News Posted: 19 Aug 2004

Wills & Probate

Who do you want to inherit your estate?

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A Will is an important legal document that allows you to decide what should happen to your possessions, property and money (your estate) when you die.  Without a Will, your wishes may not be carried out and your estate may not go to the people you wanted it to go to.  Despite this, research by the Office of the Public Guardian, estimated that sixty percent of adults in the UK don’t have a Will.

Put your mind at ease

Making arrangements for the future is important whether you have a little or a lot.  Preparing a Will can give you and your family peace of mind, helping to ensure your possessions, property and money are protected and that your loved ones are taken care of when you’ve passed away.  A Will lets your loved ones know what you wanted and can make an emotional and stressful time that bit easier for them.  A Will is often quite straightforward to arrange and need take up a lot of your valuable time.

Five Reasons To Make A Will

1.             You Don’t have a Will

If you pass away without a valid Will, then your possessions, property and money will be dealt with according to the Laws of Intestacy.  You will have lost the right to decide who should inherit your estate and people you may not have wanted to inherit something from you may well do so.

2.             Marriage

When you marry, or re-marry, your previous Will is automatically revoked.  Who you want to inherit your estate may change when you marry and it is important to make sure that your Will accurately reflects your wishes and protects your loved ones. 

3.             Divorce

Unlike marriage when you divorce your Will is not automatically revoked.  If you do not make a new Will it is possible for an ex-husband or ex-wife to inherit their former partner’s estate.  If your wishes have changed, you must update your Will.

4.             New family members

Having a child is an exciting time, but it also means that you should look at reviewing your Will to make sure the wishes it expresses in respect of your estate are still valid.

5.             Death

When a loved one dies the loss may have an impact on who benefits from your estate.  Although it is inevitably a sad time it important to review your Will to ensure that the right people are still benefitting from your estate.

Preparing for the Future

It is a fact of life that we all get older.  Another important part of planning for later life is setting up a Lasting Power Attorney (LPA). 

When you are no longer able to make important decisions on your own behalf an LPA allows you to appoint the people you trust to make those decisions for you.  Without an LPA, your loved ones must apply to the Court of Protection for permission to manage your affairs.  This can be a lengthy, stressful and costly process.

There are two types of LPA.  The first is a property and financial affairs LPA.  This covers your finances, such as dealing with your bank and utility providers or even collecting money, such as your pension, on your behalf.  It also covers your property and what will happen to it. 

The second type of LPA is a health and welfare LPA.  This type of LPA can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.  It allows your trusted appointee to make choices about your medical care and treatment as well as the type of care that you receive on your behalf.

Our charges for preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney start from £399.00 plus VAT (£478.80 in total).

Our charges for preparing a will are £200.00 plus VAT (£240.00 in total) for a single will and £300.00 plus VAT (£360.00 in total) for mirror wills.  These charges are payable ahead of your first appointment.

We offer a fixed fee initial advice service for probate matters.  For a fixed fee of £200.00 plus VAT (£240.00 in total) you will receive an appointment of up to an hour with a senior solicitor together with a follow-up letter confirming our advice to you for you to refer to in the future.  This service is ideal for clients who just require some initial advice and but are otherwise confident in dealing with probate themselves. 

Other clients will, however, want more help.  We are happy to provide that extra help but that will be charged on an hourly rate basis and is not included in the initial fixed fee.  If we are subsequently instructed by you to undertake the substantive probate work then the initial fixed fee paid by you will be deducted from your final bill of costs.

To make an appointment call 0191 2636200, email or visit our office in person.

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