People put off making a will for all kinds of reasons. In fact, around 70% of people die without leaving a valid will behind. Often it’s time pressures or worries about cost and what it might involve. Some people just don’t like thinking about their death. Whatever the reason, not having a will in place when you die can mean that your wishes aren’t carried out and your loved ones may find it difficult to deal with your affairs.
That’s why at Mark Reynolds Solicitors we’re firm advocates of the importance of making a will. Our expert Wills & Probate Solicitors situated in Liverpool, Leigh, Runcorn and Warrington aim to make the process as simple and accessible as possible. We ensure that there’s a straightforward transfer of wealth from one generation to the next.
Our expert will service allows you to ensure that your affairs are in order and that there’s ample provision for your family, friends and loved ones.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document that details how your wealth, estate and belongings will be distributed after you die. It is the most effective means of passing on your wealth and possession to your family and other loved ones.
It will contain a range of details that can help put your affairs in order after your death, including what sources will be used to pay off any estate taxes and debts. It may also include details of who will look after your children following your death and your funeral wishes. It will also name an executor who will be responsible for administering your estate, distributing your assets according to your wishes and paying any taxes that are due.
In most cases, wills are fairly simple documents that clearly set out how your estate will be distributed. The existence of a will makes dealing with your estate much easier for your loved ones and ensures that your wishes are honoured.
Why do I need a will?
Despite the high number of people who die without a will, there importance cannot be overstated. If you have worked hard, own property and other assets then you should have some say on what happens to those assets when you die. Even if you don’t believe you have many possessions or much money it’s still important to make a will.
If you die without a will, then the rule of intestacy will determine how your possessions, money and property will be distributed. This may not be the way you would have wished and may not reflect the reality of your life and personal circumstances. For instance, you may live with a partner to whom you’re not married or haven’t entered into a civil partnership. The intestacy rules may mean that they do not inherit any of your Estate, even if they’ve been living in a property that you owned. In these cases, the death of one partner might create serious financial problems for the remaining partner. If you are separated from a partner but not divorced, your assets may still go to them if there’s no will with specific instructions otherwise.
If you have children, then arrangements can be made in a will for their care if either one or both parents die. By making a will it’s also possible to reduce the amount of tax that’s payable on inheritance.
How we can help
At Mark Reynolds Solicitors, we offer advice on all aspects of will writing in a friendly, understanding and confidential manner. We pride ourselves on the personable service that we provide, and recognise that every person is different. We take time to understand the individual needs of each of our clients, providing tailored advice regarding family circumstances, financial arrangements and business interests. We then use this information to provide advice to help you decide what to do with your estate.
Although it’s possible to write your own will or to use a cheap online service, we strongly advise against this. Many DIY or homemade wills are poorly prepared and are often executed incorrectly. This means that they’re invalid, resulting in confusion and lengthy legal wrangling.
Our experienced wills and probate solicitors can draft your will according to your requests and instructions. We ensure that they meet all of the necessary legal requirements giving you confidence that your affairs are in order and your wishes will be carried out.
Our specialist solicitors can draft your will following your requests and instructions, whilst ensuring that you meet the necessary legal requirements. The process can be very straightforward and simple and at Mark Reynolds Solicitors we provide a clear and concise menu of fees so there are no hidden charges or extras.
Our specialist solicitors provide impartial advice by telephone, letter or in person for the benefit of you and your family. For further advice on will writing or to make an enquiry simply complete the contact form or call us on 0800 002 9577
What is probate?
The right deal to with the affairs of a deceased person is known as probate. If a will is in place the document will name individuals as executors. These are the people who the deceased wishes to deal with their wealth and property.
It’s the job of the executor to apply for a ‘Grant of Probate’ from a section of the court known as the probate registry. This document confirms that the executor has the authority to administer the estate. Without a Grant of Probate, executors are not allowed to access bank accounts, begin selling property or distribute other belongings among beneficiaries.
If there is no valid will when someone dies then a close relative can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case, the relative will have to apply for a ‘Grant of Letters and Administration’.
If this application is successful they are then known as the administrators of the estate. This gives them the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets. It’s important to remember, however, that without a will the administrator will have to distribute assets in line with the rules regarding intestacy.
It’s also important to consider that although you may apply for this grant as an administrator it’s not guaranteed that this request will be granted, which could leave you without control of your family members assets.
How we can help
At Mark Reynolds Solicitors, we understand the process of dealing with the estate of a family member or friend may be a daunting experience. Our experienced and specialist team can help you apply for probate or letters of administration. Once this has been granted we can then offer support and assistance throughout the administration of an estate.
If an estate is straightforward then we can help by “extracting” the Grant for you. We take your information about the estate, such as the date of death and the details of any assets and liabilities, then prepare and submit the application for the Grant on your behalf.
Once the Grant has been obtained this will be handed to the executor/personal representative who can then proceed to collect in the assets, settle any remaining debts of the estate and distribute the remaining estate in accordance with the Will or intestacy rules.
For peace of mind, if you would like us to extract the Grant, we offer a fixed fee of £750 plus VAT and disbursements in a simple estate. Typically, this would be a simple estate with no inheritance tax liability or possible disputes.
There are situations when you may choose to instruct Mark Reynolds Solicitors to administer the estate on behalf of the executors or personal representatives. Examples may include:
- Where the estate exceeds the current inheritance tax threshold, currently £325,000 (£650,000 for a married couple);
- The person died without a Will and there is a complex estate to administer.
- When doubts are raised about the validity of the deceased’s Will or where possible challenges may arise from dependents who have been excluded from the Will and may claim against the estate.
- The estate includes foreign property or foreign assets.
Contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors
- Basic Single Will £225 plus VAT
- Basic Mirror will £290 plus VAT
- Will including Life Interest Trust £390 plus VAT
- Severance of Tenancy £100 plus VAT
- Home Visits £40 plus VAT
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare or Property and Financial Affairs) £400 plus VAT
- Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs) £650 plus VAT
- Mirror Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare or Property and Financial Affairs) £800 plus VAT
- Mirror Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs) £1,000 plus VAT
- Home Visits £40 plus VAT
- Office of the Public Guardian fee £82 (per LPA)
- Extracting a Grant of Probate £750 plus VAT
- Extracting a Grant of Probate IHT 400 £1500 – £2000 plus VAT
- Extracting a Grant of Probate and administration of Estate (hourly rate)
- Application fee to Probate Registry £273
Court of Protection
- Lay Deputy Application £950 plus VAT
- Application fee to Court of Protection £371
Transfer of Property
- Lay Deputy Application £300 plus VAT
- Application fee dependant upon value of property
Sale of Property as Part of Probate
- Property Sale £700 plus VAT
To speak to one of our Wills & Probate solicitors in our offices situated in Warrington, Runcorn, Liverpool or Leigh, please call us on 0800 002 9577 for immediate assistance. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form in the red box on the right or by clicking here to go through to our contact page.