Wills & Probate Solicitors

Very often a relationship breakdown is a trigger for you to think about protecting your loved ones in the event of your death or serious illness.

We can quickly and simply prepare a Will on your behalf which will not only ensure your loved ones receive an inheritance, but can also appoint guardians for any minor children.

You may also need specialist tax planning advice when making your Will, and we can help with that too.

It can also be wise to consider giving Power of Attorney to a trusted relative or friend in the event of you becoming incapable of managing your own affairs due to accident or illness.

Your spouse may not inherit everything you own if you do not have a Will, other people including your children may have a claim too, and this can cause serious problems in the event of your death.

Cohabitees in particular need to be aware that their partner is not their next of kin without a Will, and may receive nothing at all from their estate.

For details on what we charge for a Basic Will and other services, please find more details on our Fees & Funding page.

Speak to our wills and probate team today by giving us a call at your local branch in OssettWakefield, Garforth or Sherburn in Elmet, West Yorkshire, or by filling in our online enquiry form.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need Probate?

In certain circumstances a Grant of Probate is not needed. If the Estate has accounts with less than around £10,000 (this various between financial institutions), you would not normally need to obtain a Grant in order to obtain the money. However, where the estate includes certain assets such as land, shares or larger amounts held in accounts you will need to obtain a Grant of Probate to sell and/or encash these assets.

Who is allowed to make a Will?

Any person who is over the age of 18 years can make a Will. However, members of the Armed Forces who are on active duty are able to make a Will once they turn 17 years of age. There is no age limit for making a Will however, you must have testamentary capacity, and be of sound mind. This means you must be aware of the fact that you are making a Will, and the effect that this may have on those who are dependent on you. You must also be aware of the extent of your estate. This is why it is important to act sooner rather than later.

Are there different types of LPA?

Yes, there are two types of Power of Attorney, Property and Finances and Health and Welfare.
In a Property and Finances LPA you appoint attorneys to manage your financial affairs in the event that either you become mentally incapable of doing so yourself or you wish someone else to assist you with this now. This includes authorising your Attorney to manage your bank accounts and investments, paying your outgoings for you as well as buying or selling property on your behalf. This will avoid costly Court of Protection Proceedings and delay in you getting the help you need in the future in the event that you lost capacity.
In the Health and Welfare LPA you appoint attorneys to manage your health decisions when you lack capacity to make those decisions for yourself. Your attorneys would have the ability to make decisions about day to day health matters, such as where you might live, the type of medical treatment you could receive and make decisions concerning life sustaining medical treatment if you wish.

What happens if the Executors are unwilling to act or the Executors are deceased?

If there is a Will, the instructions within it are still valid even if there is no executor to administer the estate. In this case, one of the beneficiaries can apply to the court to be an administrator of the estate. This application is known as ‘Letters of Administration’. We are able offer specialist advice in these circumstances as to who can administer the Estate and will guide you through this process.

What is the difference between a Deputy and a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Deputy is somebody who is appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for someone who is unable to make them for themselves, this is because that person has lost mental capacity and has not made a Lasting Power of Attorney. It would be usual for a family member or close friend to be a Deputy. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a voluntary process whereby a person appoints someone to make decisions on their behalf, if they lose capacity in the future.

What does an Executor do?

An Executor takes responsibility for dealing with a deceased person’s estate which can include obtaining Probate, settling unpaid debts or bills, paying inheritance tax and distributing money or assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the Will.

Will I automatically inherit my Partners estate when they die, we are not married?

No, unfortunately this is not the case. If one of you were to pass away leaving no Will the estate would pass to relatives in accordance with the rules of intestacy. If you wish to provide for one another it is very important that you both Wills leaving your estate to the other. If you hold any assets jointly, such as a joint bank account, these assets will automatically pass to the other via the right of survivorship.

Covid-19 Frequently asked questions

Can I still make a Will during the Covid-19 restrictions?

Yes. We are able to speak to you on the phone or by way of video link to talk you through the process and to find out what you would like to say in your Will. We are then able to send you documents by email or by post and will guide you through the process and agree the best way forward for you to sign the Will and have it witnessed so that it is legally valid.

I am self-isolating. Can I still make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Yes. As with Wills, we are able to speak to you on the phone or via video link and will talk you through the process. We will prepare the Lasting Power of Attorney documents for you, and communicate with you by email or by post and work with you to arrange signing of the documents in a way that is safe for you and our staff.

My loved one has passed away can you still help me?

Yes. Whilst we are working remotely we are still able to offer a full service to Executors and Administrators. Our lawyers will speak to you by phone or video link and guide you through the process and the steps needed. We can take care of all legal paperwork for you including applying for the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration, liaising with banks and everyone else involved. The Probate Registry and financial institutions are still working, albeit at a slightly slower pace, and we have all the technology needed to assist you at this difficult time.

My loved one has died and I cannot find the Will can you help?

During the restrictions, whilst you may not be able to look for a Will yourself, we are able to assist. We can contact local solicitors who may have prepared a Will and undertake a Certainty Will search for any registered Will. If a Will cannot be located we can advise you on the Intestacy Rules which may apply and the steps needed. If you are able to find a copy Will, we can advise you on a potential application to rely on that copy Will if the original cannot be located.

What is happening about my court hearing?

Cases in the Business, Property and Trusts Courts are being dealt with on an individual basis. Some are being adjourned whilst others are being held by phone or skype. We will keep in contact with the courts to find out what is happening for you. The Court of Protection in Leeds is deciding on a weekly basis how cases will be heard but most are to be held by phone or skype.