Archive for the ‘Probate’ Category


Looking for a professional to act on your behalf to administer an estate can be daunting.

Where do you start?             Who do you go to?

Your first contact maybe with a bank or a funeral director such as the Co-op. They will want to direct you to their probate services. It is difficult to shop around for a service like this particularly if you do not know what is involved. Many people believe that solicitors charge the earth and that you have to go with the one who is holding the Will. It is worth getting a quote from them if you can. Sometimes this is a tricky process in itself whether from a firm, a bank or other legal services such as Co-op or Saga.

At WE Solicitors we set out our costs tailored to what needs to be done and what you want to be done. With one free initial meeting we can determine exactly what needs to be done and then give you a fixed cost for doing it. If you are happy with the quote we will then do the work. The costs are then paid from the estate. You do not pay upfront. Each estate is different but we have given an idea below on what costs you can expect from us:

We do not base our costs on the value of the estate or charge a percentage. The cost is calculated on what is involved whether it is an estate worth £50,000 or £300,000 is irrelevant.

Here are some examples to give you a clearer indication:

Estate 1 – with a Will

Estate includes:

No Property                           2-4 banks accounts with different banks

Premium Bonds                    Two beneficiaries

Estate accounts prepared                                     

  WE charges : £1,500 + VAT

 

Estate 2 – with a  Will

Estate includes:

A property to be sold / transferred            Up to 6 bank accounts with different banks

Shares                                                               Pension lump sum

2-4 beneficiaries                                             Legacies to charities

Estate accounts to be prepared

WE charges £3,500+ VAT

 

Estate 3 – without a Will

A property to be sold                        Beneficiary/ PR dispute

DWP claim                                         More thank 4 bank accounts

More than 5 beneficiaries                Tracing assets or beneficiaries

Inheritance tax

Estate accounts prepared

WE charges in region of £5,000 + VAT

 

These are approximate figures and a fixed quote would be

provided for each individual estate.

If you would like a quote or you have been quoted more than this from a bank or company offering probate services then contact WE SOLICITORS to see what we would charge.

Or you can email jo-ann.mason@wesolicitors.com to request a copy of our free Report:

7 Things a Newly Appointed Executor Should Know Before Getting Probate & Administering an Estate

 

 

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Bolton

Wigan Salford and all surrounding areas

 

Many people find themselves being in the unexpected position of becoming an executor. It is not uncommon to only become aware of the appointment after the person has passed away. Even if you do know you are an executor, generally most people do not know what it means or what a responsibility it is as it is not an everyday occurrence or  topic of conversation.

This is even more so when a person has passed away without leaving a Will and there is no guidance or wishes expressed. You are almost left in the dark and have to follow the intestacy rules. In this case you may find yourself in a position where you are an administrator of the estate or one of the people who can administer the estate.

Where do you start?

Once you have the death certificate you will need to start the task of informing everybody. This will include banks and building societies, National Savings and investments, all the utility providers, pensions, the DWP, credit card providers, mortgage lenders, the list can be endless. Then of course you will have to inform the beneficiaries and open an executor’s bank account.

It can be a time consuming task and this is just the beginning. If there is a house there will be a house clearance, house insurance, securing the house and looking after it. Is it going to be sold? Then there are personal belongings to sort out.

What can you do?

It is understandable that an executor or administrator can be overwhelmed with such a big task with so many elements to it. For this reason it is common to instruct a solicitor for assistance mainly for the legal and financial aspects. A solicitor can do as much or as little of the leg work as you like and take on the responsibility whilst you oversee the process. This can all be done for a fixed cost which is agreed upfront for the work you want them to do. You still remain in charge.

WE can help

At WE Solicitors LLP we help executors through the minefield, advise them of what to expect or what things that need to be done which they may not have thought of and make the process easier, especially at such an already difficult time. Many people we have acted for have felt relieved when they have passed the work over to us and feel confident in being able to tell the beneficiaries that everything is being done properly and can update them every step of the way.

 

If you are in the process of dealing with an estate or you have become an executor and you need some advice you can contact WE SOLICITORS LLP for a free initial consultation.

Or you can email jo-ann.mason@wesolicitors.com to request a copy of our free Report:

 

7 Things a Newly Appointed Executor Should Know Before Getting

Probate & Administering an Estate

 

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Bolton Wigan Salford and all surrounding areas

 

 

Parliament has run out of time before the snap general election to put plans in place to drastically increase the fee payable when applying for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration.

