A Will is a legal document by which you can determine what happens to your property, money and personal possessions after you die.
Making a Will is your opportunity to state what you want to happen to your estate after you die. By making a Will, you are reducing the complications and the heartache in trying to organise your estate that your family and friends might be faced with after you die.
In your Will you can decide who you want to be in charge of administering your estate so you have the people you think are best suited to the job involved.
Most importantly, having a Will means that the people you want to benefit from your estate will benefit.
There is also an opportunity to think about Inheritance Tax planning within your Will, by making provisions in your Will that can be tax efficient.
If you do not make a Will there may be unexpected results.
If you die without having made a valid Will your personal possessions, property and money will be distributed to your nearest family according to the Intestacy Rules. In many circumstances this means your estate will not go to the people you would choose to benefit.
There is a misconception that a ‘common law’ husband or wife would be recognised and would benefit under your Will. However, this is not the case as under the Intestacy Rules a surviving unmarried partner would have no right to receive an inheritance from their deceased partner’s estate. In such circumstances a claim could be made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 but such a claim would be costly and take time to resolve.
In addition, although the Intestacy Rules, which were introduced in 1925, were updated in 2014, married couples still do not necessarily inherit all their spouse’s assets.
Our fee for a single, simple Will starts at £250 plus VAT (£350 plus VAT for a couple preparing mirror Wills) and we will give a further estimate if your needs are more complex. Please contact us to make a mutually convenient appointment to discuss your requirements.
If you require assistance with Probate then we, as a firm, know how distressing this time can be and we wish to ensure that matters are dealt with as sympathetically and efficiently as possible, with minimum stress to you at such a difficult time.
We can offer you an initial free consultation, subject to your instructing this firm to act on your behalf, during which we will discuss the specific aspects of the particular estate that you are involved in. Our charges for this consultation of up to half an hour will be deducted from our ongoing fees. At the end of this consultation, we will provide you with an estimate for our fees which will depend on the individual circumstances of the estate such as:
Our fees are charged on an hourly basis of £240 plus VAT. The number of hours involved in dealing with an estate will depend upon the complexity of that particular estate, however usually it may take:
If the estate is complex, then we would discuss this at the time of taking your instructions as the costs could be in excess of the estimated times above.
In addition to our fees, the following disbursements are likely to become due during the estate’s administration:
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
The work involved would include, if we are to deal with the full administration:
It is not possible to be exact on the timing of dealing with the administration of an estate, however as a rule of thumb for full administration of an estate, this could be between 4 to 18 months (which includes the potential sale of a property), which would involve:
The above is on the basis that it is an uncontested Probate.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document by which you can appoint another person or persons to make decisions on your behalf.
There are two types of LPA:
You are able to restrict and/or offer guidance to your Attorneys in your LPA documents.
Your Attorney can be a close family member, friend or professional who you trust implicitly to act in your best interests.
You may appoint one or more Attorneys under either type of LPA. In addition you can also appoint a replacement Attorney or Attorneys to act in case your first choice Attorney is unable to act when needed.
Before either type of LPA can be used they need to be signed by you, your Attorney(s) and a third person known as a Certificate Provider.
A Certificate Provider can be either someone who has known you very well for at least two years or a professional person who can certify that you are able to make an LPA.
Both LPAs will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before an Attorney can begin to act for you. This can either be done straight away or at a later date.
Under a Property & Financial Affairs LPA an attorney may act whenever you wish them to. However, an Attorney under a Health & Welfare LPA can only act when you have lost mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.
If you lose mental capacity and are no longer able to make decisions about financial affairs yourself it is usually necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection for somebody to be appointed as your “Deputy” to make decisions on your behalf. This may not be the person you would have chosen and such an application will be costly and time consuming.
Your Attorneys are only responsible for your affairs whilst you are alive. An LPA is no substitution for having a Will.
To prepare and register one Lasting Power of Attorney for one person will cost £450 plus VAT (£550 plus VAT for a couple) or for both types of LPA £550 plus VAT (£800 plus VAT for a couple, ie four documents in total). We can also assist in registering previously prepared Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Please contact us to make a mutually convenient appointment to discuss your requirements.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss the above further or have any queries.
21 Wish Road