Making a Will
If you don’t make a will the assets which you have built up in your life time will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules. If you have no close relatives they may even go to the state.
What’s wrong with the intestacy rules?
In some cases nothing. But:
Matters are usually more straight forward where there is a will because there are executors appointed by you to administer your estate.
You may want to decide yourself which of your relatives (if any) are to benefit from
your estate. You will certainly want to nominate relatives or close friends as the Testementary Guardians who would bring up your children if you were not there to do so.
The intestacy rules do not recognise changing family lifestyles; co-habiting but unmarried partners have no automatic entitlement to inheritance from one another, even if they have children.
By planning how to leave your estate you may be able to achieve substantial tax savings.
Before we draft your wills for you we will meet with you to discuss your circumstances and requirements and will offer constructive advice on how to plan your estate. The drafts we prepare for your approval will be designed as far as possible to take account of future changes in your circumstances so the costs which you incur should stand you in good stead for many years. The peace of mind derived from knowing that you have put matters in order should make the expense involved well worth while.
– If you would like to understand more about making a will and how we may be able to help please contact us either by telephone or e-mail.
Registering your Will
Major & Co Solicitors has joined the Certainty National Will Register www.certainty.co.uk.
Certainty is the National Register of Wills and Will search service endorsed by the Law Society. Only a will written by a legal professional can be included on the register which records that we hold your will, but the will always remains confidential with us.
A recent survey established that more than 60% of those surveyed did not know where to find their parents’ Wills (perhaps due to changing circumstances, moving to another area or the passage of time). If your Will cannot be found after your death then your assets will be either distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules, or an earlier and out of date Will, if any, is admitted to probate and your assets will not necessarily be distributed in the way you would have wished. Either way, this can cause emotional distress and financial loss for the loved ones you intended to benefit from your estate.
Reviewing your Will regularly is one of the most important things that you can do for your dear ones. We recommend registering your Will with Certainty as a precautionary measure – it ensures that your Will is traceable by your beneficiaries.
When someone dies, the first requirement is to register the death.
After this, you may need to seek a grant of Probate (if they left a will) or Letters of Administration (if they left no will). We can advise whether it is likely to be necessary in any given case, and if so assist the family in submitting an inheritance tax return and seeking the grant.
If you wish we can go on to deal with the whole of the administration of the estate, dealing with collection of assets and settlement of liabilities; this can involve extensive paperwork which is a burden members of the family often prefer to pass over and we can take matters right through to final distribution of the estate.
We would aim to give an indication of costs once we have full information from you. Our charges are based on our time input with reference to our hourly rates and the value of the estate.
For a straightforward probate matter for an estate say of £250,000 consisting of a flat or house and a bank account inherited by a surviving spouse under a will our fees for obtaining the grant of probate, collecting the estate (excluding conveyancing fees if the property is sold to a third party), preparing estate accounts and distributing the estate our fees might be in the region of £3,000 to £3,500 plus VAT at current rates of £600 to £700.
In addition we would anticipate the following costs:
Probate Registry fee for the Grant and five office copies £157.50
Commissioners fees £7.00
Land Registry fees £66
A non-exhaustive list of factors which might increase costings include the existence of trusts, lifetime gifts, inheritance tax/income tax/capital gains tax considerations, shareholdings or significant assets, overseas elements, family disputes, large numbers of beneficiaries, intestacies or missing wills
We have considerable experience of acting for those involved in inheritance disputes.
We have acted for claimants for whom inadequate provision has been made or who have challenged ownership of property claimed as part of an estate; we have also acted for Executors resisting such claims.
Whoever instructs us, we look to bring a tactful yet determined skill to advising in such situations to achieve an effective resolution, if possible in a non-combative manner. We are however ready to proceed to Court if circumstances demand.
We can advise on and prepare a variety of Trusts
If you would like to understand more about our services and how we may be able to help, please contact us either by telephone or e-mail.