SCL WILLS AND PROBATE – WILLS AND PROBATE SOLICITORS
The area of Wills and Administration of a deceased’s estate or commonly known as Probate, has always been a bit tricky to have to deal with notably with lots of jargon to have to decipher. But over the years, and with the constant changing landscape of legislation coupled with family structures becoming more and more complex, has meant that more specialist advice is required to preserve the wealth of individuals and families.
It is always a daunting time when dealing with the estate of a loved one. The procedures that you need to follow may seem confusing, time consuming and costly at a time when you are not feeling your best. What sometimes starts off as being straightforward at the outset develops into the unfamiliar and ends up requiring in depth knowledge in order for you to get things done. A well-qualified probate lawyer can make things a lot easier for you in such a scenario.
The team at SCL Wills and Probate has over 33 years of experience in this area of the law and are happy to help you through all aspects of the work whether it is preparing a will, dealing with the probate or preparing lasting powers of attorney. The process requires thorough, careful explanation given throughout and transparency of costs involved. We will gently guide you through the various stages so that you have a stress-free experience. We provide assistance in applying for lasting powers of attorney & grant of probate and writing wills.
How DO I Make a Will?
Having drafted thousands of wills over the years and handled numerous probate cases, we, at SCL Wills and Probate offer a comprehensive will writing service and use the best probate lawyers for dealing with administration of estates. We cover the whole of London and other nearby areas such as Potters Bar, Watford, Barnet, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and the Home Counties. All of our work is carried out by qualified and experienced lawyers and all legal work is covered by their indemnity Insurance. As well as will writing and probate, we also help in setting up lasting powers of attorney and trusts, estate planning, investments and more.
The following statistics have been obtained from YouGov
Reasons for not having a will
- 53% of those who do not have wills say that they just haven’t had time to do it.
- 63% of those without wills say that they are too young to make one and 20% say that they have no assets to pass on.
Prompted reasons to make a will
- 41% of the population do have a will in place.
- A change in health issues can prompt someone to make a will.
- Making financial provisions for loved ones.
- Marriage voids any previous wills in existence so whether it’s first or second marriage, this usually a good time to get your affairs in order.
- Having children and appointing a guardian is a key motivator.
- Losing a loved one.
Will writing service and Lasting Powers of Attorney
As part of our will drafting service, we will carefully look at your situation and tailor make the right will for you. The law is constantly changing with regards to inheritance and the taxation of estates. The will drafted for you will have all the provisions in place to make the will tax efficient and safe guard your assets for your beneficiaries. We can also help with Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection Applications.
Interestingly, the Probate Service have stated that almost 250,000 families go through probate court every year and from this figure 63% of the executors used a firm of solicitors to help with the probate work whereas 12% decided to do it themselves.
We always advise that if the executor is able to and feels confident to apply for probate themselves, they should do it. However, in most cases we find that it is a bit of a minefield and that the executors feels responsible and accountable to beneficiaries and do not want to take the risk without advice.
Quality of Service
Legal services have been opened up to non-lawyers or non-regulated organisations and the landscape is changing faster than ever before. As everyone looks for the right legal service at an affordable price, we find that there are many legal providers in the market offering different levels of service and at varying costs. It is essential to do the research to choose a quality provider over one of a poor service. At SCL Wills and Probate our professionals have worked in this sector for over 33 years and this experience cannot be compared to new start-ups entering into this field and those who are driven purely by low cost service.
SCL Wills and Probate are able to deliver the right advice to suit the needs of our clients. We work closely with our partners who are, accountancy practices, independent financial advisers, contentious probate solicitors to ensure that every case that is taken on has received the best possible advice.
Dealing with the Estate of Someone Who Has Passed Away
The probate process has many stages. While some of our clients prefers to seek professional help only with certain aspects of the work, many feel happier to hand the whole thing over to us. Either way we are very happy to advise and see how we can help you best.
We have outlined some of the steps that are involved and how our probate solicitors and lawyers in London can be of assistance:
- We can arrange for a face to face meeting to explain what is involved in this process.
- We will explain the terms of the will and advise on any additional steps that is involved before we can apply for the grant of probate. For example, if the will is on lose pages or a firm appointed as executor has subsequently closed down.
