Josiah Hincks Wills, Probate & Trusts Team can help you from writing a will, to administering an estate following grant of probate, as well as more complex trust and estate planning. We are committed to providing a professional and efficient service. Our experienced team of solicitors and executives have the knowledge to deal with all legal complexities that can arise with Wills, Probates and Trusts matters.
Our Wills & Probate Team
How we can help
At Josiah Hincks we have a specialist team headed by Andrew Eagle who is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Our Team can help you with the following:
- Single, Mirror, Trust or Living Wills.
- Lasting Powers of Attorney.
- Gaining Grant of Probate.
- Administration of Estates.
- Trusts (setting up, administrating, closing down)
- Inheritance Tax/estate planning advice.
- Contested Wills & Probate.
- FREE Will storage service.
Call us now or fill in our Contact Sheet and we will email a fee estimate to you so you know our fixed legal cost and all the potential additional costs you may incur in your property sale and/or purchase.
What do I need to consider when making a Will?
- Who do you appoint to look after your children under 18 years (called Guardians)?
- Who do you appoint/trust to carry out the terms of your Will (called Executors)?
- Who do you name to benefit from your estate (called Beneficiaries)?
- What do you give away and to whom: including leave gifts of specific items or fixed sums of money (called Legacies)
- Do I need to pay Inheritance Tax (IHT) on my estate?
- Should I create a Trusts to help preserve wealth for future generations, protect against residential care costs or help vulnerable or disabled beneficiaries?
- Can I state my funeral wishes?
You are unique and your Will is unique to your circumstances, your wishes and your assets. Take the time with one of our experienced Solicitors or Executives to ensure your wishes are communicated to others.
The process of writing a Will can often be conducted in the space of a few weeks for standard Wills and will include initial advice and guidance, confirming the specific of your wishes, before finalising and signing of the Final Will. Any contested Wills & Probate can also be handled by one of our specialist Solicitors. Josiah Hincks offer a FREE Will storage service.
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions or if you were lose your mental capacity.
You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your LPA.
You don’t need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.
There are 2 types of LPA:
- health and welfare
- property and financial affairs
You can choose to make one type or both.
Health and welfare lasting power of attorney
This LPA gives an attorney the power to make decisions about things like:
- your daily routine, for example washing, dressing, eating
- medical care
- moving into a care home
- life-sustaining treatment
It can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.
Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney
This LPA gives an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:
- managing a bank or building society account
- paying bills
- collecting benefits or a pension
- selling your home
It can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.
Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die is called ‘applying for probate’.
If the person left a will, you’ll get a ‘grant of probate’.
If the person did not leave a will, you’ll get ‘letters of administration’.
You apply for both in the same way.
The process is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The process is:
- Check if there’s a will. There’s a different process if there’s no will.
- Value the estate and report it to HMRC.
- Apply for probate.
- Pay any Inheritance Tax that’s due.
- Collect the estate’s assets, for example money from the sale of the person’s property.
- Pay off any debts, for example unpaid utilities bills.
- Keep a record (‘estate accounts’) of how any property, money or possessions will be split.
- Pass the estate (‘distribute the assets’) on to the people named in the will (‘beneficiaries’).
Our Wills and Probate Solicitors can help you obtain the grant of probate, and administer (distribute) the estate if required.
A trust is a way of managing assets (money, investments, land or buildings) for people. There are different types of trusts and they are taxed differently.
- the ‘settlor’ – the person who puts assets into a trust
- the ‘trustee’ – the person who manages the trust
- the ‘beneficiary’ – the person who benefits from the trust
What trusts are for?
Trusts are set up for a number of reasons, including:
- to control and protect family assets
- when someone’s too young to handle their affairs
- when someone cannot handle their affairs because they’re incapacitated
- to pass on assets while you’re still alive
- to pass on assets when you die (a ‘will trust’)
- under the rules of inheritance if someone dies without a will (in England and Wales)
What the settlor does?
The settlor decides how the assets in a trust should be used – this is usually set out in a document called the ‘trust deed’.
Sometimes the settlor can also benefit from the assets in a trust – this is called a ‘settlor-interested’ trust and has special tax rules. Find out more by reading the information on different types of trust.
What trustees do?
The trustees are the legal owners of the assets held in a trust. Their role is to:
- deal with the assets according to the settlor’s wishes, as set out in the trust deed or their will
- manage the trust on a day-to-day basis and pay any tax due
- decide how to invest or use the trust’s assets
If the trustees change, the trust can still continue, but there always has to be at least one trustee.
There might be more than one beneficiary, like a whole family or defined group of people. They may benefit from:
- the income of a trust only, for example from renting out a house held in a trust
- the capital only, for example getting shares held in a trust when they reach a certain age
- both the income and capital of the trust
We offer a free, fixed fee quote for properties in England, Wales, Scotland and we’ll send you a written quote confirmation by email before any work is started:
Single Will – fixed fee from just £175 +VAT (£210)
Mirror Will – fixed fee from just £250+VAT (£300)
Complex Wills & Wills Trusts – following a discussion to understand wishes a fixed fee from £250 + VAT per Will (£300) to £750 + VAT (900) per Will
Lasting Power of Attorney (Single) – fixed fee from just £300+VAT (£360)
Lasting Power of Attorney (Double) – fixed fee from just £550+VAT (£660)
Codicil (Amend a Will) – fixed fee from just £80+VAT (£92)
We offer a fixed fee quote for properties in England, Wales, Scotland and we’ll send you a written quote confirmation by email.
The process for an application for a Grant of Probate only is suitable for estates where:
- There is a valid Will
- There is no more than one property
- There are minimal bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets
- There are a small number of beneficiaries
- There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
- There are no claims made against the estate
As part of our fixed fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
- Draft a legal oath for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
Our fixed fee Grant Only service does not include full administration and distribution of the estate. Please see below for further details on this full probate administration service.
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3-6 months.
Typically, the probate registry will take 3-4 weeks from receipt of the probate application to issue a sealed grant of probate.
Total Legal Fees: fixed fee of £900 (incl. VAT) + Disbursements
Breakdown of costs:
Legal fees £750
VAT on legal fees £150
- Probate court fee of £156.
- £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor).
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary).
- £104.52 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
- £120 – £250 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Complex or Large Estates costs?
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter and the following are considered when quoting.
- if there are multiple beneficiaries, properties and multiple bank accounts,
- If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
- If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost 50p (1 per asset usually).
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included
An estimated cost will be provided before any work is started and cost updates throughout.
Administration of Estates
When instructed to carry out the full administration of estates we will provide the services listed in the fixed fee grant of probate section and in addition write to all creditors and debtors and collect and distribute all assets in the estate.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. We will give a fee indication at the initial meeting.
Why choose our Trust, Wills & Probate lawyers?
Why choose us?
We recognise that a large proportion of our work comes from recommendations and satisfied clients therefore for our aim is to give the maximum level of added value service at competitive rates. We accept we may not be the cheapest but we pride ourselves on the quality of service.
We provide clear and concise advice and ensure you are kept fully appraised throughout the transaction. 98% of our clients would recommend Josiah Hincks to friends, family and contacts.
In 2018 Josiah Hincks was recognised by the Leicestershire Law Society as Small Law Firm of the year 2018. This award reflects the excellent service our staff offer its clients and brings assurance to those clients working with us that we strive for excellence in all we do.