A Last Will is a legal document which lets you decide what happens to assets you own i.e. your money, property and possessions after your death. You must have capacity in order to make a valid Last Will. At SSP solicitors we can professionally prepare your Last Will so that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes.
If you die without a Last Will then the law will dictate who is entitled to your assets. Your assets will be distributed in accordance with the Laws of Intestacy. If you want to update your Last Will, you need to make an official alteration (called a Codicil) or make a new Last Will.
When making a Last Will, you will need to appoint an executor. This is the person/are the people you choose who will administer your estate when you are gone.
Your Last Will should name beneficiaries (i.e a person who is entitled to inherit under your Last Will). These are a person or person's chosen by you.
You can write your Last Will yourself, but you should get legal advice to make sure your Last Will is interpreted in the way you wanted.
You do not need a solicitor to make a Last Will however, Will writers are not regulated and may not be insured which means that if anything does go wrong you may be left with very little protection. This may leave your loved ones having to deal with problems as a result of any negligence or inability to deal with matters relating to your Last Will effectively.
Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and fully insured which protects consumers.
You need to get your Last Will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid.
Probate/Letters of administration
A grant of probate is a legal document that's sometimes needed to access bank accounts, sell assets and settle debts after someone has died.
This document is only called a grant of probate if the person left a will. If they didn't leave a will, a grant of letters of administration is used instead. Both documents work in much the same way, giving a named person legal authority to deal with the estate of the person who died.
When probate has been granted through a grant of probate or letters of administration the next of kin or executor can start to deal with the deceased person’s assets. If there was a will, this will set out how the assets should be distributed. If the person died without a will the law determines who should receive everything.
We anticipate the work under this category may take between 8 and 15 hours work at £250.00 per hour. Total costs estimated at -£2,000 - £3,500 (+VAT if applicable. VAT is charged at the current rate of 20%). The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end. Our cost estimates depends on the assumption that there are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
The above fee estimate is exclusive of disbursements which are payable in addition to the fee quoted.