Wills and Probate
Have you made a Will? Have you made a Will but your circumstances have changed?
Why make a Will? There are many reasons including:
- There are financial reasons for making a Will. If you die without making a Will your assets will be distributed according to law rather than your wishes. This may mean a partner receiving less money or your money going to family members who may not need it.
- You can nominate Guardians to look after your children if you die before they become 18
- You can give away gifts to people or causes you care about
- If you aren’t married your partner will not automatically inherit everything you would wish them to have, unless you make a Will
Although it is possible to write your own Will without the help of a Solicitor, this is generally not advisable as there are various legal formalities that you will need to follow to ensure your Will is valid. Without the help of a Solicitor who is an expert in this field, there is a real risk you could make a mistake which could cause problems for your family and friends after your death at what will already be a stressful time for them. Experience tells us that in only a small minority of cases Wills are as straightforward as clients think. Common issues include Inheritance Tax, family members who are disabled or who have financial difficulties, or couples who have children from a previous marriage.
It is not as expensive as you might think. Call for a quote or complete the online Will questionnaire which is available at your request from firstname.lastname@example.org or click the following link to download the questionnaire and complete in your own time. Please follow this link to view the Will questionnaire word document. Simply email it to Angela Isaac at our Bognor office or Sarah McGee at our Littlehampton office or drop it into one of our offices and we will get in contact with you shortly thereafter.
Our Will charges start from £200 + VAT for a standard Will and £300 + VAT for a mirror Will and we will store your will in our deeds facility free of charge. Packages are available for Wills with trusts, Wills and LPA's. More complicated Wills are charged by our current hourly rated + VAT. A single will including a Trust will is £300 + VAT and mirror wills including a Trust is £500 + VAT.
On death, the Executors named in the Will of the deceased (or the administrators where there is no Will) are responsible for dealing with the administration of the estate, which includes implementing the provisions of the Will.
The role of Executor can include organising the funeral, ascertaining details of the assets and liabilities, preparation of Inheritance Tax forms, paying Inheritance Tax, obtaining a Grant of Probate required to release assets and transfer or sell property, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.
We can alleviate the burden by acting on your behalf. Our probate department deals with a wide range of Estates, large and small, simple or complicated. We aim to make the process as straightforward as possible, but family problems or difficulties with assets and liabilities or Tax complications can arise, and all our experience helps guide and support you through what can be a stressful time. If you are an Executor appointed in a Will and would rather deal with most things yourself, we can obtain the Grant of Probate on your behalf and you can do the rest, we can do as much or as little as you want us to.
We can also help you to make tax savings, for example varying the Will by Deed of Variation which could save you thousands of pounds.
Where an Estate includes a family home and the Executors decide to part with the property, our Conveyancing Department can deal with the sale.
Please contact our Private Client Department for a quote, we offer both fixed fees and hourly rate charges. Please contact Emma Lake or Karen Shea at our bognor office Telephone 01243 825211 or contact Sarah McGee at our Littlehampton office Telephone 01903 713814
As a guide for obtaining a Grant of Probate ONLY where figures are provided to us, we charge £1,200 - £2,200 plus VAT plus disbursements were a full inheritance tax account is required. We charge £1,000 plus VAT plus disbursements where a full inheritance tax account is NOT required. Our fees include taking instructions, completing the relevant Inheritance Tax Return, drafting the Oath, settling the Inheritance Tax position (if applicable) and making the application to the Probate Registry. Our total fees will be dependent on the complexity of the application, the amount of information provided by the Personal Representatives and whether we are required to make enquiries of the relevant institutions to obtain date of death valuations.
We also provide a more comprehensive service, which we charge on an hourly rate basis being £245 plus VAT plus disbursements, This service involves advising you on the probate process and taking your instructions notifying the relevant companies of the deceased's passing, determining value of assets at date of death, determining all outstanding liabilities owed by the estate, completing the required inheritance tax forms, settling any inheritance due (if applicable), making the application for the grant of probate to the Probate Registry, notifying the beneficiaries of their legacies, drafting estate accounts, settling outstanding liabilities upon release of closing balances and distributing legacies to beneficiaries. Given that our total fees are based on the spent dealing they are dependant on the complexity of the estate, the number of assets, the amount of information provided by executors as well as a variety of other factors. Once we have an idea of what the matter involves we will be able to provide you with a estimate as to the total costs.
Anticipated Additional Disbursements
- Court fee currently - £273.00 plus £1.50 per sealed copy
- Bankruptcy Search fees - £2.00 plus VAT per beneficiary/executor (It does not related to the deceased)
- Land Registry copy documents - £3.00 (if applicable) plus VAT
- ID check is £25 plus VAT per beneficiary/executor
- Section 27 notice up to £350 plus VAT
The team at CMS is made up of two Probate Managers with excess of 15 years experience in the department and is supervised by Sarah McGee a Solicitor with over 5 years experience in this area of the law.