WILLS &
PROBATE

Wills & Probate – Leeds, Bradford & UK

Not making a Will can have real consequences for your estate and your loved ones.

At best, it could mean your loved ones not benefiting as you would wish on your death, and at worst, your estate could end up in the hands of the taxman.

Whether single, married or a parent, Wills are a key element in estate planning and, without a Will, you are unable to control what happens to your assets after death. You may leave your dependents with numerous problems; it is surprising then that the Law Society reports that more than two out of three people have not made a Will.

Without a Will, the law will determine how your estate will be distributed, so your family, friends and even favourite causes may not receive what they need or expect. For example, many married people believe that their possessions would automatically go to their partner. Without a Will, though, that is not necessarily the case. And if you are not married, your partner could receive nothing.

Making A Will

We can never be sure what the future holds but we can each take steps to anticipate and manage life’s changes.

Our Wills and Probate Solicitors in Leeds offer support and legal advice for families across all Leeds postcodes including local areas – Headingley, Cookridge, Adel, Meanwood. We understand how to protect you, your assets and your family as you move into older age.

All our clients have the personal attention of one of our private client team – someone who will give them expert advice, no matter how sensitive the problem may be. We help individual clients to manage their family affairs and advise them on all aspects of Wills, trusts and related matters.

We can prepare straightforward single Wills from just £225, and complex trust Wills can be developed as required at reasonable rates.

Probate

What is probate?
When someone dies all of their assets and debts (held in their sole name) have to be valued. The value of the assets, less the debts, forms what is termed their “net estate”. The estate must then be distributed according to the wishes of the deceased or if no Will was left the estate is distributed in accordance with the intestacy laws. In addition there may be tax to pay on the value of the estate.

We can help you apply for probate, the way in which people responsible for the estate are granted the authority to deal with the assets. If the deceased didn’t leave a Will, we can help you with some of the complex matters arising.

Probate costs

Please note that there will be two elements to the prices as set out below:

  1. Fees charged by us and
  2. Fees payable to third parties.

Please ensure that you consider both parts of the price information.

Fees charged by us

Fee type Fee VAT

(charged at 20%)

TOTAL
Legal fees * £3000-4000 £600- £800 £3600 -£4800
Electronic ID check (per executor/beneficiary) £6 £1.20 £7.20
Bank telegraphic transfer fees £30 £6 £36
* basis of charging = hourly rate.

Based on 15 – 20 hours to complete the work at an hourly rate of £200 (plus VAT – currently 20%).

This fee example is based on a simple estate where:

  • There is a valid will.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There are no more than 4 bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no other tangible assets.
  • There is no Inheritance Tax payable
  • There are 1-4 beneficiaries.
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

Estimated hours: 12-15

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be lower than the example. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be higher than the example. We can give a fuller estimate once we have seen the papers.

Fees payable to third parties (‘disbursements’)

Disbursement Fee VAT

(charged at 20%)

TOTAL
Probate application fee £155.00 N/A £155.00
Post in the London Gazette £73.20 £14.64 £87.84
Post in local newspaper (est) £300 £60 £360
Oath fees £5-9 N/A £5-9.00
Extra copies of the Grant – £1.50 each

 

Work included and key stages 

Our fees include obtaining the grant of probate, collecting assets and distributing them. The precise work and stages involved in a probate matter vary according to the circumstances. However, we have set out the key stages involved in a typical probate matter:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice.
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
  • Establish the extent of the estate by identifying the various assets and liabilities.
  • Identify the type of probate application required.
  • The application for Grant of Probate is prepared and then sworn by the executor and submitted to the appropriate Probate Registry together with the Will, if there is one.
  • Once the Grant is received, it is submitted to the various organisations with whom assets are held in order to start the process of transferring the assets into the beneficiaries’ names.
  • All estate liabilities have to be paid before the estate can be distributed among the beneficiaries;
  • Confirmation is required that tax is paid up to date and there are no outstanding HMRC claims;
  • Estate accounts should be prepared thereafter, and the estate distributed in accordance with the terms of the Will.

Services excluded 

Our service (within the fee example given above) will not include any of the following:

  • Any contested probate matters or advice on the same.
  • Advice on tax or other accounting matters.
  • Advice on assets held outside of the UK.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate.

Approximate/ average timescales

On average, estates that fall within this quote range are dealt with within 6-8months.

Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 14-16 weeks.

Collecting assets (excluding real property to be sold) then follows, which can take between 4-6 weeks.

Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks.

Factors that could increase costs

In some circumstances we may increase our fees to account for additional time, work or skill required to meet your instructions. Examples include:

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required.
  • Difficulty in tracing some assets or beneficiaries.

Lasting Powers of Attorney
Managing your affairs in later life can become more difficult and it is wise to nominate someone whom you trust to look after your affairs, should the time come when you become mentally or physically incapacitated. The new Lasting Powers of Attorney can extend beyond dealing with your financial affairs to health and welfare matters and decisions, if you so wish.

Your choice of Attorney can be altered at any time, but comes into play either when you choose or when your mental health declines (subject to certain safeguards imposed by the Court of Protection).

You will also be able to place restrictions on what exactly your Attorney can deal with, such as property or restricting medical decisions.

 

Frank Hallam

Frank Hallam is the sole proprietor of the practice. He is a solicitor with in excess of 40 years’ experience of residential conveyancing, civil disputes and will and probate matters.

Following a solid grounding in high street work in the 1970s and 80s, Frank moved to London where he worked for a number of years in a practice defending professionals in negligence claims and handling a variety of commercial and personal injury actions for defendants.

In 2004 he moved to Leeds (for a lifestyle change) and set up his own practice in 2008 in Headingley, since when he has, with the assistance of his team, continued to work in his specialist fields.

Matthew Rushfirth

Matthew joined the firm in 2017. After a period as a legal assistant Matthew has now progressed to handle his own case load of residential sales. He is also assisting Frank with the Wills and Probate work.

 

Give us a call on 0113 2285306 or contact [email protected] and take control of the future of your estate now.

21 Otley Road Headingley
Leeds
LS6 3AA