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Wills & Probate Solicitors

  • If you died tomorrow, are your wishes for your loved ones clear?
  • Will your estate go to the people you would want to inherit?
  • Could there be conflict between your loved ones over your estate?
  • Have you made steps to minimise the impact of Inheritance Tax?
  • If you had an accident or became seriously unwell, who would look after your finances or make decisions about what should happen to you?

Making decisions about these issues can be daunting, and it’s understandable to put it off. But failing to make provision in advance is a huge risk and can put your loved ones in a very difficult position if the worst happens.

If you plan in advance, when you are in good health, you can make things much easier for everyone. Proactive tax planning can also make a real difference in how much your beneficiaries receive from your estate when the time comes.

Even if you already have a Will or other plans in place, this doesn’t mean you can simply forget about it. If your circumstances have changed, you should update your Will and any other provisions you’ve made, so they match your current wishes.

At Bird & Co, we can help you make the right decisions for you, your estate and your loved ones as painlessly as possible. We can ensure all the right legal provisions are in place, covering all likely scenarios. You can then relax, knowing you have everything sorted out.

Have a question about Wills and probate? Take a look at our FAQs or check out our Wills and probate blog.

Want to chat with one of our friendly Wills and probate solicitors? Contact your local Bird & Co office in Grantham, Newark or Lincoln, or you can ask us a question.

Why choose Bird & Co Solicitors to help you with Wills and probate

With our Wills and probate service, we can offer you:

  • Expert guidance from a highly experienced team
  • Plain English explanations so you can make informed decisions
  • Confidence that everything has been thought of
  • Competitive fees
  • A close, personal service from start to finish

Want to know more about the Bird & Co team? Take a look at our people.

Our Wills and probate services

 

Wills

Making or updating a Will is straightforward with the right legal guidance. Our Wills and probate solicitors can help you quickly get a valid Will in place that properly reflects your wishes. We can also assist with tax planning to minimise the impact of Inheritance Tax.

Read more about how we can help with Wills.

Probate & estate administration

Administering an estate can be an intimidating task with lots of steps to get right.

Our team will be happy to support you at any stage of the process or take the whole estate administration off your hands.

Read more about how we can help with probate and estate administration.

Trusts

Trusts can be a very effective way of protecting key assets and/or providing security for your loved ones.

Our Wills and probate solicitors are experts in the use of many different types of trusts. We can help with setting up and managing trusts, as well as providing advice for trust beneficiaries.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Losing the ability to manage your financial affairs or make decisions about your health is a scary prospect. Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) lets you nominate a trusted person or person to help with these key matters if the need ever arises.

Our experts can help with creating LPAs and advising Attorneys acting under an LPA.

Read more about how we can help with Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Court of Protection Deputyship

If a loved one loses the ability to manage their personal affairs, it may be necessary for you to step in and help them. Applying to the Court of Protection to become a loved one’s Deputy means you can be empowered to make decisions about issues such as their home, finances, health and welfare.

Our team can assist with applications to the Court and advise on carrying out the duties of a Deputy.

Read more about how we can help with Court of Protection Deputyship.

Gifting property & Deed of Gift

Gifting property can be a great way to help a loved one as well as reduce your estate’s Inheritance Tax liability. However, it is essential to make the gift in the right way to avoid the risk of future challenges.

Our Wills and probate lawyers can help with gifting property, including the requirement to use a legal document known as a ‘Deed of Gift’.

Read more about how we can help with gifting property & Deed of Gift.

Wills & probate disputes

Inheritance disputes are, sadly, all too common. They can arise for various reasons, including because someone failed to leave a valid Will, their Will was ambiguous, or someone feels they have been treated unfairly. Unpicking these disputes can be challenging, so it is important to get expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Our expert team can support you and give you the best chance of reaching an amicable agreement quickly, cost-effectively and with minimal conflict.

Our Wills and probate solicitors’ fees

Providing excellent value for money is at the heart of our approach. Our pricing reflects the level of expertise we offer and the outcomes we can achieve for our clients. We benchmark our fees against equivalent firms to make sure we remain competitive.

We are completely transparent with our pricing and will be happy to give an estimate upfront with a full breakdown of the costs involved. We can offer fixed fee Wills and probate services where appropriate, giving complete clarity over the costs involved.

Read more about our fees.

Common questions about Wills and probate

Is probate necessary if there is a Will?

Yes, having a Will in place does not affect the need for probate. The only time probate would not be required is if the entire estate is being left to a spouse or civil partner or if the value of the estate is very low.

How long does probate usually take?

There is no set time limit for probate. The whole process typically takes up to a year, but in complex cases, it can take longer.

Can I make a Will without a solicitor?

In theory, you can make a Will yourself without legal advice, but it is very risky to do so. Making a DIY Will, even with a template, can lead to a whole range of problems. Every person’s estate and every situation is different – using a generic template for a Will could mean key issues are overlooked.

Failing to fully account for your assets or potential problems can mean your estate does not go to the people you would have intended or result in unnecessary conflict between your loved ones. It is also easy to miss some of the requirements for a legally valid Will, meaning your homemade Will could be disregarded entirely.

Solicitors that deal with Wills can ensure all of your assets and any particular areas of risk or uncertainty are accounted for. They can make sure your Will is legally valid and advise on making your estate tax efficient so your loved ones receive the maximum benefit.

When are Wills read after death?

The Executor or Executors of a Will should notify any beneficiaries of the Wills’ contents. This might be done by gathering the beneficiaries to read the Will, but this is not a requirement.

Once probate has been granted, the Will becomes a public document held by the Probate Registry, and anyone can apply for a copy.

What is a mirror Will?

Mirror Wills are generally used for couples who wish to leave their estates to each other. Essentially, the Wills are the same, except that the testator (the one leaving the Will) and beneficiary (the person who would benefit from the Will) are reversed. Provision can also be made for what happens once the last surviving partner passes away, e.g. that any assets should then go to the couple’s children.

Mirrors Wills are generally less costly than two separate Wills, so they can be a good option for couples who plan to leave their assets to each other.

How do Wills work for married couples?

Married couples need to give special consideration to the issue of inheritance. If a married person does not have a Will, their estate will generally pass to their spouse on death. However, depending on the value of the estate, some of their assets may also pass to any children or other direct descendants they have.

Getting married will invalidate any pre-existing Will, so it is important to make a new Will when you marry. Getting divorced does not invalidate your Will, but it does mean that your ex-spouse Will be treated as if they had died when your marriage ended. If your Will does not make provision for this, then your estate could potentially be dealt with under the rules of intestacy.

It is, therefore, essential to update your Will when getting married or divorced.

Read our Wills and probate blog

You can find out more about Wills and probate issues as well as more in-depth answers to many common questions in our Wills and probate blog, including:

Speak to our Wills and probate solicitors

Want to chat with one of our friendly Wills and probate solicitors? Contact your local Bird & Co office in Grantham, Newark or Lincoln, or you can ask us a question.