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Wills and Probate


Wills


We can assist in the preparation of a Will. This includes helping you consider matters such as who you would like to benefit, your funeral wishes, and what would happen if your chosen beneficiary pre-deceases you.


If you are unsure as to whether to have a Will prepared we can advise you as to the benefits of having a Will and what would happen to your Estate under the Intestacy Rules if a Will is not prepared.


We offer competitive advice regarding the benefits of having a will. We offer competitive fixed fees for this type of work.


Lasting Powers of Attorney


A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which allows you to appoint one or more people to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf. There are two types; Health & Welfare and Property & Financial Affairs.


Watson Legal can prepare the comprehensive documentation required for obtaining LPA's. We can arrange the registration. Registration is required before the LPA can be relived upon. If you simply require advice as to whether an LPA is required, we offer free 30 minute consultations. We also offer fixed fees for the preparaton and registration of the documentation.


Estate Administration


It may be that someone close to you has passed away and you are not sure as to how the Estate should be administered or you are concerned that the people you care about most will not benefit when you pass away, amongst other issues Watson Legal have the experience to advise you.


The administration of an estate can be a complex process. The role of an executor or administrator of an estate holds significant responsibilities, which can lead to personal liability. By instructing a solicitor to deal with the administration of the estate rather than dealing with it yourself enables you to protect yourself from liability. We can act on your behalf and deal with the process ensuring the wishes of the deceased are carried out in an efficient way.


How much does this cost?


A fixed fee of 1.75% of the gross value of the Estate or a minimum of £950 plus VAT.


This fee includes:

  • 1.    Meeting with a qualified lawyer to understand your needs and describe the process so you understand what will happen
  • 2.    Identify the legally appointed executors/administrators and beneficiaries
  • 3.    Identify the appropriate documentation to be filed to start the administration of the estate
  • 4.    If not already held, obtain the original will to establish the executors/administrators and beneficiaries
  • 5.    Get an accurate value for all assets and any outstanding debts/liabilities
  • 6.    Complete the legal oath which executors “swear”
  • 7.    Submit the Probate Application documents to the court
  • 8.    Gather all of the assets of the Estate
  • 9.    Pay all of the liabilities of the Estate
  • 10.   Distribute all assets as per the Will or “Intestacy” rules
  • 11.   Provide a complete account of the Estate to the Executors/Administrators for their approval

Correspondence to executors/administrators, beneficiaries, creditors and debtors are included.


There may be associated costs, payable to another organisation, which are incurred by us as agency for you to enable us to complete these works. We describe these as disbursements.


Disbursements:


•    Probate Court Fee £155.00 (if paid through a solicitor) plus £0.50 per copy. One copy will be needed per financial institution that holds assets of the deceased.

•    £5.00 swearing fee (per Executor/Administrator) plus £2.00 per exhibit i.e. Will and Codicil;

•    £3.00 Land Registry fee – for Official copy of the Title Register – this confirms current ownership of property;

•    £2.00 Bankruptcy search fee – to be undertaken per Executor/Administrator and Beneficiary;

•    £70.00 Post in The London Gazette – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors;

•    £80.00 - £150.00 Post in a Local Newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims;

•    £38.00 - £95.00 for Certainty Will Search – ensures latest Will, if any, is found to ensure distribution to correct beneficiaries.


In our experience, probate is completed within 3-12 months depending on the complexity of the estate.


Some estates may require additional steps. These steps can amount to considerable work and would be considered separate from the probate. Examples include:


  • •    Deed of Variation
  • •    Income Tax Returns
  • •    Sale of property

If you require any assistance in respect of the above please do not hesitate to contact us either by telephone on 01279 466910 or email info@watson-legal.com