"Max Nicholls is excellent. Strong relationship skills and a wealth of expertise."

Legal 500 2024

I am a Senior Associate in Michelmores’ Tax, Trusts and Succession Team. I have a broad range of experience advising executors and administrators on the administration of more complex high value estates and regularly find myself advising on the application of reliefs and exemptions where inheritance tax is payable or potentially payable. The estates I am involved with frequently include business, agricultural or other more unusual assets (such as works of art) requiring more specialist advice. I have particular experience advising personal representatives on claiming business property relief,  agricultural property relief and the normal expenditure out of income exemption where applicable. Although my focus is on the administration of estates, I also advise the beneficiaries of estates on their own estate planning, including the transmission of family wealth to the next generation.

The death of a family member is of course a profoundly sad event. I do however enjoy working with personal representatives to guide them through the estate administration and probate process at what is, in many instances, an extremely difficult time for them personally.

I have been with Michelmores for almost twenty years. The majority of that time has been spent in the Trusts, Tax and Succession Team. However, I was originally a lawyer in the firm’s corporate team

Recent experience

Advising on the administration of an estate comprising business assets with a value in excess of £10 million, to include advising the executors on the estate’s claim for business property relief and the application of the normal expenditure out of income exemption where the deceased had made lifetime gits in excess of £1million which were potentially liable for inheritance tax as a result of the deceased’s death.

Advising on the administration of an estate involving the gifting of works of art to a charitable trust to secure the reduced 36% rate of inheritance tax and also involving claims for business property relief and agricultural property relief.

Advising a business owner and his wife on their wills following a significant change in their financial circumstances following the sale of business interests where there was a particular desire to ensure the gradual release of benefits to their children so that, in the event of their death, their children are not disincentivised from leading settled and productive lives by reason of the family’s wealth.