WILLS/PROBATE & ELDERLY CLIENTS

Wills

Everyone should consider making a Will. In most cases it is fairly straightforward, quick and the cost is moderate.

As well as disposing of your property, a Will should appoint Executors who will be responsible for administering your Estate on death, and can also appoint guardians of minor children, express your wishes regarding your mode of burial/cremation, and many other matters.

May we encourage you to take the next step and contact us?

We always wish to have a personal meeting wherever possible. We will listen to you, make suggestions. Following the meeting we will prepare and send you a draft Will for consideration. Subject to any amendments and final approval we will normally witness the Will to ensure it is properly executed. We will keep the original or a copy in permanent storage at no further charge.

Probate and Estate Administration

"Probate" is usually used to describe the application process to obtain the legal Grant of Probate of the Will, (or what is called "Letters of Administration" if there is no Will or no Executor) from the Probate Registry. This is necessary except in the case of small Estates. It generally involves obtaining details of the assets of the Estate, notifying death and the preparation of Inland Revenue Returns and calculation of and an initial payment of Inheritance Tax where due.

"Administration" refers to the further process of administering the Estate of the deceased following issue of the Grant. It therefore involves, commonly, collecting in the assets, paying debts, finalising tax affairs and distributing to the beneficiaries. Conveyancing on the sale of the deceased's property may be involved.

Every case is different and the size and complexity of one person's affairs of course varies enormously from another's. An experienced probate solicitor can deal with matters efficiently and will know how to handle the uncommon, or unexpected.

Executors may be emotionally involved in the bereavement process and the amount of work to deal with following death is often considerable. Our many years experience enable us to assist by dealing with matters efficiently and sensitively.

Enduring/Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorneys ("LPAs") are documents in a specific form which empower one or more people "the Attorney(s)" to handle the property and affairs of another "the Donor" even after that person has lost or is losing mental capacity. It is also possible to grant a "Personal" LPA authorising the Attorney to make decisions about the Donor's personal welfare in accordance with guidelines that the Attorney may specify.

People often wish to grant such powers so that they can nominate people to be responsible if they reach a stage in their life where they are unable to make decisions themselves.

We can advise parties through the process and, if appropriate, provide the required Certificate, and deal with notification and registration.

Court of Protection

The Court of Protection, together with the Office of the Public Guardian, is responsible for the oversight of the affairs of those who are unable for reasons of incapacity, to handle their own affairs, particularly if there is no Attorney under an LPA (or its predecessor an Enduring Power of Attorney), or if some issue arises or guidance is required.

We are experienced in dealing with such matters, and can advise and prepare and make the appropriate applications in a timely way.

Home Visits/Access

Home visits can be arranged, but we will usually make a charge for travelling time.

We do have our own parking spaces, and ground floor premises with easy access for wheelchairs or the disabled.