You can rely on us to help you with every aspect of the process of making a will and probate
Note: During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, instructions will be taken where possible over the phone, with documents emailed out to you for approval, or posted out to you if that would be preferable. Further details about the process will be relayed to you when you make phone or email contact with us.
Wills and Probate require sensitive handling and careful attention to detail.
We deal with:
- Draft Wills
- Administering Estates
- Estate Planning
- Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Wards of Court Applications
Making a Will is very important as it is the best way of ensuring that your assets and personal effects are dealt with in accordance with your wishes and go to the people that you wish to benefit. It can take into account special bequests to family and friends or to relatives who would not otherwise benefit if no Will was made by you. It can further reduce the possibility of any future family disagreement in connection with your estate.
How to Make a Will
If you decide to make a Will, we will explain the procedure, the people you need to appoint, the areas that need to be covered and most importantly ensure that it complies with all legal requirements and has full legal standing in the event of your death.
Depending upon the circumstances, we will also advise as to whether one should appoint Trustees or Guardians or whether there are potential difficulties in including certain provisions in your Will. Especially in this regard, we shall take account and advise you of the tax implications of the terms of your proposed Will so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you wish to frame your Will in a particular way so as to minimise tax and inheritance issues for the people that you wish to benefit out of your estate.
Probate & Administration of Estates
Probate is a legal process which allows a person to administer a person’s assets be they money, property or personal possessions.
Where there is a Will, there will be an Executor or sometimes Executors named in the Will whose responsibility it will be to administer the estate. This can be a very daunting task given that the Executor(s) for the most part will have no previous experience in dealing with the matters and issues concerned.
In such cases, we provide a full service whereby we will first take detailed instructions concerning the assets and beneficiaries, prepare and submit documents to the Probate Office and after a Grant of Probate has issued collect the proceeds of the estate and arrange for the distribution of the estate proceeds to the named beneficiaries.
We also deal with any tax issues which may arise, particularly in the event of foreign beneficiaries whereby tax returns will need to be dealt with for Inheritance Tax purposes.
Equally in the event that a person dies without having made any Will, we will also be in a position to advise the next-of-kin fully as to firstly who is entitled to take out the Grant of Representation and secondly who will be the ultimate beneficiaries in the estate. Once it is decided as to who will apply for the Grant of Representation in the deceased’s estate, we will then provide the same full probate service from start to finish so as to administer the deceased’s intestate estate.
Despite best efforts and a deceased’s best intentions, disputes sometimes happen after a person dies. One party may feel hard done by, by the Will provisions, and may seek to challenge the Will on the basis that they haven’t been adequately provided for therein. In such situations, we have acted both for the Executor in defending such an action and have also acted for a disappointed or disgruntled party in challenging a Will and we can provide full representation in the event of any probate actions being necessary.
Enduring Power of Attorney
As we get older, one very important consideration to bear in mind is as to what happens if you are to lose the mental capacity to deal with your own affairs while still alive. The best way to cater for this eventuality is to complete an Enduring Power of Attorney while you have full mental competence.
This has the benefit that you have a specific person or persons nominated and in place to look after your affairs should this unfortunate eventuality occur. We can prepare and advise on all aspects of the Enduring Power of Attorney process and the registration and enactment of said Enduring Power of Attorney if required at some stage in the future.
Ward of Court Application
Where a person becomes incapable of managing their affairs and no Enduring Power of Attorney has been put in place, it is possible to make an application to the Wards of Court Office to make that person a Ward of Court which if successful means that the Wards of Court Office appoint a Committee to deal with the Ward’s affairs. These applications are usually made by a relative and again, this is something that we deal with and we can fully advise on if required.