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Wills & Probate FAQs

You will no doubt have a few questions about the advice and support our Wills & Probate team offers as well as the processes involved before you decide to instruct your Solicitor.

We have captured some of the questions which we are frequently asked below. Remember all our teams also offer a free initial consultation.

Once we have all the relevant information it will typically take two – four weeks to complete your will, though this is dependent on the complexity of the will in question.

We will also offer to register and store your will for free.

Once we have all the relevant information it will typically take two – three weeks to complete your LPA and obtain all signatures before we send it to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be registered. The OPG’s registration process takes between twelve and sixteen weeks after which point your LPA is ready.

This is very much dependent on how complex the probate matter is and issues such as the number of assets and value of the estate, inheritance tax liabilities, number of beneficiaries etc need to be considered. No two probates are the same.

In addition, the probate process is reliant on several third parties such as HMRC, banks, building societies, property professionals and the Probate Registry to name just a few, we will manage these relationships and processes on your behalf and keep you up to date as we progress through the probate process.

Yes, they can. An executor of a will is the person (or persons) nominated by you to deal with your estate in line with your will. A beneficiary is someone who benefits from your will i.e. someone to who you leave property, possessions or finances.

You can also nominate a professional such as ourselves as the executor of your will.

Should you wish to, we will guide you through the process of leaving a bequest to your nominated charity or charities. There are financial benefits of doing so – if you leave 10% of the value of a taxable estate to charity your inheritance tax liability reduces from 40% to 36%.

Lasting Powers of Attorney or LPAs are documents which give a person or persons who are appointed by you as your Attorneys, the power and authority to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so.

There are two types of LPA:

Property and financial affairs LPA, which gives your attorneys authority to deal with your property and finances. With this LPA you can choose to enact it and repeal it whilst you still have capacity should you simply need support with your financial affairs.

Health and personal welfare LPA, which allows your attorneys to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf. This could also extend, if you wish, to giving or refusing consent to the continuation of life-sustaining treatment.

You can nominate whoever you wish so long as they are happy to be nominated. You can also appoint different attorneys on each of your LPAs should you wish to do so.

In addition, you can appoint replacement attorneys should your first choice attorneys not be able to take on the role, you can also specify if your attorneys are required to act jointly or not on some or all decisions.

Both the property and financial affairs LPA and the health and personal welfare LPA can be brought into effect should you lose mental capacity (as defined by a medical professional). This could be because of a brain injury, a stroke, mental illness, or an illness such as dementia.

You can also choose to enact and repeal the property and financial affairs LPA whilst you still have capacity should you simply need support with your financial affairs.

For a single person the current inheritance tax threshold is £325,000. This means that if the total value if your estate; property, savings, shares, pensions, possessions etc, equates to more than £325,000 anything above that figure will be liable to inheritance tax at 40%.

For married couples or those in a civil partnership, this allowance can be shared, and as such this raises the threshold to £650,000.

Over recent years several digital will registries have begun recording when and where wills have been written and stored, we offer this as part of our will writing service. Conducting a will search on these registries ensures that we have the deceased’s most recent will when administering their estate. This is beneficial especially if the deceased has written multiple wills during their lifetime.

Yes, they can if the funds are available. Should we be administering the estate we would simply send the invoice to the deceased’s bank for payment.