A traditional firm with a modern approach
Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts & Probate
Whether you need help planning for the future, supporting a loved one who lacks mental capacity or sorting out the affairs of someone who has died, we can provide practical and sympathetic advice to help you achieve the outcome you want.
Our expertise covers:
- Making a Will
- Estate planning, including advice on Inheritance Tax and trusts
- Probate and estate administration
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Court of Protection applications
- Contentious trust and probate
Court of Protection applications may include requesting the court to appoint a Deputy; to make a statutory Will where a person lacks testamentary capacity; to authorise gifts; to authorise the sale of a property or to challenge the actions of an attorney or deputy.
Contentious trust and probate work includes dealing with claims relating to undue influence, testamentary capacity, validity, rectification of Wills and promissory estoppel.
We take the time to explore your unique circumstances, priorities and concerns to provide solid technical advice in a straightforward way with empathy and pragmatism to fulfil your aims.
How our Wills, trusts and probate solicitors can help you
With the right advice, making a Will can be quick and easy. We provide fixed cost Wills and offer to store your important documents for free.
In all cases we provide advice on:
- Inheritance Tax;
- asset protection (i.e. from care fees and other means tested benefits, divorce, insolvency etc.);
- how you may wish to change the way you hold your assets;
- how to reduce the chance of successful claims against your estate; and
- advice on domicile and issues relating to foreign property.
Avoid being caught out by Inheritance Tax. Without careful estate planning during your lifetime, you may leave large tax bills for your beneficiaries to pay. We provide expert advice about structuring your estate to make it as tax efficient as possible based on your particular circumstances and wishes.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints someone (called an ‘attorney’) to look after your finances and/or care in the future if you lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions.
If you don’t make a Lasting Power of Attorney and lose capacity to make decisions about your finances, your assets could be frozen regardless of whether you own them with someone else, even your spouse or civil partner. To deal with your assets an application to the court will be needed for a ‘deputyship order’. It often takes 6 months to obtain a deputyship order, which is a costly and paper heavy exercise.
Once a deputyship order is granted, the deputy will need to submit a return to the court every year stating you own, your outgoings and your income. Often a fee will be payable to the court to review the return.
As a result, it is preferable to make Lasting Powers of Attorney now while you have capacity to do so, which will considerably ease the burden on your loved ones. It will also allow you to say who should make decisions for you, when and how rather than the court.
Experiencing the loss of a loved one is one of life’s harshest challenges. Being responsible for sorting out their final affairs can be a confusing and overwhelming process, especially when you are grieving. We are here to provide as much help as you need during this difficult time.
Often to administer a deceased person’s estate, you will need to obtain a Grant of Representation (colloquially referred to as ‘Probate’). This is a document issued by the court that provides the personal representatives (also known as executors or administrators), with authority to deal with a deceased person’s assets.
We can help by providing: -
- a fixed fee for obtaining the Grant of Representation based on information provided by you; or
- a full administration service, where we do all the hard work so you don’t have to. This could be either up to the point of obtaining the Grant of Representation or through to distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
It is common for disputes to arise when a family member passes away. Tensions often run high and people have different expectations about the deceased’s final wishes. Whether the dispute concerns the validity of a Will, someone dying intestate or a dispute over inheritance, we are able to help.
With our understanding and pragmatic approach, our clients are often able to find a positive resolution without the dispute escalating into full-blown court litigation which can be lengthy, stressful and extremely expensive. We will ensure that your best interests are fully represented throughout the proceedings so you have the best possible chance of achieving the outcome you want.
If your loved one cannot make their own decisions about their finances and/or care and medical treatment, it may be appropriate to make an application to the Court of Protection to enable you to be able to provide them with the support they need. Whether your loved one has an illness such as dementia, a brain injury, learning difficulties or some other characteristic that makes them vulnerable, we can help.
We can provide advice about a wide range of Court of Protection matters, including deputyship applications which authorise someone to make important decisions on behalf of the person lacking mental capacity, from decisions about their day-to-day routine to significant financial decisions.
Our Wills, trusts, probate and court of protection fees
We are proud to be able to offer a high-quality service for flexible, proportionate fees, including a fixed fee Will writing service for straightforward matters and competitive hourly rates for more complex work. We agree our budgets with our clients before undertaking any work and do not work outside these budgets without providing adequate reasons and seeking express consent.
Speak to our Wills, trusts and probate solicitors now
For expert advice, Get in touch with our Wills, trusts and probate solicitors in Winchester, Sunningdale, Alresford and London by giving your local branch a call or by filling in our online enquiry form.