Here at Spratt Endicott (operating nationwide), we are a highly experienced wills and probate solicitors in Banbury, Bicester, Buckingham and Brackley and whatever your situation, we always endeavour to reach the best possible outcome, providing a level of service that is second-to-none. This section of the website provides information on what wills and probate solicitors do and in which circumstances you may need legal assistance, as well as providing an indication of Will writing service costs and how the process of probate works.
Lucy Gordon is a Director and head of the Wills and Probate department. Lucy is also a supervisor for her team. All our wills and probate solicitors are based in Banbury, Buckingham, Bicester and Brackley, but we provide our services to clients nationwide such as our will writing service.
Sometimes things aren’t as straightforward as a person dying and their assets being passed onto their nearest and dearest. If you die without a will (intestate), your property is automatically distributed in accordance with Intestacy laws, which isn’t always necessarily how you would choose it to be. Writing a will can ensure that your property goes where you intend it to.
Spratt Endicott’s Wills Solicitors can help you write your will, looking into all aspects, including the division of property, executors and trustees, as well as power of attorney. As experienced will solicitors, we will discuss all your needs and put any worries you have at rest. We provide a wills preparation service to clients across the UK from our Banbury location.
Writing a Will can ensure the security of your loved ones, if you have children you can make sure they are looked after by the people chosen by you and also secure their financial future. In some cases, if you don’t write a will it could cause hardship and suffering for your family, and legal costs. It is safe to say that wills ensure peace of mind for the future of your family. In short, if you make a will, then you are calling the shots – rather than the government.
If you choose not to make a will, then you are leaving a lot in the hands of Intestacy rules and risk:
In the case of infant children, you are possibly trusting them to the good care of the local Social Services.
Surprisingly only around 30% of the population ever makes a will.
Failing to create a will, will mean that you die intestate, which in simple terms, means that the distribution of your assets will be done in accordance to Intestacy rules and not necessarily in accordance with your wishes.
If you die intestate with an estate of, say, £400,000, what would happen? It does depend upon who survives you. If you have no children then your estate passes to your husband or wife, but if you leave a child then it becomes quite complicated.
Under the intestacy rules your surviving spouse will receive your personal chattels and £250,000. What is left is divided into two:
Because a trust arises, two Trustees are required and so if the child is an infant, you will probably need to rope in Uncle Fred or cousin Charlie.
Well, if you do not make a Will, it will not. The surviving spouse or civil partner will take personal chattels and £450,000, and half the remainder.
The other half may go to your parents, or if there are none, to your brothers and sisters, or to nephews and nieces. Remember, this applies:
By not making a Will, you put yourself into the hands of the Intestacy Rules – which most people agree are not very attractive.
When writing a will, it is crucial there are no mistakes. This is mainly so that there can be no dispute over what the will is trying to say or what the words mean.
For an immediate estimate of your will cost, either for a single or joint will for you and your spouse/civil partner/co-habitant please fill out our cost estimate form on this page.
After the death of a relative, it can sometimes be confusing for the family when finding all of the documents and information needed going forward. To simplify this we have produced a Personal Assets Log. This downloadable file can be accessed below.
Completing this and leaving it with a copy of your will and any other personal papers will help your family trace the information they will require at that time.
In this document you may also like to leave details of funeral/burial arrangements and any wishes you may have regarding these.
When a person dies and leaves a valid will, they will have appointed Executors to deal with their property, money and personal items (the Estate).
The Executors have a duty to:
Often the Executors need a document to perform these duties, called a Grant of Probate.
Probate is the way in which a person’s estate is distributed when they pass away. If a will is written, then an executor is appointed and a probate lawyer will assist them in applying for probate and estate administration. In some cases, the executors choose not to act and are not legally required to; sometimes probate lawyers are named as executors, but it is generally a family member and a beneficiary of the Will.
Probate law can be quite complicated and overwhelming when you’re grieving, so many executors ask the probate lawyer to help apply probate and administration.
Our qualified probate lawyers and solicitors can help advise you in how to apply for probate, and what to do in cases where an executor does not wish to act in this role. Our legal services will help ease the burden of the probate process and offer advice in situations where no Will is written and where there are family disagreements.
A grant of probate is a document issued by the court, which just confirms that
A grant of probate is often needed to confirm to those holding assets (Banks, Insurers, Share Registrars) that they are dealing with the right person and that it is ok to hand over assets or cash to them. It is almost always needed when selling property in an estate as it can confirm to the buyer that they are dealing with the person with authority to sell and therefore they can continue the chain of ownership.
If a Grant is needed, Executors can make a personal application to the Court or they can instruct a Solicitor to do this for them. A Solicitor will prepare the correct account for submission to H M Revenue & Customs and the appropriate Oath for Executors. These documents are signed and sworn by the Executors and an application made to the Court. There are, however, instances when a grant of probate is not required, this is usually when assets can be transferred to a joint owner by merely producing a copy of the death certificate.
If you’re applying for a Grant of probate with a solicitor, there is an application fee, plus legal fees. The legal costs can vary, depending on the complexity of the estate, so you can contact us for an estimate and to discuss options before you begin the process.
The purpose of a statutory declaration in the form of a formal statement is to confirm that something is true, to the best knowledge of the person making declaration. They are often used by financial institutions to deal with the accounts and assets of a deceased customer if the sums are fairly small, transferring money to the executor(s).
This confirms that the executor making the declaration is the correct person to deal with. Cash will then be released to them, with no need to do anything further.
You will sign a Statutory Declaration with a solicitor present or another person that is authorised by law e.g. a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Oaths. In order to be valid, the declarations must follow a pre-existing format and a solicitor that is experienced in wills and probate will be ideally placed and can witness and draft a statutory declaration if it is required.
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