For the time being the current fee of £215 for a personal application or £155 for solicitor made applications will remain in force. However, the proposals could be reintroduced by the next government.

Many will welcome the news especially the recently bereaved. It will take the added pressure off those currently applying for a grant in having to find the additional costs of £1,000 up to £20,000. A recent consultation saw 750 responses out of 820 objected to the plan to increase fees.

What is Probate?

A Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration (when there is no Will) is required when there is assets in the estate over a certain value usually £10,000 – £20,000 and is always needed when there is a property in the estate. The Grant is a document that is issued by the Court which gives the executor or administrator the authority to deal with the assets i.e. release funds or sell a house.  Lady of Justice

Being an executor is already a huge responsibility that many seek the assistance of a solicitor to help them with the legal process. This would have been made even harder when faced with the challenge of having to find thousands of pounds for probate fees before any funds in the estate are released.

Are you an executor?

If you are in the process of dealing with an estate or you have become an executor and you need some advice you can contact WE SOLICITORS LLP for a free initial consultation.

Or you can email jo-ann.mason@wesolicitors to request a copy of our free Report:

 

7 Things a Newly Appointed Executor Should Know Before Getting

Probate & Administering an Estate

 

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Bolton Wigan and surrounding areas.

 

The Ministry of Justice have confirmed there will be a huge increase in the fees payable to obtain a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration, subject to parliamentary approval.

Currently the fee is a flat rate of £215 for personal applications and £155 for solicitor made applications. Any additional sealed copies of the Grant are now 50p but the first additional copy is set to be £10 and 50p for all copies thereafter.

The fees hike has met with much resistance. Out of 831 respondents to the MoJ’s consultation on the charges, less than 2% were in favour.

The Law Society has said: ‘It is unfair and discriminatory to expect the bereaved to fund/subsidise other parts of the court and tribunals service. Court fees are a necessary source of funding but should not be charged over and above the cost of the specific service.’

The proposed new fees will be:

Value of estate                 Proposed fee

Up to £50,000                   £0

Between £50k-£300k       £300

Between £300k-£500k     £1,000

Between £500k-£1m         £4,000

Between £1m-£1.6m       £8,000

Between £1.6m-£2m       £12,000

More than £2m               £20,000

These fees will have to be paid before the personal representative can access the funds in the estate to pay them. Many executors will have to rely on banks paying them directly to the Probate Registry from the deceased’s account (if they agree to do this), in a similar way of the current Direct Payment Scheme for inheritance tax. However some estates which may only have a property – that can’t be sold until probate has been granted – the executor will be forced to pay the fee themselves or take out a loan for the payment.

Charities have also expressed their concern that their heavily relied upon income from legacies could be severely reduced.

If you are in the process of dealing with an estate or you have become an executor and you need some advice you can contact WE SOLICITORS LLP for a free initial consultation.

Or you can email jo-ann.mason@wesolicitors to request a copy of our free Report:

7 Things a Newly Appointed Executor Should Know Before
Getting Probate & Administering an Estate

 

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Bolton Wigan Salford and all surrounding areas

 

 

 

A recent article in The Telegraph explains the amount of savings held with various banks  that will be released without the need for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration. It also provides some useful information about how to get a Grant.

See article here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/ask-a-money-expert/can-transfer-late-fathers-savings-bonds-name-avoid-probate/

If you are in the process of dealing with an estate or you have become an executor and you need some advice you can contact WE SOLICITORS LLP for a free initial consultation.

Or you can email jo-ann.mason@wesolicitors to request a copy of our free Report:

7 Things a Newly Appointed Executor Should Know Before Getting Probate & Administering an Estate

 

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Bolton Wigan Salford and all surrounding areas

 

The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors have produced a very useful booklet which allows you to convey your wishes and consider what you can do to make the path in later life easier. You can use the booklet as a guide and to write down your wishes:

http://saif.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/SAIF218-Planning-for-later-life-20pp-Booklet-FINAL-DIGITAL.pdf

Planning for the end of your life

SAIF say:

“We all plan for every major life event – careers, marriage, family, pensions and retirement to name but a few. Why then, do so many of us fail to plan for the end of our life and leave so much either to chance or in the hands of our relatives who may not know our wishes? Why has only one third of the population made a will? It may be that we are afraid to plan for this inevitable event for fear that we may somehow speed its arrival. Planning for the end of our life allows us to record our wishes and choices at a time when we are mentally able to do so. With clarity, we can be sure about what we want and when we want it.”

