Will and Probate Services

Wills and Probate are an important part of estate planning. Making a Will gives you the choice of who will benefit from your estate when you are no longer here. 

A staggering 3 in 5 UK adults do not have a valid Will in place. That’s 31 million people without a Will.

Research statistics show:

  • 22% aged 75 years and above have no Will.
  • 39% aged 65 – 74 have no Will.
  • Since lockdown began 21% of those aged 25 – 34 have started the Will writing process
  • People believe if they are married, in a civil partnership or living together they do not need a Will as everything will automatically pass to their partner – this is not always the case.

Making a Will

Michelle Barker, Estate Planning Specialist at Ellis Bates

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Why is it important to have a Will?

Its all about choice and family protection.

You get to choose who will benefit from your Will – these are your beneficiaries.

You get choose who you want to deal with your estate – these are your Executors.

If you have any children under 18, you get to choose who will look after them (known as a Guardianship. Without a Will and named Guardian in place, your children will be made a Ward of Court and the Court will decide who will look after them.

Your Will protects your family and loved ones after your death and forms an integral part of your inheritance and intergenerational wealth transfer planning.

If there is no Will in place you lose this choice.

Without a Will, you are classed as dying intestate and then the laws of intestacy dictate who receives what, in what proportion and this may not be in line with your wishes and can lead to family disputes.

Making a Will gives you choice and peace of mind.

What is Probate?

Probate is the entire process of administering a person’s estate when they have passed away.

It is a common misconception that people think that if you have a Will probate is not required but generally if you own a property then probate will be required.

This involves organising their money, assets such as property and all other general possessions and distributing them as inheritance. Generally, all assets are frozen at the time of death until the Grant of Probate has been issued.

If the deceased has left a Will, it will name a person they have chosen to administer their estate and this person is known as the Executor of the Will.

The executor must apply for the Grant of Probate, a legal document that gives them authority to deal with the deceased estate.  If there is no Will, the Executor will need to apply for letters of administration.

In both cases it can potentially be a very lengthy and stressful process, with current timescales around 6 – 12 months.

Your Executors will have full financial and legal responsibility and they must pay any taxes and debts owed before distribution of the estate.

Seek expert legal advice with Wills and Probate

The paperwork involved can be complex, worrying and time consuming, including numerous lengthy legally binding forms to understand and complete. We are here to help to take all that worry and stress away and carry out the probate process on your behalf.

Protecting your children with Guardianship

Michelle Barker, Estate Planning Specialist at Ellis Bates

Our Trust Service

You can establish a trust or property protection trust during your lifetime or, through your Will, on your death.

Our Lasting Power of Attorney Service

Lasting Powers of Attorney enable a friend or family member you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so yourself.

Wills and Probate Reviews

“Michelle Barker provided a First Class Service when dealing with two members of my family regarding Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney. She guided us through the process in a professional and personable way. We would have no hesitation in recommending Michelle.”

“We have recently gone through the process of updating our wills with some important changes. Michelle Barker has overseen the process with professionalism and efficiency, we had good communication throughout along with courteous service. We would happily recommend Michelle for any estate planning.”

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