Planning a Will can ensure your family’s financial security in later years and give you peace of mind today. Our Wills and Probate solicitors provide a sympathetic and professional service.
“Security of my family was essential!”
At Bannister Preston Solicitors LLP our wills and probate solicitors are here to help you plan for the future and our team are on hand to provide you with specialist advice relating to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate and Trusts. We are committed to providing a professional and personal service to meet your individual needs, ensuring that you always receive exceptional service, not always offered by larger law firms.
Our services include;
Making your Will needs to be handled by solicitors with the expertise and sensitivity to ensure that your will reflects your wishes. Planning for the future can offer assurance of your family’s future protection.
Bannister Preston Solicitors LLP’s wills and probate solicitors has expertise in all areas of this process, and will provide expert advice on preparation of your Will, Management of your Estate, Estate Planning, Tax Planning, Trusteeships, Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection applications.
If you have made a Will, we will review this for you to assess whether your Will needs to be changed to account for a change in circumstances.
What is the difference between will and estate planning?
Many people think Will and Estate planning are one and the same. In reality, Will and Estate planning have slightly different meanings.
Will planning refers to the legally binding document that divides your assets in the event of your death. Estate planning is a broader term for all the preparation needed to make sure your Will is executed smoothly. That begins with planning your Will, but it doesn’t end there.
What happens to my Will when I die?
Your Will will be kept safe until you pass away. Before this, you’ll decide who will handle your Will when you pass away – this person is called an executor. Once you die, the executor will divide your estate as per your wishes. They might require the help of a probate specialist if the will seems complicated.
Can a will be contested?
You can contest a Will and halt probate if you believe something’s not quite right. For example:
- If the deceased was struggling mentally or had memory issues when they signed the Will
- If the signature seems forged
- If the Will is drawn inaccurately or hasn’t been appropriately signed (with a valid witness)
- If you have a legal right to the estate but haven’t been named in the Will
Bannister Preston Solicitors LLP minimise the stress following the death of a family member or friend. We provide a sympathetic, personal and efficient service to guide you through each stage of obtaining probate.
- We will deal with the deceased’s finances and property, address any inheritance tax issues, apply for the Grant of Probate, if required, and administer the Estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.
- We are happy to work together with the Executors or alternatively we can carry out all of the necessary steps for you. Either way we will ensure all issues are dealt with and the correct procedure is followed quickly and efficiently.
When may I require a probate specialist?
You may require probate if you’re the executor of somebody’s Will, you’re responsible for handling the deceased’s property, money, and possessions. If you don’t feel capable of doing this or if it’s a complicated Will, it could be a good idea to work with a probate specialist.
How long does probate take to complete?
The entire probate process can take time. Firstly, it can take around four weeks to apply for a grant of probate. Once you’ve received this, the remaining steps can take anywhere between six to twelve months.
What is the threshold for inheritance tax in 2020?
You can receive up to £325,000 without paying any inheritance tax. If you receive more than this, you’ll pay 40% on anything over this threshold. For example, if you received £400,000, you’d pay £30,000 in tax (40% on £75,000 – the difference between £400,000 and £325,000).
If the deceased did not make a Will we are able to search the National Wills Register, Certainty.co.uk to ensure that no Will can be found.
If there is no Will then we can advise you on the complex laws of Intestacy and guide you through the administration process.
Lasting Power of Attorney
Allows you to choose the people you want to make decisions on your behalf if you were to lose mental capacity and become unable to make such decisions.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is completed in advance of you losing mental ability and will minimise the distress for yourself and your loved ones if this were to ever happen.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney;
- Property and Financial Affairs – This LPA enables your Attorney to make financial and property decisions on your behalf’
- Health and Welfare – This LPA permits your Attorney to make decisions for you about your medical treatment, care and medication.
Benefits of making an LPA
- Plan in advance who you will want to appoint to make legal, financial and medical decisions
- Stipulate how you want your Attorney to make decisions.
- Minimise the distress for yourself and your family and friends if you were to lose mental capacity by having a LPA in place.
We would always recommend that you create an LPA for the future whilst you are still able to as once you have lost mental capability then your loved ones would have to go through a more costly and lengthy procedure of making a deputyship application to the Court of Protection.
Ordinary Power of Attorney
An Ordinary Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an Attorney to deal with your financial affairs whilst you still remain mentally capable. You may wish to complete an OPA if you need somebody to deal with your affairs relatively quickly, for instance, this may be needed if you were to go abroad for a period of time. We are able to complete this quickly and efficiently to make things as easy as possible for you.
Court of Protection
If a relative or friend loses the mental capacity to make their own decisions and they do not have a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney (pre-October 2007), then we can make an application on your behalf to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed. The appointed deputy can then manage the property and affairs or personal welfare of the person who lacks the mental capacity to make such decisions.
If you would like to discuss your options with one of our dedicated Wills and Probate solicitors, get in touch with us using the form above or call us on (insert number)