Drafting Wills and Codicils
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, including an unmanageable tax burden and legal complications. We assist you in drafting tailor-made Wills to suit your needs.
Our service includes getting the Grant of Probate, but also dealing with the Legal, Tax (excluding VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs. We can also conduct a free face-to-face visit, either in the comfort of your own home or via an online video call, where we will discuss your details in full and then provide a fixed fee cost.
Once we have provided you with a written quote for the agreed work to be done, that price will not change unless the original information we are given is shown to be incorrect or circumstances change.
What’s the Probate Process?
If you choose our Full Probate service, we’ll take care of all of the steps below, apart from Step 1 which you’ll do yourself.
If you choose our Grant of Probate Application only service, we'll only complete Step 4 of the process for you.
Step 1 – Register the Death
You will need to register the death, which must be done within 5 days in England or Wales to get a death certificate. You’ll need multiple copies, so get these now to save time later.
You can use the service to let all UK government departments about the death as soon as you’ve registered it.
Step 2 – Value the Estate
We’ll need to understand how much the Estate is worth to know if any inheritance Tax is payable. This includes valuing any property, money, investments and belongings.
Step 3 – Pay any debts and collect any money owed to the Estate
Once we’ve valued the Estate, we’ll pay any final bills and get any refunds due to the Estate.
Step 4 – Apply for the Grant of Probate
We’ll prepare the relevant paperwork and apply to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Probate We’ll need the original Will – not a photocopy.
Step 5 – Pay Inheritance Tax, if there’s any due
We’ll complete the correct Inheritance Tax form once we’ve confirmed the tax position and calculated the tax due. We’ll make sure this is paid before distributing anything in the Estate.
Step 6 – Distribute the Estate
This is the final part of the process. The beneficiaries will receive what’s been left to them in the Will.
- Preparing the necessary documentation for the Grant of Probate application
- Carrying out all necessary checks to ensure the validity of any Will in existence
- When there is no valid Will, applying the Rules of Intestacy to the Estate of the deceased to identify the Personal Representatives and Beneficiaries and to establish the entitlement of the Beneficiaries
- Applying to the Probate Registry and obtaining the Grant of Probate
- Ensuring the accurate distribution of the Estate
- Placing all statutory adverts to establish whether there are any claims against the Estate, or arranging Early Distribution Insurance
- Assessing variations to the distribution of the Estate (drafting the Deed of Variation is at an additional cost)
- Completing the following tax forms for HMRC:
- The Income Tax return from 6th April to the date of death.
- The appropriate Inheritance Tax form, either an IHT 205 or IHT 400.
- The Capital Gains Tax return, if required.
- Conducting all correspondence with HMRC relevant to completing the above tax forms.
- Taking any corrective action required by HMRC during the Estate administration process.
- Claiming any relevant tax reliefs or exemptions applicable to the Estate.
- Calculating any Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax that is owed.
- Ensuring payment of any outstanding tax from the Estate.
- Calculating and arranging for the transfer of any Nil Rate Band or Residence Nil Rate Band allowance if available, in order to reduce Inheritance Tax.
- Identifying and corresponding with the Personal Representatives and beneficiaries of the Estate throughout the Estate administration process.
- Identifying and corresponding with all financial institutions and organisations relevant to the Estate throughout the Estate administration process.
- Identifying, verifying and valuing all assets based in England and Wales.
- Gathering all the assets of the Estate.
- Transferring all jointly held assets into sole name, including property held as joint tenants.
- Paying any debts and liabilities from the Estate.
- Preparing the Estate Accounts.
- Distributing the Estate to the Beneficiaries and Trustees of any Trusts created by the Will or Rules of Intestacy.
If there is a property in the Estate, our Fixed Fee Probate Service includes where necessary:
- Ensuring that any existing buildings and contents insurer is fully aware of the change in circumstances and making sure that appropriate insurance is in place (where insurance is not in place we can arrange cover at an additional cost)
- Setting up a Royal Mail redirect to ourselves during the administration so we can manage all the affairs of the Estate.
For an additional fee, we can also deal with the following:
- Transferring ownership of registered property from the deceased to the beneficiaries.
- Appointing a specialist conveyancer register any unregistered land at HM Land Registry, if required.
If there is a property to be sold, then, for an additional fee, we can deal with the following:
- Appointing an Estate Agent for the marketing and sale of the property.
- Appointing and managing a specialist Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provider in obtaining an EPC for the property where appropriate. An EPC is a legal requirement for the marketing and sale of a property.
- Appointing and managing a specialist Conveyancer for the transfer of ownership of the property.
- We will notify you in writing of any additional fees relating to our property services before we start work on them.
Complete probate and estate administration service
In order to carry out our Probate and Estate Management services more often than not we have to appoint third party organisations to provide specialist services. The costs of these services are disbursements of the Estate and will be charged in addition to the fixed fee. All fees and disbursement costs that are able to be identified will be detailed on the written Probate Quote that we provide before any work starts.
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