Will & Probate
We offer a competitive and professional fixed price Wills service with no hidden charges. Home and Hospital visits are available in the West Yorkshire area.
We offer a caring and professional Probate service.
Our full range of services includes:
• Preparation of wills
• Review and updating of existing wills
• Estate and inheritance tax (IHT) planning
• Administration of estates and probate
• Drafting and administration of trusts
• Inheritance Act and disputed estate claims
• Lasting powers of attorney
• Registration of enduring powers of attorney
• Court of protection applications
We have qualified solicitors to provide expert advice and assistance regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
If you care about what happens to your property after you die, you should make a will. Without one, the State directs who inherits, so your friends, favourite charities and relatives may get nothing.
It is particularly important to make a will if you are not married or are not in a registered civil partnership (a legal arrangement that gives same-sex partners the same status as a married couple). This is because the law does not automatically recognise cohabitants (partners who live together) as having the same rights as husbands, wives and civil partners. As a result, even if you’ve lived together for many years, your cohabitant may be left with nothing if you have not made a will.
A will is also vital if you have children or dependants who may not be able to care for themselves. Without a will there could be uncertainty about who will look after or provide for them if you die.
Once you have had a will drawn up, some changes to your circumstances – for example, marriage, civil partnership, separation, divorce or if your civil partnership is dissolved (legally ended) – can make all or part of that will invalid or inadequate. This means that you must review your will regularly, to reflect any major life changes.
Who do you want to leave your assets to? How do you want to divide your property between your loved ones, friends or charities? Are there any conditions you want to attach to these gifts (for example, that young people must reach a particular age before they are paid money you have left them)?
Are you divorced or has your civil partnership been dissolved? Have you remarried or entered into a new civil partnership? Or are you living with someone without being married to them or being their civil partner? Do you have any children or any other dependants? Anyone who depends on you financially can ask a court to review your will if they feel you have not provided properly for them.
If you have any children that may still be under 18 when you die, you may need to name someone as their legal guardian.
Do you have any particular wishes for your funeral? Do you want to be buried or cremated? Are there any other instructions?
You must name the people you want to appoint as ‘executors’ of your will – the people who carry out the administration of your will after your death. These could be friends or family members, or a professional such as ourselves. A good combination would be a friend or family member and a professional. Ideally, you should choose someone who is familiar with financial matters. Make sure you ask your executors whether they are happy to take on this duty as there are long-term responsibilities involved, particularly if you include a trust in your will. It is a good idea to ask someone younger than you are.
Once the will has been drawn up it is not effective until it has been signed. There are several rules affecting the signature process which, if not followed correctly, will make your will invalid. For example, witnesses and their husbands, wives or civil partners cannot benefit under the will. Many people use staff at their solicitor’s office to act as their witnesses to avoid this problem.
It is important to keep your will in a safe place and tell your executors or a close friend or relative where it is. People often ask their solicitor to store their wills for them. We will do this for free.
You should review your will at least every five years and after any major life change such as getting separated, married or divorced, having a child or moving house. It is best to deal with any major changes.
Please click here for costs and service information.