  1. Make a will
  2. Record your funeral wishes
  3. Plan your future care and support
  4. Register as an organ donor
  5. Tell your loved ones your wishes

WE Solicitors says “This is a very good guide and starting point to plan for later life. All five valid points make perfect sense. It is particularly good if this is a difficult subject to raise with loved ones. You can complete the booklet and just let your family know that you have done it and where to find it should it  ever be needed.  This would compliment a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney very well.”

It may seem a minefield at first but with the right advice it is likely to be easier than you think to cover these issues.

To speak to an experienced and understanding solicitor contact WE SOLICITORS LLP. We offer home visits and appointments to suit you. Some of the process can be done my email or telephone. We work around you.

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Bolton Wigan Salford and all surrounding areas

 

Business man working at office with laptop and documents on his desk consultant lawyer concept

“Solicitors, not accountants, are best at delivering uncontested probate”

Here, Sally Harlow, a solicitor specialising in probate at law firm Boodle Hatfield responds, by saying there is a very good reason why lawyers remain the first choice for probate work:

LAWYERS HAVE BEEN at the heart of probate work for centuries.  It is not just because they may have drafted and stored a will, but because even the simplest estate may require additional legal documentation to be drafted and ongoing legal advice.  Probate is much more than a financial exercise.

For more see:

https://www.accountancyage.com/2016/11/09/solicitors-not-accountants-are-best-at-delivering-uncontested-probate/

WE Solicitors says: There is far more to probate and administering an estate than collecting in assets and distributing them. . You are dealing with a person’s life, with a person’s family and understanding their background. It is usually like unravelling a story and no two are the same. However, there are aspects of an estate that probate solicitors are all too familiar with and have vast experience of . Things like handling family conflicts or acting as a go between, understanding that grief and money rarely mix and knowing how to keep the estate moving as peacefully as possible. These things are not in text books or legislation and would be particularly difficult for any new comers to the probate market to instantly pick up.  Solicitors gain their skills from experience and from the knowledge of expert solicitors before them.

Dealing with an estate whether complex or straightforward is a skill which is often taken on lightly. To a family member appointed as an executor it can be a daunting task and it is no doubt time consuming. That is why we are here to help and assist in the process as much or as little as the executor would like.

We do all this n a fixed fee so there are no unexpected costs for the estate. Our goal is always to give straightforward legal advice.

If you are an executor or you would like advice on dealing with an estate please contact us for an initial chat to point you in the right direction.

If you would like a copy of our report below on probate please email:

jo-ann.mason@wesolicitors.com to request a free copy.

 7 things a newly appointed executor should know before

getting probate and administering an estate

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Bolton Wigan Salford and all surrounding areas

 

Three daughters have been removed as the executors of their mother’s estate and have been replaced by an independent solicitor.

In an expensive and lengthy court case a grandmother, who died in 2012, had appointed her three daughters as the executors of her estate worth £466,000. She had left legacies to her grandchildren and the rest of the estate to be divided equally amongst her children. The judge said “The reality is that the three cannot work together.”

We Solicitors says: “It is very important when choosing executors that you are as confident as you can be that they will get along and be able to act together and make decisions together. If there is even a small possibility that they won’t then it is wise to appoint someone else or even someone neutral who is not going to benefit from the estate.

This is a very common situation, especially when a person wants to appoint all of their children for the simple reason they do not want to leave any one of them out. Appointing an executor is one of the most important aspects of a Will and should be done objectively. It should not be a decision based on hurt feelings or ‘letting them fight it out between themselves.’ This is when a dispute will arise and an estate can easily come to a standstill for years.”

When appointing an executor it is advisable to choose the right person for the job and the most trustworthy and capable person. If it is too difficult to choose that person then a solicitor is the next most logical choice as the costs of a professional administering an estate will be far less expensive than a lengthy dispute which will almost certainly cost the estate as well as the beneficiaries.

To make a Will or to discuss the appointment of executors and the options available contact WE SOLICITORS LLP

Email: jo-ann.mason@wesolicotors.com

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Leigh Bolton Wigan Salford and all surrounding areas

 

 

 

http://www.moneywise.co.uk/investing/estate-planning/being-executor-risky-business

Has a friend or relative asked you to administer their will? If so, beware of the legal and financial liabilities you could face.

