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Wills, Probate & Lasting Powers of Attorney

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About Us

At Jefferies, we understand the various challenges that can be thrown at us through life circumstances. We offer practical support during these times in a friendly and efficient manner.

Related Services

Court of Protection Applications

If a family member has lost mental capacity without having made an LPA, it may become necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection to enable you to legally act on their behalf. This can be long and complicated due to the court processes and we can guide you through this from start to finish.

Powers of Attorney

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 introduced Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), with effect from 1st October 2007, to replace Enduring Powers of Attorney (Note: Enduring Powers of Attorney made prior to that date remain valid).

An LPA will enable you to appoint one or more persons to act on your behalf during your lifetime in relation to your property and financial affairs and/or your health and welfare. We can advise you on the creation of an LPA, the best person(s) to appoint and the extent of the authority to give them. We can also advise on the registration of an LPA at the Office of the Public Guardian and the registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney that were made prior to 1st October 2007.

If you’d like more information, view our LPAs: Guides to process and costs.

Basic Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney

Probate

When someone close to you dies, it can be a very distressing time and very difficult to face sorting out their assets and belongings. Jefferies are able to help with the administration and formalities of releasing bank accounts, houses, other assets and dealing with liabilities. We are able to ensure the estate is administered in accordance with the will and the interests of the deceased met. Where there is no will, we can guide you through the steps that need to be taken for the deceased’s estate to be distributed.

Trusts and Settlements

Various assets can be the subject of trusts including property, life insurance policies and pension death benefits. Trusts are often necessary to care for the vulnerable and to protect the family. Trusts also assist with tax planning (both during lifetime and on death).

We can assist with:

  • Creation of trust documents
  • Distribution and termination of trusts
  • Advice to trustees
  • Change of trustee

Will and Probate Disputes

Wills are designed to give certainty to someone’s wishes when they die. Unfortunately disputes can still arise. A person may feel they were promised property or land that was not included in the will, you may feel a will was written under duress or undue influence, or that you have an interest in items that a will leaves to someone else. You may have concerns over how a Trustee is dealing with the deceased’s estate or you are a Trustee yourself having difficulty with a beneficiary.

We understand how difficult will disputes can be emotionally. They often involve disagreements between family members or those close to the deceased. We will work with you to understand any personal dynamics, as well as provide legal advice in order to find the best way to resolve matters. Very often these matters can be resolved through discussions, negotiation or mediation which help preserve relationships, but action can be taken through the courts as well.

Wills

Making a will is an important life decision. In our experience, a high proportion of people don’t make a will and assume that their estate will pass automatically to those they care most about. Sadly this is often not the case and if you wish to specify where your estate goes, we recommend you make a will.

A will can make provision for:

  • Your funeral arrangements
  • Specify who will look after your children
  • Make proper provision for your family
  • Leave specific items of worth or sentimental value to individuals
  • Create trusts to benefit individuals
  • A will can also be used to minimise the Inheritance tax liabilities of those you leave behind.

Wills, Probate and Lasting Power of Attorney fees

willsandprobate@jefferieslaw.co.uk

Just Ask Jefferies

Everything you want to know about wills, probate & lasting powers of attorney...
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What is the role of the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection exists to safeguard vulnerable people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. Those decisions may relate to the person's finances or to their health and welfare. The Court may appoint third parties (Deputies) to manage a vulnerable person’s affairs and may also supervise individuals who have been appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney

How does lasting power of attorney work?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is created by a person who has full capacity who wishes to appoint someone that they trust to act on their behalf, if they become physically or mentally incapable in the future. This can relate to financial affairs and/or health and welfare decisions

Learn more about how Lasting Powers of Attorney work

What is the difference between an attorney and an executor?

An attorney can act during a person’s lifetime but the authority to act ceases immediately upon death. An executor is the person appointed by a will to deal with the administration of an estate following death

What happens when you have power of attorney and the person dies?

A power of attorney ceases immediately on death. The original Lasting Power of Attorney must be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian for cancellation

What is probate?

Probate is the “proving” of a will by the court. It formalises the appointment of the executors who are named in the will and gives them the legal authority to deal with the estate.

What happens if a person dies without leaving a will?

Any assets held in the sole name of the deceased can be dealt with by certain family members in a strict order of priority. An application is made to the court who ensure that the applicant is correctly entitled. The court then grants Letters of Administration to enable the estate to be administered. There is no formal procedure required for jointly held assets which transfer automatically to the surviving co-owner, although depending on the value of the assets, and whether any exemptions are available, these could be subject to Inheritance Tax

Is probate required if you have a will?

This depends upon the value of the estate and the type of assets held by the deceased. If a house or other property is involved, then probate is generally required to sell or transfer that asset. Sometimes an estate can be dealt with under the Small Estates Procedure where the banks and other organisations will release funds without the need for probate

Can you challenge a will after probate?

Yes, a will can be challenged after probate is granted. Claims can be made against the validity of a will (for example if the claimant believes that the deceased lacked capacity or was unduly influenced by a third party) or by certain people who were dependants of the deceased

Is there a time limit for contesting a will?

This is generally six months after Probate is granted, although the court may grant an extension in certain circumstances