Members of Leeds Building Society will have round-the-clock access to legal advice on probate and estate administration under a partnership announced today between the society and national firm Irwin Mitchell.

Irwin Mitchell’s UK-based 'legally qualified professionals' will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give a free initial telephone consultation. Customers will be able to agree a fixed fee upfront, and can choose to take as much or as little assistance as they want, depending on their individual needs, the firm said. 

Gillian Coverley (pictured), partner and probate specialist at Irwin Mitchell, told the Gazette that the 24-hour service will be provided via the firm’s existing legal advice helpline, which is operated by staff who have a law degree as a minimum. 

The service will be offered to building society employees as well as 719,000 members.

Coverley said the agreement demonstrates how Leeds Building Society ‘recognises the service we can offer members and their families at a difficult time in their lives when many need support and expert guidance’.

She added: ‘Administering an estate can often take months – and sometimes years if the estate is complex. The work can be done during a period of emotional turmoil and executors can also be financially liable for any mistakes they make.

‘Many people simply do not know what they have to do and that is why the services of experienced estates and probate solicitors can prove so valuable.’

Irwin Mitchell said it was the 'latest development' in its plans to expand the business, following its merger with Thomas Eggar in November last year and the creation of its wealth management business, Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth, last month. 

Jaedon Green, director of products at Leeds Building Society, said the partnership would give its members ‘additional support’ during a time of distress.

He added: ‘Irwin Mitchell shares similar values to our society and this, in addition to their professional expertise, was one of the reasons we chose them as a partner for this sensitive work.’