Wills & Probate

Practice Area Specialist:

Lorraine Whitfield

Lorraine Whitfield is a Partner of the firm and heads the Private Client team.  She helps clients to plan their estates, advises on the mitigation of Inheritance Tax as well as drafting their Wills and dealing with their property. She also advises on Tax Planning, Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection applications and related property law.

 

Our specialist wills and estate planning team can assist you on how to properly manage your assets during your lifetime as well as making sure that your chosen relatives benefit from your assets after you have gone.

We can also guide you to make proper provision during your lifetime to mitigate the Inheritance Tax payable on your death. We ensure that every will we make is individually tailored to reflect the needs and circumstances of our clients, each and every one of whom is unique. Please select from the following areas below to find out more about the services we provide:

Fees – how much does it cost?

Wills

  • £300 (plus VAT) – single Will (providing straightforward provisions without trusts)
  • £450 (plus VAT) – mirror Wills (providing straightforward provisions without trusts)

Wills requiring more complicated provisions and requiring trusts vary in costs
depending on their terms. Costs generally range between £750 (plus VAT) and £2,500
(plus VAT). All fees are confirmed in a client care letter usually following an initial
meeting.

If there are issues regarding testamentary capacity at the outset or during the will
making process then the fees will be revised to account for any additional work
charged at the fee earner’s prevailing hourly rate set out in the terms of engagement.

Lasting Powers of Attorney – Health & Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs

  • £400 (plus VAT and £82 registration fee) – single Lasting Power of Attorney
  • £650 (plus VAT and £164 registration fee) – two similar Lasting Powers of Attorney
  • £850 (plus VAT and £328 registration fee) – pair of similar Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney and a pair of similar Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney

If there are issues regarding mental capacity at the outset or during the process of making Lasting Powers of Attorney then the fees will be revised to account for any additional work charged at the fee earner’s prevailing hourly rate set out in the terms of engagement.

Registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney

  • £500 (plus VAT and £82 registration fee) – completing forms to register an Enduring Power of Attorney

Administration of an Estate – Grant only service

  • £1,800 (plus VAT and court fees)

There must be a valid original Will with a correct appointment of Executors and the deceased must be resident and domiciled in the UK and any foreign assets do not exceed £100,000 and there is no more than one trust which value does not exceed £150,000. The estate must be below £1,000,000 or left entirely to charity or to a surviving spouse and any gifts by the deceased do not exceed £3,000 in any one tax year during the last 7 tax years. The Executors are responsible for providing the value of assets and liabilities at the date of death and will deal with the estate following receipt of the Grant.

  • £2,000 (plus VAT and court fees)

The deceased dies leaving a valid original Will but without an Executor or the deceased dies without a Will but is survived by a family member entitled to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. The deceased must be resident and domiciled in the UK and any foreign assets do not exceed £100,000 and there is no more than one trust which value does not exceed £150,000. The estate must be below £1,000,000 or passes entirely to a surviving spouse and any gifts by the deceased do not exceed £3,000 in any one tax year during the last 7 tax years. You will be responsible for providing the value of assets and liabilities at the date of death and will deal with the estate following receipt of the Grant.

Administration of an Estate – from death to distribution

The time and cost administering an estate depends on the terms of any Will or if the deceased died intestate (i.e. without leaving a valid original Will) the relatives entitled to inherit, the type of assets involved and any complicated aspects of the estate. The value of an estate does not necessarily mean it will be more expensive to administer. In many cases, a high value estate with one or two assets will cost less to deal with than a smaller estate with lots of different types of assets.

The costs of administering an estate can vary and typically start at £3,000 plus VAT. Our fees are based on time and therefore to ensure that you are in control of the costs we will advise you when the value of our time reaches a certain limit. This will enable you to review the position having regard to the steps completed and the costs incurred. We will also agree with you an estimate of the fees within a range that we believe might be incurred in dealing with the administration of the estate.

Please note that we can let you know what work needs to be undertaken at each stage of the administration process. This will enable you to decide whether you wish to take over the administration of the estate and complete it yourself without requiring further advice. For example, you may specifically request that you do not want full Estate Accounts to be prepared as you may prefer to deal with this aspect of the administration yourself to save costs. The most important aspect of administering an estate with the help of a solicitor is to ensure that you are clear as to what costs you will incur at each stage of the administration process.

The hourly rates are: Partner / Senior solicitor £215 – 250 plus VAT depending upon the complexity and
work required.

Practice Area Specialist:

Hanah Wright

Hanah has a strong background in property work and has a particular interest in commercial freehold and leasehold premises, sales of development land, business transfers for medical partnerships and surgery relocations, whilst also carrying out residential property work and domestic conveyancing. Hanah also has several years experience in private client work.