Our People

Rachel Baseley

Associate in Wills and Probate


Wills & Probate


16 Years


Rachel read English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford before obtaining her PGDipLaw and LPC at the College of Law in Chester.  She trained at a national law firm and qualified into their Landed Estates and Private Tax team in 2002.  In 2005 she moved north to join Wake Smith’s Private Client team.

Rachel is a member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), having successfully passed the four exams comprising the Diploma in Trusts and Estates in 2006.  STEP is the flagship professional body for solicitors and other advisors specialising in trusts and estates.

Main Areas of Work:

Rachel is the Deputy Registrar for the Diocese of Sheffield. She specialises in the following areas of advice:

  • The preparation of wills and “living wills”
  • Inheritance tax advice and planning
  • The creation and administration of trusts
  • Applications to the Court of Protection
  • The creation and registration of lasting powers of attorney
  • Advice to attorneys acting under lasting or enduring powers of attorney
  • Advice on compensation protection trusts following a personal injury claim
  • Advice to cohabitees regarding jointly owned property
  • Ecclesiastical law

Great / Notable achievements at Wake Smith:

  • Advised the executors of a deceased farmer regarding the inheritance tax treatment of his farmhouse and farmland. This involved negotiations with HMRC at the highest level and resulted in favourable inheritance tax treatment for the farm.
  • Acted for the executors of a businessman who died leaving a complex family situation with beneficiaries in dispute over the division of his estate.
  • Handled the administration of a lady’s estate where there was no close family. Dealt with everything from registering the death and arranging a funeral to locating her assets and collecting them in.  Also noticed that the lady had not received all the state benefits she was entitled to and negotiated with the Department for Work and Pensions, obtaining a back payment of over £1,000 as a result.
  • Acted in connection with a child who was brain damaged at birth and who was awarded over £1 million in compensation. Applied to the Court of Protection for an order so that a professional deputy was appointed to administer the fund for the child and subsequently involved in administering the child’s property and investments.
  • Advised the executor of a large estate which comprised assets both in the UK and abroad. Worked with the offshore solicitor so as to ensure that the estate was correctly administered and all tax liabilities were settled in both jurisdictions.
  • Drew up a will with complex trust provisions for a client who wished to make maximum use of the of the new inheritance tax relief available where 10% of an estate is left to charity
  • Advised the administrators of an intestate estate where the deceased’s next of kin were unknown. Located the heirs and took steps to protect the administrators’ position in the event that any claims were brought against the estate following the final distribution
  • Advised the executors of an insolvent estate, including winding up the deceased’s company, realising his assets and liaising with his creditors and surviving family to administer the estate within the strict statutory framework that applies to insolvent estates
  • Advised a severely autistic man on the administration of his mother’s estate by tailoring my advice to the client and explaining the process to him in a way that he could understand so that he could participate in the process as fully as possible
  • Advised the parents of a child with learning difficulties on the best way to make financial provision for that child via their wills
  • In 2018 Rachel was appointed Deputy Registrar for the Diocese of Sheffield and now assists the Registrar in providing advice to the Diocese on ecclesiastical matters, taking particular responsibility for the faculty jurisdiction over church buildings

What clients say about you:

“Rachel Baseley is always very pleasant and efficient.”

"Rachel Baseley offered an efficient and personable service. Thank you.”

Out of work:

Rachel is an experienced public speaker and is always happy to speak to local groups on wills, probate and associated matters.  Audience members frequently compliment her on her ability to make a somewhat “dry” subject entertaining.  From 2014 to 2016 she was an associate lecturer in the Law Department at the University of Derby, teaching law students at the weekend alongside her day job as a solicitor, which further honed her public speaking skills.  She has written articles for New Law Journal and has also appeared on Radio Sheffield, talking about legal topics.

Recent articles by Rachel Baseley

A question of trust for business ownership

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