- Help you inform the various parties of the death and collect information to complete the paperwork for the probate application.
Our service extends to executors to help them arrange insurance cover for unoccupied property, clearance of property and attending to utilities.
- Once the grant of probate is received, we collect the assets, pay the debts and distribute the estate for you. You are kept informed throughout.
- Preparing Estate Accounts, through our partners locate any missing beneficiaries. Sale of probate properties and obtaining advice whether best done using estate agents or auction.
- Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries and dealing with any issues after distribution.
- We look beyond just the administration of the estate and will advise on ways of minimising any tax liabilities in the estate.
How Long Does Probate Take?
This is the first thing people ask at the start of the probate process. From our experience, the lengthiest aspect of the application is obtaining valuation of the estate as at the date of death and writing to the various financial institutions to ascertain the value of the assets/ liabilities. Dealing with DWP and HMRC can also be a little frustrating as they do not always have realistic timescales. More recently, the Probate Registry also went into melt down with the prospect of having the fees increased and going online.
But on the whole, once a person has applied for grant of probate, it usually takes around three to six weeks for the grant of probate to be issued. However, it can take longer for more complex estates or the taxable ones. After this, the assets are collected in and the debts (if any) are paid before the net estate is distributed among the intended beneficiaries. The entire process is usually completed between six and nine months, but it can take longer. In the end, the duration depends upon the estate’s complexity and the number and type of the deceased’s assets.
Will Writing Service
We offer one of the leading will writing services in London and the Home Counties. As part of our will drafting service, the solicitors instructed will conduct thorough and in-depth meetings to ensure that accurate and relevant information is taken to form the advice and prepare wills on an individual basis. This does not matter whether the client is a “High Net worth Individual” or someone with modest assets, the steps will be the same and the service will be first rate as at SCL Wills and Probate pride ourselves on the quality of our service.
Our solicitors are not only will drafters but specialise in estate planning & wills for married couples and will carefully look at the family background and extended families to ensure that all is provided for. The law is constantly changing with regards to inheritance and the taxation of estates. This makes it crucial to seek advice from tax planning solicitors, especially if you live in London and other parts of UK where property has inflated the value of the estate. The will drafted for you will have all the provisions in place to make the will tax efficient and safeguard your assets for your beneficiaries.
Wills for Married Couples
There are a vast number of people who are unaware that they have caused their wills to be void by getting married. Another problem is when couples who have children from a previous relationship decide to leave their whole estate to each other and not making proper provisions for those children.
The clauses that we use in our wills have been carefully drafter by our solicitors and barristers to ensure that they are robust. These clauses are reviewed by our team to keep up to date with current changes in the law. We provide quality will review and update service to help you with this.
We offer a video service for when clients who wish to record their wishes or explain in their own words why they chose to exclude individuals from their will. There is a growing number of wills being contested and the two most common grounds for contesting a will is that the client did not have capacity or that they were coerced into making that will. A video footage from a solicitors’ office can usually set this right. At SCL Wills and Probate we go the extra mile to ensure that we provide the right service to our clients.
Lasting Power of Attorney
Naming someone to act under a lasting a power of attorney in the event that you are no longer capable of making decisions in the future can be quite challenging. You cannot just arbitrarily name a family member. This is why it is very important to have the support of a reliable law firm before applying for power of attorney. Also, you’ll need to determine which of the two types of lasting power of attorney will be best suited to your requirements, health and welfare lasting power of attorney or a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney (LPA) or indeed it may be wise to have both of them.
Our solicitors will provide you with information and advice that will help you make an informed decision and avoid any conflict. Questions like who would be a suitable person to act as an attorney and what are the duties of an attorney. Also, who can witness the signatures on the form. Our solicitors will be on hand to answer all of your questions. It may seem a very easy process to applying and register lasting power of attorney but if there is a mistake the cost could be very expensive to put right.
However, in case it is too late for a power of attorney, we can help the family members in applying for a deputy-ship through court of protection.
Go through our website to learn more about wills, estate planning, probate, lasting power of attorney and court of protection. Also, feel free to contact us for additional information or any queries you may have.