We provide a full range of private client services ranging from Wills, probate and lasting powers of attorney, to tax implications in family and employment matters.
Our team of highly-skilled Wills, trusts and estate solicitors have substantial experience in advising individuals on a range of private client matters including the writing of Wills, the probate process and lasting powers of attorney.
As a nation, we are currently facing uncertain times which has undoubtedly caused stress and panic. You are likely to have questions and worries about the repercussions of the current pandemic on private client matters. Our Wills and probate solicitors can help to alleviate these concerns by providing you with some certainty about how you can protect your affairs.
We are able to provide expert advice in the following Wills, probate and estate matters:
- Creating a new Will
- Updating or amending an existing Will
- Challenging a Will
- Deathbed Wills
- Wills and offshore trusts
- Preserving wealth and minimising inheritance tax liability
- Income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax
- Trust structures and lifetime gifts
- Lasting powers of attorney
Our private client services are not just limited to those listed above, please get in touch with our team if you have a legal query that you would like to discuss.
We pride ourselves on the high-quality service we provide, tailoring our approach to the needs of each individual. Our Wills and probate solicitors are committed to championing the rights, freedoms and reputations of our clients and are here to help you through this difficult time.
Frequently asked questions
Why do I need a Will?
In order to ensure your loved ones are looked after once you are gone and that your wishes are respected, you will need a Will. It is never a pleasant task to think about but it will give you peace of mind that your estate is dealt with by someone you trust and that it passes to your loved ones. By making a Will you protect your loved ones, help benefit a charity or people of your own choice.
Find out more about why a Will is important here.
What happens to my estate if I don’t have a Will?
It is important to consider what would happen if you died without a Will, known as dying intestate. If you die intestate, how your estate is dealt with will be governed by intestacy law. The intestacy law prescribes who may administer your estate and who will inherit.
How to pay for your case
Our clients are given an estimate of costs after our initial meeting or as part of the engagement process. There are some areas where we are able to be more indicative and, as in accordance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) guidance on price transparency, we have published our price and service information where it is possible to be upfront about charges without knowing all the details of the matter.
The fees for making a Will can range from £594 (inc VAT) for a single, simple Will to more than £1800 (inc VAT) for a pair of complex Wills, created to protect various assets and save inheritance tax.
The value you receive is in the advice and security of protecting your family wealth for future generations. Having met with you initially, and discovered what is important to you, we will advise you on a range of options and the fixed fee costs for each so that you are fully informed before you instruct us. We do not charge for an initial meeting at our offices, so if you decide not to proceed, you will leave us better informed but not out of pocket.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Our fixed fee packages will give you certainty on cost. These fees include the registration of the Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian (the court), which means it will be available for use when needed. Our packages are:
- A single Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney document – £622 inc VAT (which includes a £540 solicitor’s fee and £82 Court fees)
- A pair of similar Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney documents – £1124 inc VAT (which includes a £960 solicitor’s fee and £164 Court fees)
- A pair of similar Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney documents PLUS a pair of similar Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney documents – £1758 inc VAT (which includes a £1440 solicitor’s fee and £328 Court fees)
When a solicitor applies for a Grant of Probate on your behalf, the Probate court fees are £155 per application. These fees are higher when applicants deal directly with the Probate Registry, without using a solicitor.
- The fees for Probate applications (disbursements) are as follows:
- Estates worth less than £5,000 there will be no fee
- Estates worth more than £5,000 there will be a £155 fee
- If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50
Bindmans will draft an application for Grant of Probate (or Grant of Letters of Administration) using the information provided by the family. The Grant only service is only available where no inheritance tax is due. The family will be responsible for dealing with the estate once the Grant has been received.
Our Grant only fees are:
- Where a simplified estate form (IHT205) is submitted – £1500 inc VAT
- Where a full estate form (IHT400) is submitted – £2640 inc VAT
- The above fees quoted are for estates where no tax is payable and fees will vary depending on estates where inheritance tax is due and the size and complexity of the estate.
Fees will depend on the type of trust and what you are putting in it:
- Typically, a bare trust holding cash will be around £660 inc VAT to set up.
- A lifetime discretionary trust or life interest trust designed to hold cash or investments will cost around £1800 inc VAT to set up.
In addition to our costs you will be responsible for paying costs payable to another organisation which are incurred by us on your behalf, for example, probate court fees, administration fees, expert report fees, interpreter/translation costs, our travel costs if we have to travel outside our office on your behalf, counsel fees, and courier costs.
In the course of estate administration, there is a fee of £155.00 for Probate applications if the value of the estate is over £5,000. In order to obtain any additional copies of the grant there will be a fee of £1.50 per copy. The amount of copies needed is usually dependent on the amount of assets within the estate.
In the course of the estate administration process, a bankruptcy search will need to be carried out against each beneficiary, at a charge of £2.00 per beneficiary. Additionally, a section 27 Deceased Notice will need to be placed with the London Gazette for 2 months and one 1 day in order to allow for any creditors to make claims against the estate. There is a fee of £114.60 to place a section 27 notice in the London Gazette plus £3.60 for a copy of the Gazette containing the notice.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Value Added Tax (VAT) is required to be added to our fees and all disbursements. This applies if your usual place of residence is the UK. Details of the current rate of VAT which will be applied can be found HERE. If you are not resident in the UK, you are not liable to pay VAT.
How long does the process take?
Once formal instructions have been taken and depending on the complexity, it will take between 6-8 weeks for us to provide you with a draft will.
Once formal instructions have been taken and depending on the complexity, it will take between 6-8 weeks for us to provide you with draft LPA/s. Once the application/s have been submitted, the Office of the Public Guardian will take between 8-12 weeks to register the LPA/s. Following the registration of the LPA/s, there is a 4 week statutory cooling off period implemented by the Court of Protection before the LPA/s can be used.
Depending on the complexity of the estate, it usually takes around 8-12 weeks in order to establish the size of the estate for inheritance tax purposes. Once an application has been made for Grant of Probate/Letters of administration, it will take between 8-12 weeks for the grant to be issued.
Overall, following initial instructions to obtaining the grant will take between 3-6 months.
Once formal instructions have been taken and depending on the complexity, it will take between 6-8 weeks for us to provide you with the draft trust deed.
Please be advised that fees and process times could be subject to increase depending on the complexity of your matter, or if there are contentious elements.
For more information about our Probate and Estate Administration team click here.