham, Peterlee, Wingate and Newcastle, and will give you a tailored quotation for the cost of your case wherever we can.
We have many solicitors who are accredited specialists in their area of work, and can also offer representation under Legal Aid.
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If you think we can help, please contact us and we will be happy to give you free initial advice.
Feedback from real clients of TMJ Legal Services:
"Friendly welcome and service from your receptionist." "Very efficient, great communication and very helpful."
"Receptionists were always friendly and courteous. Pauline Hunter was always available to answer my queries."
"Kim's [Johnson] service was excellent. She kept us informed by email and was available by telephone when necessary"
"Catherine [Donworth] made a stressful situation much easier to cope with as she was so pleasant and kept in communication at all times. I would highly recommend TMJ to anyone."
"Good value, highly competitive rates"
"Jenna Hoban’s warm, welcoming and helpful manner immediately put us at ease and her excellent attention to detail, efficiency and professionalism established our confidence and trust in her and the company. Overall, a first class service. Thank you."
"The purchase of my home was anything but straightforward. The need to complete by the end of the holiday on Stamp Duty and the inefficiency and dilatoriness of the vendor’s solicitor placed a lot of pressure on Kim and I am extremely grateful to her for achieving a successful outcome."
Half of wills in the North of England are out of date
Research commissioned by SFE has revealed that almost half (45%) of people living in the North of England who have a will haven't updated it for more than five years, meaning nearly half of wills made in the area are likely to be out-of-date. Of those, over a third (34%) haven’t updated it for over 7 years, and over a fifth (22%) haven't dusted it off in more than a decade.
Having an up-to-date and well-drafted will is crucial in ensuring your wishes are carried out in the way you’d like when you die.
This year, SFE, a membership body representing over 1,600 solicitors specialising in working with older and vulnerable people, has launched “Update Your Will Week” (28th March – 3rd April) in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of updating your will regularly.
Local SFE solicitor Clair Dunkerley recommends that a will be reviewed and updated every five years, or when a major change in your life occurs that impacts you or your loved ones, such as divorce, marriage, new birth or even death in the family. SFE’s research has revealed that almost a third (31%) of people in the north with a will have had significant changes to their lives and circumstances since they drafted it.
Clair Dunkerley has warned that an unchecked and outdated will could cause severe implications for your loved ones after death – including missed inheritances and higher inheritance tax fees: “Many people assume that once you have drafted a will you don’t ever have to review it and that your wishes will be carried out as you wish them to be posthumously – but unfortunately, that’s far from true.
“If you remarry, for example, your will gets revoked. Or if you marry into a family and have stepchildren that you’d like to inherit your assets – this won’t happen automatically unless you stipulate it in a new will. All these details are crucial to avoid family disputes – which we know can be very distressing for your loved ones.”
In fact, SFE’s research revealed that:
Less than a third (31%) of people realise stepchildren won't be included in your will unless you stipulate that separately.
17% of people wrongly think you can update your will by making changes to the original document and initialling them.
The findings have also revealed that 59% of people in the North don’t have a will in place at all – a worryingly steep figure. Clair Dunkerley has highlighted that one in ten British families (11%) have been caught out by a ‘bad will’ – a will that is out of date or badly drafted – for example missing out on inheritance or their childhood home being sold without their knowledge.
Clair Dunkerley: “It’s great to see that many northerners have a will in place – but we need to see a higher will uptake, and for those that have a will in place, it’s paramount that they review these frequently. “I’d strongly recommend that people in the area look for their local SFE accredited solicitor.”