Power of Attorney, Wills and Probate Services

Lasting Power of Attorney

Longer life expectancy means there is a higher chance people will lose the ability to make decisions for themselves during their lifetime. Putting in place an LPA is part of planning for the future, in the event that they will lack mental capacity to look after their own personal, financial or business affairs. The LPA allows individuals (donors) to make appropriate arrangements for family members or trusted friends (attorneys) to make decisions on their behalves.

Without a property and financial LPA individuals are left more vulnerable to potential financial abuse. Without a health and welfare LPA, long term health and care decisions are left to chance. There is a common misconception that the next-of-kin can simply decide for their relative when they are no longer able to do so. Regrettably, this is not the case if a registered LPA is not in place.

To prepare an LPA the person giving the power (donor) must be over 18 years old and have mental capacity. To use an LPA, the document must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

Wills

Making a will is vital if you want to be certain that your wishes are met after you die. It is the only way to make sure your money, property, possessions and investments (known as your estate) go to the people and causes that you care about.

If you die without leaving a will (intestate) settlement of your financial affairs may be more complex than necessary. Your estate will not automatically pass to your next of kin.

Existing wills should be reviewed periodically, particularly where family or financial circumstances change or there are significant changes in law.

The exact costs of making a will will depend on your individual circumstances, level of assistance required and your instructions

Probate & Private Client

Our probate/private client matters are dealt with by Barbara Oska-Sharman (a solicitor with over 10 years’ experience). She is supervised by David Conway who has over 25 years’ experience working in this field. Please refer to the “meet the team” section of this website for full details.

Please get in touch with us and we will be happy to discuss your individual needs.

The death of a partner or loved one is upsetting and dealing with their assets and belongings can be overwhelming and stressful. Our experienced probate solicitor can efficiently handle the process for you eliminating the stress involved in administering the estate.

The work undertaken will usually include but not limited to:

  • Registering the death with the relevant authorities.
  • Assessing the value of the Estate including all assets and liabilities and identifying any potential problems.
  • The preparation of estate accounts (including Estate Income).
  • Determining whether inheritance tax is payable and preparing the appropriate Inland Revenue Account.
  • Applying for a Grant of Representation either a Grant of Probate (where a there is a will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (where there is no will).
  • Sending copies of the Grant to the respective financial institutions in order to collect in the estate monies from which we can then pay the debts and any legacies under the will.
  • The final stage involves obtaining confirmation from the Inland Revenue that no further income tax or inheritance tax is due, finalising the Estate Accounts for the executors and residuary beneficiaries’ approval and distributing the residue to the residuary beneficiaries.

Our fees and Additional Costs

LPAs

Our fees for assisting with preparing and submitting an LPA for registration with the OPG start from £350 plus VAT per application. There is a separate £82 fee per application payable to OPG for processing the registration.

Wills

Subject to your specific requirements and the complexity of your will, below are our likely costs involved in dealing with Will drafting and execution

Basic will from £350 plus VAT

Mirror wills from £550 plus VAT

The above quote excludes tax planning advice and advice on the implications of inheritance (Provision for family and Dependents) Act 1975 and where we are required to attend only one meeting with you to supervise the execution of your Will

Complex wills Time recorded at £250 plus VAT per hour

Probate and Administration of Estates

Our charges are based on a “time spent” basis working on the matter and will be charged at £250 plus VAT plus disbursements per hour.

A straight forward Grant of Probate matter takes approximately 10 to 20 hours of work depending on the individual circumstances of the matter, for example, how many beneficiaries there are and the assets and investments in the estate. Therefore our fees may range from £2,500 plus VAT and additional costs involved in the matter in relation to a relatively straight forward estate to £5,000 plus VAT and additional costs for a more involved, but still relatively uncomplicated estate. More complex estates may necessitate 20 to 50 hour of work. We do not charge a percentage of estate value which the Law Society allows us to do so. To give you an indication, however, depending on the complexity of the matter and issues involved, out total fees could equate to approximately 1-1.5% of the gross value of the estate.

Disbursements

Payments to third parties (disbursements) in addition to our legal fees

These typically include items such as:

  • A fee for swearing an oath, usually £7 to £10 (average) per executor/administrator.
  • Probate court fees £155 plus 50p for each sealed copy. NB Probate Court fees are due to significantly increase for applications made after April 2019.
  • Notices to creditors in the London Gazette & local newspaper, estimated between £150 and £200
  • Valuation fees for property, chattels and stocks & shares – £200 – £500 (average)
  • Estate agent fees, if selling an estate property.
  • Conveyancing fees, if selling or transferring a property, including Land Registry fees
  • Stockbroker/registrar fees, if selling or transferring shares and/or investments
  • The cost of any insurances required
  • Fees of an accountant to finalise tax affairs if required.
  • Bankruptcy searches (per name) in UK – £2
  • Bankruptcy searches (per name) abroad £100 – £200.

Additional Disbursements

  • Advertisement for creditors/unknown claimants (Section 27 Notice) (average cost from £100 to £300).
  • Certainty REACH search £114.
  • Full asset search £162.
  • Shareholding valuation fee (average – per holding) £20

VAT

Where VAT is payable this will be at the current rate of 20%

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