WILLS & PROBATE
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Morrison Spowart Wills and Probate department
Making a will is important if you want to make sure that your wishes are carried out when you die. If you don’t make a will, your estate will be distributed under the Intestacy Rules which may lead to your property and assets being shared out in a way you would not have wished. For example, many people do not realise that unless you are married or in a civil partnership your partner will not automatically inherit anything if you die without having made a will – even if you have been together for many years.
By making a will you can appoint the guardian of your choice for your children in the event that the other parent is unable to do so. If you have recently bought a property, had a child, married or divorced, now may be the time to make a will, or to update your existing will.
We offer easy to understand advice and, if you require it, home visits to take your instructions for a will and execute (sign) your completed will.
We operate a simple and transparent fixed fee pricing system for the preparation of wills:
- Single will: £240 (inclusive of VAT)
- ‘Joint’ wills (wills for a couple which are substantially the same in content): £360 (inclusive of VAT)
- Amendments to wills previously made by us: £120 (inclusive of VAT)
- Home visits within the Lewisham area are an additional £120 (inclusive of VAT), although we do not charge for home visits in very close proximity to our offices.
ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES
In addition to drafting wills, Morrison Spowart solicitors offer a full probate service. When someone dies, it is usually necessary to obtain a grant of probate in order that the assets can be realised, debts paid and the estate distributed according to the deceased’s instructions (if they have made a will) or according to the Intestacy Rules which set out how an estate is to be distributed if they have not.
The process of administering the estate can be complex and confusing. Morrison Spowart solicitors is able to assist constructively and compassionately and to offer a comprehensive probate service at a competitive hourly fee.
LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
Have you ever considered who would manage your affairs or make decisions about your health and wellbeing if you became mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions of your own?
Preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) and registering it with the Office of the Public Guardian means that someone you trust will have the power to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so, giving you peace of mind about the future.
There are two types of LPA, one covering financial affairs and one covering decisions abbot your health and welfare. You can make one or both of these, as you prefer. The powers given in an LPA can be tailored in certain ways so that the power is limited where appropriate.
We offer fixed fees for helping you prepare and register a Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Single LPA (financial affairs or health and welfare): £562 (inclusive of VAT and court fee of £82)
- Both types of LPA: £764 (inclusive of VAT and two court fees of £82).
We can also give advice on a number of other issues that may arise during preparation of a Will or a Lasting Power of Attorney, and will discuss with you the best way to deal with these.
If you would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors about any of the above please contact us on 0208 698 9200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relationship breakdown – We understand that this can be a difficult and distressing time for clients who are likely to be facing emotional and financial difficulties. We can guide you through the difficulties sensitively and efficiently with a view to achieving the best outcome for you. We aim to deal with cases in a constructive and non-confrontational manner, with referrals to mediation in the first instance where appropriate, so as to avoid the costs. . If however court proceedings do become necessary, we will work hard to bring your case to a fair conclusion. We have expertise in advising on the legal procedure of divorce, the dissolution of civil partnerships and judicial separation. We can advise on resolving financial matters including the legal ownership of property and financial settlements for children. In certain circumstances we can obtain emergency financial injunctions.
ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES – FEE STRUCTURE
Our charges are based on an hourly rate. The current charging rate is £220.00 per hour, excluding VAT.
We will provide you with an estimate of our fees once we have information about the size of the estate, whether there will be any liability of inheritance tax and any other issues that may make the administration more complex. As a guide, the administration of an estate where there is NO liability for inheritance tax would take approximately 12 hours and where there IS liability for inheritance tax, approximately 18 hours.
The chargeable work includes all work done on your matter including time in attending you, preparing file notes of meetings with you and others, considering and drafting documents, reviewing your file, considering your case. This includes personal attendances, attendances on the telephone and communication with you and others.
The hourly rate is reviewed annually to take account of our increased overheads and inflation during the previous 12 months. Should the hourly rate payable by you increase, you will be notified in advance before any work is done at that rate in order to give you the opportunity to terminate the retainer should you wish to do so.
If the administration of the estate involves a sale or a transfer of a property, this estimate does not include the conveyancing work. If we are instructed to credit monies to a beneficiary’s bank account, bank transfer fees will be incurred which will be deducted from the amount paid.
In addition to our professional fees, you will be liable for certain expenses that we pay out on your behalf which will include court fees, and valuer’s fees. Court fees are currently £273 plus £1.50p for each additional copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
VAT rates and court fees are subject to change without notice.
We do NOT charge a percentage of the value of the estate.
Our fees would usually be payable out of the assets of the estate when received.
The administration of an estate is likely to take 4 to 12 months although more complicated estates can take considerably longer.
This work is carried about by our solicitors, Owen Dignan (admitted 1990) and Emma Rix (admitted 2019). They both have supervisor status and therefore are able to supervise each other.