It is always a pleasure to see you, you have a warmth about you that makes the appointment a revitalising experience rather than a fearful one.
Now that my late wife's estate has been finalised I want to thank you for your professionalism and friendliness. My son and I are pleased that we retained your services and I am also very pleased with your final charges. On occasions I have been asked if I know of a good solicitor. If this question is asked in the future I will be only too happy to recommend you.
I should like to state that your handling of the administration of the estate was very impressive. It was conducted efficiently whilst maintaining a sympathetic approach with the situation that existed with the main beneficiaries and at the same time providing good guidance to the executors. It is extremely doubtful that had it not been for your tact and wisdom, the distribution would not have achieved what the deceased and his late wife wanted. On a personal note, as an executor and a cousin to the main beneficiaries (and godfather), thank you Eila.
We understand that the loss of a loved one can leave appointed executors feeling confused and pressured. Not only can it be an emotional time but executors are also dealing with the unfamiliar and find themselves dealing with anxious beneficiaries. If you are dealing with the estate of a loved one we can offer you sympathetic support.
We can help you in obtaining the grant of probate or assist you with letters of administration if the deceased died without leaving a will. We will assist you with the paperwork to be submitted to HMRC for inheritance tax if applicable. We will complete the necessary documentation to apply for the Grant of Probate, including completing the forms that enable you to claim any allowances to reduce or even negate a liability to inheritance tax.
Once the Grant has been received we can either hand this to you so that you can liquidate or transfer the assets of the estate or, alternatively, we can collect in the assets on your behalf and distribute them in accordance with the deceased’s will or rules of intestacy.
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-12 weeks, (where it a non-taxable estate, a taxable estate can take 4 – 6 months because of the delays in dealing with HMRC). Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6-8 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-6 weeks.
Free Initial meeting
We are more than happy to arrange an initial free half hour appointment with you to discuss your needs and how we can help to give you an accurate costs estimate taking account of all elements as we only wish to charge for the work we do and be fair in all cases.
Our probate and estate administration fees start from £850.00. More information on our fees can be found here.
Are you living alone, or a couple, with no relatives but supported by kind friends on whom you do not wish to impose? Or are you anxious that if one of you passes away your spouse may not be able to cope with the practicalities?
Why not come and talk to us?
One of our caring and experienced solicitors can make a note of your wishes so that when the time comes we can carry out your instructions; dealing with undertakers, arranging the funeral services you requested, working with clergy or civil celebrants, organising flowers and the reception for your friends after the ceremony. We can also register your death if we arrange the funeral.
As we are solicitors we will deal with everything professionally but we like to think that we are not only solicitors but professional friends of our clients and at a time like this is it the personal touch that counts.
Is making a will on your ‘round to it pile’?
Only 40% of adults in England and Wales have a will and a large number of those have not reviewed its contents recently.
If you die ‘intestate’ (without a will) the government decides who inherits your estate through legislation and there is no scope for your personal wishes to be observed.
Many people put off making a will believing that it is not necessary and that their loved ones will inherit anyway. That is not always the case and in particular anyone who has a dependent or any form of assets that they wish family, friends or charities to inherit should make a will. Doing so ensures that those you wish to benefit actually do and helps avoid family disputes after your death.
We offer a fixed price will service and will meet with you personally to discuss not only your wishes but also to give consideration as to whether there are any steps you should incorporate in your will to offset a potential charge to inheritance tax when you die.
You should consider reviewing your will if the personal circumstances have recently changed. We advise reviewing your will every five years to reflect your changing financial situation but in particular, you should consider speaking with us if:
It is sometimes possible to amend your Will by a codicil and we can advise you when this is possible and what to include.
For more information about making a Will or amending your existing one and to find out about our fixed-fee simple Will writing, please contact us.
As we get older we start to think about how we would cope if we lose our facilities or physical abilities. However, it is not only the elderly who can face such problems, accidents or ill health can cause a younger person to also find themselves experiencing difficulty in managing their affairs with their families and loved ones unable to access their personal information to help.
Making an LPA importantly allows you to appoint someone you know and trust and who understands your medical and financial affairs. If there is no LPA then your friends or family can apply to the Court of Protection, which is an expensive process and you have no control as to who will be appointed to care for your financial and health needs.
There are two types of LPA, one that deals with your health and welfare and one that covers your property and finances. A Health and Welfare LPA deals with your medical care and can only be used once you become unable to make decisions yourself. A Property and Financial Affairs LPA deals with your financial matters and can be used while you still have full mental capacity, for example if you become frail or immobile.
Mental Capacity is someone’s ability to make their own informed decisions. Illnesses such as dementia affect a person’s ability to make such decisions and if that happens this is where an LPA is important.
It is important to understand that your spouse does not automatically have the authority to make all decisions on your behalf. Without an LPA your loved ones may not have the final say on what happens with your end of life care and your finances could be frozen while your relatives apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed to make decisions on your behalf. Not only is this time consuming and costly but at that point you have no say in who is appointed to act on your behalf.
Not only can our team arrange LPA’s for you but they can also offer you a free no-obligation review of your future plans and help you prepare a will to ensure that you achieve your wishes when your estate eventually passes to your beneficiaries.
Eila Rochfort – Head of Wills, Probate and the Elderly Client
Keren Morgan – Wills, Probate and the Elderly Client Solicitor