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Wills & Probate

Making a will is important

Because it enables you to:

  • Choose precisely how your property and possessions should be dealt with in the event of your death
  • Appoint an Executor who will deal with all the necessary paperwork and procedures on your family’s behalf
  • Create Trusts for your children and give directions as to who will look after them
  • Give particular gifts or sums of money to specific people
  • Minimise and restrict your tax liabilities, particularly inheritance tax
  • Make a joint will with your spouse or partner

If you do not make a will the law decides how your estate should be distributed and an unmarried partner does not have the same rights to inherit as a spouse.  This can have unintended consequences and the person you expected to benefit receiving nothing or having to go to court to try and establish a claim.  It could also increase the cost of the administration of your estate if distant relatives have to be traced and verified.

A Dedicated Service

Drafting a will requires experience and knowledge of the law. Our expert solicitors have been writing wills for over 35 years. Every client has his or her own individual needs or requirements and we at Fentimans place a great emphasis on ensuring that a highly personal service is given to each client whilst keeping the process as simple and inexpensive as possible.

Protect Your Assets

We specialise in Discretionary Trust Wills which can provide effective protection against claims against your estate, for example care fees. Please contact us for a free guide.

Probate And Administration Of Estates

Probate is a procedure for the Executors to obtain authority from the Probate Registry to deal with the affairs of the deceased. If someone dies without making a will, then those who are likely to benefit from the estate or other interested parties can apply for a grant of letters of administration instead.

In either case, certain formalities have to be complied with including swearing an oath and exhibiting the will and completing an HM Revenue form. If the estate is liable to inheritance tax, then a more detailed and complicated Revenue form is required to be completed and any tax due on assets other than real property has to be paid up front before the grant can be obtained.

Fentimans have dealt with the administration of many hundreds of estates and have developed the necessary knowledge and expertise to deal with all kinds of problems that occur during administration. Our fees are competitive and our service is comprehensive. Please do not hesitate to call for an initial discussion and estimate of fees. Executors are personally liable to sue beneficiaries if they make mistakes during the administration so employ a professional.

Why Choose Us?

  • Executors do not need to attend a personal interview at the Probate Registry, everything can be handled by post
  • We will be able to obtain the grant of probate more quickly than an executor making an application in person
  • For larger estates, knowledge of inheritance and other taxes is required in order to complete the HM Revenue forms correctly and avoid penalties
  • We do not charge until probate has been obtained and monies have been collected in and so you have no upfront costs
  • We will discuss our fees with you at the beginning of the case and are certain that you will find them competitive
  • All work is conducted by fully qualified and experienced solicitors

Please call the number at the top of this page or complete our enquiry form for further information.

Wills & Probate Costs

Wills

Our current charges are: –

Standard single will £195 plus VAT

Wills for a couple in mutual terms £240 plus VAT

A will containing a discretionary trust element £425 plus VAT (this includes changing the ownership of a home from a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common should that be necessary).

We reserve the right to charge extra for a non-standard will e.g. one containing a large number of individual beneficiaries or bequests or containing a business element or trust arrangement. We would inform you of this before starting work.

Probate and Estate Administration costs

For obtaining a grant of probate, letters of administration and for administering an estate, we charge our usual hourly rate (see our Costs and Services page).

Typical costs estimates are: –

For obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration – £550-£1500 plus VAT, depending upon whether a full inheritance tax account is required or not. If inheritance tax is payable or if there have been relevant gifts in the 7 years immediately preceding the testator’s death, it is likely that the full account would be necessary rather than the summary one and the cost would be at the higher end.

After the grant has been obtained, it is necessary to collect in the assets, pay any tax and other liabilities, prepare estate accounts and then distribute the estate between the named beneficiaries. If the deceased did not leave a valid will then it may be necessary to ascertain who will benefit from the estate and trace these persons. The additional costs of administering the estate would typically be between £1000 plus VAT and £4000 plus VAT, but could be higher if beneficiaries have to be ascertained and traced, particularly if they are overseas, or if there are a large number of assets or the assets are overseas. Other factors which could increase costs include challenges to the validity or contents of the will.

In addition to our charges for doing the work, the following additional expenses are likely: –

Probate application fee £155 +50p for each office copy of the grant

Commissioner’s fees for swearing the executor’s oath £5 plus £2 per exhibit

Section 27 Trustee Act notice advert in the London Gazette £85 plus VAT

Bankruptcy search against executors and beneficiaries £2 per name

Probate valuation fees £250-£550 plus VAT

 

We normally deduct our costs and expenses from monies recovered on behalf of the estate although occasionally, we have to ask for a payment on account, which will then be refunded on receipt of estate monies.

Please download our Will Questionnaire below:

Download The Questionnaire