15 minutes with…..Joel Weitzman, Tax Manager NLP & Director, The Probate Practice Limited

Tell me about your role at NLP.

I started working here 14 years ago and now manage the Tax Department, on a day to day basis. This involves a generally supervisory and administrative role although from September to January it’s all hands on deck when we are under pressure dealing with clients’ tax returns – whilst everyone else is on holiday in December we are dedicated to finalising all the tax returns! I also have my own portfolio of clients dealing advising clients on personal and corporate tax matters. As usual at NLP there is a broad range of clients but they are mainly owner managed businesses and entertainers.

What made you become an accountant?

I always had a head for figures and I particularly enjoy the aspect of relationship building with clients. Many clients are long standing and  personal aspects of their lives as well as their balance sheets and it is important to be a good listener. I enjoy explaining the accounts to clients and getting the tax to a lower figure as possible.

You are also a Director of the newly formed company, The Probate Practice. Tell me more.

The Probate Practice Limited (a Nyman Libson Paul Group Company) was recently set up to deal specifically with clients’ probate matters. Having been asked to deal with probate by existing clients’ spouses and Executors we received some excellent feedback whereby the clients considered we had dealt with the probate mattes efficiently and cost effectively, and so a decision was taken to set up a separate specialised Specialist Probate Accountants business. I am heading this new company and have been involved in setting up the website (www.probate-practice.co.uk), purchasing software, setting up administrative procedures, and now, most importantly leading the team assisting clients.

What qualities do you consider important in dealing with probate?

I think a caring, empathetic attitude and some hand-holding are important skills at what can be a distressing time for anyone dealing with probate.

What is the most unusual request you have had to deal with regarding probate, to date?

Well, it may sound unusual but is one of the services we offer, we recently had to negotiate with a bank rto prevent them foreclosing on a client’s yacht.

What do you do outside work?

I love travelling and amongst the places I have visited are South Africa, India and Peru. When not in such exotic climes, I like watching (rather than playing) football, cycling and enjoy going to the theatre. I also go to the gym but have to say that I dislike it rather than enjoy it!