If someone has asked you to be the executor of their will, beware of biting off more than you can chew. Although being appointed executor can be a sign of the esteem in which you are held by a friend or family member, the role can be extremely challenging and carries significant – and potentially very costly – legal liability.

Recent research from Executors Insurance, a company that sells policies to protect executors against a number of issues suggests that millions of people have accepted the role of executor without fully understanding the legal and financial liabilities they could face.

The survey found that while 47% of those who had in the past executed a will found the process straightforward, 17% reported that the experience was harder than they expected, while a further 12% said it was “a complete nightmare”.

Executors Insurance estimates that around six million people have executed a will in the past, with five million currently named as executors but yet to carry out their duties. In around three-quarters of wills, family members or friends are named as executors rather than professionals such as solicitors or bank officials.

“The responsibilities of an executor are very rarely talked about,” says Executors Insurance spokesperson Guy Everington. “Your liability should anything go wrong is not only personal and unlimited, it is also joint and several. This means that if there are other executors and one of the others makes a mistake, you could be held liable. If you have money and the others don’t, any unhappy parties are likely to come after you.”

As an executor, you can be held liable for mistakes for up to 12 years rather than the six years commonly applied in contract law. The liability can be extended a further three years if minors are involved, Everington says. But his company’s research found that 43% of people thought liability ended once all payments had been made from the estate.

Everington adds that the number of cases being brought against executors appears to be increasing. Figures from the High Court in England show there were 107 claims against executors for breach of duty in 2012 but 368 in 2013.

One possible reason for the rise in the number of claims is the increasingly fragmented nature of families. “The extent of extended families, including split families and second families, is growing and that is definitely increasing exposure,” Everington says.

For the full article : http://www.moneywise.co.uk/investing/estate-planning/being-executor-risky-business

WE Solicitors say:

If you are appointed as an executor of an estate, particularly where it is more complex than dealing with a few bank accounts, it is advisable to get legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in Probate as they will know the pitfalls to avoid. It is a big responsibility to take on the role without advice or help. A Solicitor can guide you through the process and has a duty to the executor and the estate – so also then the beneficiaries – to ensure the estate is dealt with correctly. It is common practice for an executor to instruct a solicitor to help with an estate as ultimately it is for the benefit of all parties involved. The beneficiaries will know the estate is being dealt with in the correct way. Any recourse will lie with the firm for both the executor and the beneficiary.

Not all solicitors’ costs are expensive. At we solicitors llp we give a fixed fee upfront and explain exactly what is included in the cost. There are no percentage charges and we can obtain the Grant of Probate from as little as £500 + VAT. We can do as little or as much as you want us to do.

We are happy to give a no obligation quote and some initial advice as to what you would need to do. You can also compare this to other firms so you can see how much we do and offer for our professional service.

If you are an executor and you would like to know more contact

 WE SOLICITORS LLP and see how we can help you

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Email: jo-ann.mason@wesolicitors.com

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Ashton under Lyne Bolton Wigan Salford and all surrounding areas

 

It was announced in the Summer Budget that there will be a family home allowance introduced in April 2017 of £100,000 per spouse on a rising scale to £175,000 in 2020.

The Government announced:

Taking the family home out of Inheritance Tax

Currently, Inheritance Tax is charged at 40% on estates over the tax-free allowance of £325,000 per person. Married couples and civil partners can pass any unused allowance on to one another.

From April 2017, each individual will be offered a family home allowance so they can pass their home on to their children or grandchildren tax-free after their death. This will be phased in from 2017-18.

The family home allowance will be added to the existing £325,000 Inheritance Tax threshold, meaning the total tax-free allowance for a surviving spouse or civil partner will be up to £1 million in 2020-21.

The allowance will be gradually withdrawn for estates worth more than £2 million.

www.gov.uk/government/news/summer-budget-2015-key-announcements

This is good news for those who are looking at inheritance tax planning in the future.

If you would like more advice on this in connection with the preparation of your Will contact we solicitors llp now.

Call for an informal chat or to make an appointment

Email: info@wesolicitors.co.uk

Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191

Home visits available in Failsworth Oldham Manchester Bury Bolton Wigan and surrounding arears