Many people assume that they do not need to make a Will and believe that they can rely on the rules set by the government (Intestacy Rules) to ensure that their estate is fairly distributed to their family. However, this is not always the case. Some common misconceptions are:-
“I don’t need a Will. My wife will automatically inherit all of my estate.”
Wrong! If you die without a Will your spouse could even end up having to sell the house.
“We’ve been living together for two years; my partner will inherit all of my estate.”
Wrong! If you die without making a Will an unmarried partner will inherit nothing.
We can provide advice on:-
- What to include in your Will, including who should administer it?
- How to leave your estate in the shares you would like Guardianship of children Legacies (i.e. one off donations to individuals or charities)
- Inheritance Tax Planning
Here at Hart Jackson and Sons we will endeavour to draft your Will in the most effective way to give you the peace of mind to know that you have provided for your loved ones in the way you wish.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney can prove a very useful document for those taking care of you should you no longer be able to make decisions about your finances or personal welfare.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can be used by those appointed to make decisions on your behalf and in your best interests.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney (or an existing Enduring Power of Attorney signed prior to 1st October 2007) no-one can sign any documents for you if you become incapable.
We can ensure that the necessary legal framework is already in place should your loved ones ever need to step in to help you.
Court of Protection
When a person is no longer able to make decisions about their finances or personal welfare and no Power of Attorney is in place, then we can help you to make an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a “Deputy” on their behalf.
Once appointed, a Deputy is able to make decisions about finances and can sign documents. If you would like further information please contact us.
Probate and administration of estates
We can provide expert advice on:-
- Obtaining Probate (where there has been a Will)
- Dealing with an Intestacy (where there was no Will)
- Inheritance Tax and whether this is payable?
At Hart Jackson and Sons we understand that losing someone is a difficult and upsetting time and know that it can be difficult to cope with the tax and legal issues that arise. We can help you at this stressful time by providing initial advice as to whether there is any tax to pay and whether it would be appropriate to obtain a grant of probate.
We can also help you to deal with the practicalities, including arranging the funeral. If necessary, we can prepare the tax return and assist in the administration of the estate.
When someone dies the executors of their Will are responsible for collecting the estate in and distributing it in accordance with the Will. Executors are formally appointed, by the deceased, in their Will.
The firm’s hourly charges are as follows:
Alana Faal Solicitor Advocate and Partner £201 per hour plus vat
Kaysie Aljarrah Solicitor £175 per hour plus vat
The exact cost of administering an estate will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there are one or two beneficiaries, no property, a limited number of bank accounts, no inheritance tax to pay and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC costs will be in the region of £1,500- £2000 plus vat. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property, multiple bank accounts, and a full account to submit to HMRC costs will usually be in the region of £2000- £3000 plus vat. This is in addition to the below disbursements:
- Probate Court fee of £155
- £0.50 for each office copy of the Grant required (1 per asset usually)
- If applicable to your case – possible fees for Trustee Act Notices in the London and Local Gazette– usually range between £160 – £250 plus Vat. These protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary)
Potential additional costs
- 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. We can give you a more accurate estimate of the costs once we have more information.
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
How long will this take?
On average, a non-taxable estate will be dealt with within 6-12 months. More complex estates with inheritance tax reliefs being claimed can range from 12 -24 months.
Fixed Fee Services
We may be able to provide you with a fixed fee service, but this will be subject to a review of the matter and will be subject to the complexity of the estate.
As part of our fixed fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
- Draft a legal oath for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate and securely send copies to you
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
In the event that there is property to sell or property or land to transfer in connection with the estate then we will separately quote for the same.
Please contact us for a free initial chat over the telephone to discuss your case and see how we can help you at this difficult time.