Wills, Probate,
Power of Attorney
& Court of Protection

Helping prepare for the future

Wills, Probate,
Power of Attorney
& Court of Protection

Helping prepare for the future

Wills & Trusts

Do you have a Will?

Making a Will is the single most important thing you can do to protect your loved ones after your death. A properly drafted Will is legally binding and will ensure your wishes are carried out following your death.

If you die without a Will, strict legal rules determine which of your surviving relatives are entitled to a share in your estate. This means your estate could pass to relatives who you do not wish to benefit from your estate or even distant relatives you have never met, instead of your loved ones.

If you already have a Will but have gone through a life-changing event since making it (such as starting a family), it could be time to update it.

From drafting your first Will to amending your existing Will, we’ll guide you through the whole process, giving you peace of mind that your loved ones will be protected in the future.

What can a Will do?

  • Appoint guardians to care for your children following your death
  • Make provision for your spouse / civil partner
  • Provide for a partner who otherwise may not inherit from your estate
  • Make gifts to relatives, friends or a charity
  • Balance long-term inheritance for your children from a previous relationship, while providing security for your new partner
  • Make provisions for your spouse or civil partner, children, relatives, friends or charity

Probate

We understand how distressing the death of a close family member or friend can be and also know the difficulties you may encounter when dealing with their estate at a time when you may be grieving yourself.

We will help ease the pressure by guiding you through the steps needed to administer their estate, making the experience as stress-free as possible. We can deal with a whole range of probate matters, including:

  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will) to administer the estate without delay
  • Assist in the preparation of Inheritance Tax Returns
  • Collect estate assets

  • Pay liabilities

  • Distribute the estate

We aim to make our rates as competitive as possible. To discuss any Probate matters, we offer a free half-hour consultation and can arrange to visit you at home if you are unable to attend our offices.

Probate charges

Beverley Willis is a Chartered Legal Executive and deals with all the firms probate matters.

Fees charged will depend on the individual circumstances of each matter. For instance, how many assets are in the estate, if property is included and number of beneficiaries entitled to share in the estate.

Applying for the Grant

Where the estate is straightforward, details of all assets and liabilities are confirmed and the estate is not chargeable to Inheritance Tax, fees will be charged on a fixed fee basis of £850 plus VAT to obtain the grant. We anticipate it will take between 3- 4 months to obtain the grant, this includes the time the Probate Registry will take to process the application which is usually 2-4 weeks.

If the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax, assets in the estate are unknown or application for the grant is not straight forward or complex, fees will be charged at an hourly rate based on the time spent dealing with the matter. The rate charged for this type of work is £225.00 plus VAT per hour. We estimate that fees to obtain the grant will be between £1,800.00 and £9,000.00 plus VAT based on between 8 and 40 hours work and we anticipate the work involved will take between 3 to 10 months to complete.

Post Grant matters

Following issue of the grant, where we are instructed to assist in the collection of assets, pay liabilities and distribute the estate, our fees will be charged at the hourly rate of £225.00 plus VAT based on the amount of time spent dealing with the matter.

We anticipate that it will take between 3 and 15 hours to complete the estate administration depending on the size of the estate and number of beneficiaries. For instance, a small estate not including property, with 1-2 beneficiaries involving 3 hours work to complete the estate administration, fees will be £675 plus VAT. For larger estates involving multiple assets such as investments, stocks and shares, with multiple beneficiaries, costs will be at the higher end of the estimate due to the additional work that will be spent attending to the matter. This does not include the conveyance of property as this will be dealt with separately or work involved in dealing with estates where there are complexities. We will be happy to provide additional information regarding our fees for this type of work.

Disbursements in addition to our fees

Disbursements are costs related to your matter and charged in addition to the above fee information. Disbursements include the following:

  • Application fee for the grant of probate
  • Trustee Act Notices for advertisements in the London Gazette and local paper (where appropriate)
  • Bankruptcy search fees (Land Charges Department)

Will Disputes, Contentious Probate & Inheritance Claims

Disputes can often arise with regard to either the validity or the interpretation of a Will in circumstances where there may be a concern regarding the capacity of the person making the Will.

Or in circumstances where there may be an issue as to whether or not the person making the Will was in any way influenced in their decision.

There is also provision under legislation (The inheritance provision for family and dependants Act) 1976 where notwithstanding the fact that the Will may be completely valid, a person may potentially be eligible to make a claim if they were one of the following:-

  • The spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
  • A former spouse or former civil partner of the deceased;
  • A child of the deceased;
  • Any person (not being a child of the deceased) who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family;
  • Any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained in some way by the deceased and was therefore dependant

We can discuss these matters with you and advise you of the most appropriate way forward.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document for the appointment of a single person, or more than one, who can help you to make decisions about your property and financial affairs or health and personal welfare, if you are unable to make those decisions yourself due to loss of capacity.

The people you appoint are called Attorneys and should be people you trust. The LPA can be created to cover a range of issues, including:

  • Financial and property matters – such as dealing with bank accounts and shares, and selling property
  • Health and welfare matters – including day-to-day care and the consent or refusal of medical treatment

LPA is of particular importance if you are unable to manage your affairs as you grow older or become unwell. Your Attorney(s) will have the power to make decisions for you if, for instance, you suffer temporary or permanent disability, or suffer a loss of mental capacity.

We can offer advice and guidance on the creation of your LPA, including how much power to give your Attorneys and who best to appoint. We can also advise on the registration of your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian.

LPAs have replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney(s), but these can still be used. We can advise on when an Enduring Power of Attorney(s) should be registered and the procedure to be followed.

With an LPA in place, you can plan ahead with the peace of mind that your attorney will have the authority to act for you if you are ever unable to

Court of Protection matters

The Court of Protection is the judicial body responsible for making decisions relating to the management of the finances and other affairs of those who lack the mental capacity to do so themselves.

If a family member or close friend loses the ability to look after their affairs and make their own decisions, the Court of Protection can appoint someone (called a Deputy) to act for them if a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney is not in place.

The application process to appoint a Deputy can be confusing and burdensome, but we can take the time to explain the Court process and help with the preparation with application forms.

Once appointed Deputies have an ongoing responsibility and we can advise you on such matters as decision-making and submitting annual accounts to the Court. We can also assist if further applications to the Court are necessary, for instance, where the Court’s authority is needed to make a Statutory Will for the person who has lost capacity.

Contact

Vincent McCarthy Solicitors
Suite 5, Royce House
630-634 London Road
Westcliff on Sea
Essex SS0 9HW

01702 804 106
07967 991 472


vincent@vmsolicitors.co.uk

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Contact

Vincent McCarthy Solicitors
Suite 5, Royce House
630-634 London Road
Westcliff on Sea
Essex SS0 9HW 01702 804 106
07967 991 472
vincent@vmsolicitors.co.uk

Information

Cookie Policy
Privacy Policy