01722 410664

01722 428831

01722 428831

Jessica Johnston

Professional Qualifications and Background

Jessica is a partner who specialises in the preparation of Wills, trusts and estate administration as well as dealing with a wide range of Power of Attorney and financial Deputyship matters.

Jessica studied law at the University of Bristol and graduated in 2008 following which she completed the legal practice course. Jessica then trained and worked at a regional law firm based in Salisbury before joining Whitehead Vizard LLP in November 2016 prior to the firm’s merger with Sampson Coward LLP in April 2020.

Jessica please accept my heartfelt thanks for your insightful and kind help making a difficult task manageable. 

Jessica is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) which is the ‘gold standard’ for professionals working in the area of Wills, trusts and estates. Members are expected to abide by the STEP Codes of Conduct, which set out the key ethical and professional standards a member should uphold, inspiring confidence in families planning their assets across generations. For further details see www.step.org/about-step. 

Jess with your support, empathy and kindness your team have been outstanding.


Jessica advises on a wide range of private client matters and this includes the preparation of tax efficient Wills and succession planning for families to help preserve and protect family wealth for future generations. Jessica offers a Will review service and is able to draft a full range of Will structures and changes including straightforward amendments via Codicil up to the preparation of new Wills incorporating trust structures for beneficiary and asset protection. She also advises on the creation and termination of trusts as well as the administration and taxation of trusts established during lifetime as well as trusts arising on death.

In addition to providing advice regarding Wills and trusts, Jessica has considerable experience dealing with the administration of a range of estates, particularly taxable estates including those with agricultural, foreign or business assets. Jessica works closely with families to offer a range of ‘Grant only’ applications in addition to a full estate administration service.

Jessica advises regularly on the preparation and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney, registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney and can assist with financial Deputyship and statutory gift applications to the Court of Protection.

She provides comprehensive legal advice in a clear and approachable manner, and understands the importance of working closely with existing financial advisors and accountants to achieve the best outcome for clients.

Examples of matters dealt with:

  • Preparing life interest trust Wills to offer financial reassurance for the surviving spouse, in a way which preserves family wealth in a second family situation. This approach can also be useful in respect of care home fee planning.
  • Dealing with the full administration of an £8 million estate, working closely with accountants, financial advisors and chartered surveyors to secure valuable inheritance tax reliefs for the estate as well as dealing with the general administrative tasks in an efficient manner in the face of complex family arrangements.
  • Advising on a ‘Grant only’ application for an estate in which there was no inheritance tax to pay but the ‘longer’ HMRC paperwork had to be completed in order to claim the new inheritance tax allowance known as the ‘residence nil rate band’. Drafting the appropriate HMRC forms and Probate Registry document to obtain the Grant of Probate following which the executors felt comfortable to deal with the day to day administrative tasks and estate distribution.
  • Helping a family to unwind a long running family trust.
  • Advising on the preparation of a financial deputyship application to secure access to property and other wealth in order to release funds for ongoing care purposes.
  • Carrying out a home visit to take instructions for the preparation of financial and health Lasting Powers of Attorney.