Wills, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney & Estate Planning
Nobody likes to think about making a Will, going into a Nursing Home or losing mental capacity but these things cannot be ignored without storing up problems for your family in the future.
With our long experience in private client matters such as these, there aren't many problems that we haven't seen before and we can give you sound advice on all aspects of estate planning including preparing Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney as well as dealing with Probate (the administration of estates) and advising you in relation to nursing home or care home fees.
If you die without a Will, the law sets out what happens to your estate. If you own a property, or have a child, having a Will is fundamental. A Will allows you to plan for the future, whether it is to ensure that you reduce Inheritance Tax or Care Fees by leaving your estate in the most tax efficient way possible, or to appoint guardians for any minor children. A Will can also help to avoid your Estate being contested in the Courts (usually by a family member who has not been included).
As well as having an up to date Will, Lasting Powers of Attorneys can be invaluable. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be made for both Property and Finances as well as Health and Welfare. LPAs allow people chosen by you to make decisions on your behalf if you no longer have the capacity to make such decisions, for instance if you were to suffer a stroke, or dementia. Each LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.
Having an LPA in place means that if you were to lose capacity, the Court of Protection would not need to decide who should make financial or health decisions for you as you have already made this decision, it is also a much simpler and cheaper alternative to Court of Protection proceedings. In the unfortunate situation that a person has lost capacity without having made an LPA, we are able to assist in Court of Protection proceedings to make the process as smooth as possible.
The administration of estates if often referred to as 'Probate', this is because to deal with a person's estate after they have died you will usually need to obtain a 'Grant of Probate'. This process involves valuing the deceased's estate and paying any Inheritance Tax and once a Grant has been obtained from the Probate Court, en-cashing or transferring the assets in the estate to the named beneficiaries in the deceased's Will (or intestacy rules if there is no Will). Acting as an executor can be a burden and therefore we will be able to assist you as much as is required during this process. We are able to obtain the Grant of Probate on your behalf for a fixed fee, or if preferred, we can handle the whole of the administration on your behalf. Please contact us for further details.
Your Questions Answered
What is Estate Planning?
Well, of course making a Will is a priority. If you don't have one the law sets out what happens to your estate and you might not like the results of this. Make a Will and YOU decide where your money goes.
Also a Will can:
- reduce Inheritance Tax
- shield your home from care fees
Other things you need to consider:
- Power of Attorney
- Living Will
We also specialise in this work and also:
- administration of estates (probate)
- trust work
- tax advice
- probate litigation
What does it cost?
Our fees are fair and realistic. You will know upfront what the cost will be with no nasty surprises later as we can provide you with a fixed fee from the outset.
We are ready to deal with any matters of this kind for you and guide you through the whole process.
Get a Wills Quote
If you would like to get a guide on how much we charge for preparing a Will for you and your family, please click here.
Our Commitment to you
We aim to provide a dedicated first class service to give you peace of mind for the future. We pride ourselves on the personal service we offer our clients. As a small firm, we have a closer relationship with our clients than many of the huge law firms and in many cases we have acted for several generations in families because of this approach.
In the unfortunate event of a contested probate we are able to refer matters to our Dispute Resolution team
To find out more contact one of our lawyers
What our Clients have said about our service:
"I feel it would be difficult to improve upon your service."
"Service was great, professional and friendly. Superior to other legal offices."
"Very friendly staff and very relaxing atmosphere, something I consider important during meetings of this nature."
"My late husband and I have been with Howard and Over since 1972. They saw to everything when my husband died, I received peace of mind and continue to today. Nothing can improve the service, they are very friendly caring people and it is a credit to visit the branch."
"Katherine was very efficient and business-like; she and her team worked well together. They were friendly, and explained the jargon in simple language very well. Katherine allayed my initial anxiety very quickly at our first meeting by her friendly attitude and ready explanations."
"How could you improve? No comment. It was perfect. I did my Will on make a Will week for St Luke’s Hospice. I received the utmost attention and the staff were more than helpful. Many thanks"
When asked how we could improve our service, a client answered "You can't improve upon perfection."