Wills and Probate
Walter Jennings & Son have a hugely experienced team dealing with all aspects of wills and probate matters including a full estate administration service We can also advise and assist in contested or litigious probate matters
We provide an extremely professional, personal and effective service in these areas.
We are aware that drafting of a will itself can be a difficult and at times unsettling process for many clients. Additionally it is certainly a time when careful thought and detailed instructions are needed. We ensure that appropriate time is available to be certain that our clients’ wishes are, wherever possible, carried out in terms of the drafting of their wills.
We ensure that estate administration is carried out quickly, cost-effectively, and in a way that reduces the distress and burden on surviving relatives at what is necessarily a very difficult time for them.
We have access to a wide range of external expertise if it is necessary in relation to tax planning, accountancy advice and other linked areas.
We hold a large number of original wills in secure storage where they are protected from fire, flood and other damage. There is no charge for the storage of wills and other documents by the firm.
We advise clients to regularly review their wills in the event of any life-changing event and suggest that at least once every five years a review is undertaken. Situations often change within families and as life changes occur it is very important in our view that you review the provision you propose to make for those nearest and dearest to you.
It is still surprising that a very large number of people die without having made a will. We have seen first-hand the adverse impact this can have in so many ways. It can make administration of an estate more complex. It often leads to increased costs. It often increases the likelihood of a dispute and of course can mean that all or part of an estate passes in accordance with the rules of intestacy rather than in accordance with the wishes of the person who has died.
Our fees for drafting a standard will (not involving the setting up of a trust) are generally £250 plus VAT. That fee can be reduced if more than one will is being drafted at the same time for spouses or others closely connected to each other.
Where a trust is required our standard fee for the drafting of such a will would be £450 plus VAT.
We are though content to consider reduced fees if the wills are extremely simple. There may be occasions when it is necessary to charge more. For example if a will is particularly complicated and or it requires specialist tax planning. We can provide accurate estimates and/or quotes for work once we have had an opportunity to speak with our clients about their precise requirements.
Similarly in estate administration we endeavour at all times to keep the costs of the administration to a minimum. This can be done in a number of ways. Firstly we seek to charge only the Law Society recommended rates in relation to estate administration such as they are varied from time to time. On occasions we waive any estate percentage that would otherwise be applied if the estate is straightforward.
On other occasions some work can be done by lay executors which is can significantly reduce the burden in terms of cost on the estate. We would only suggest that if firstly the executors were willing and able to do the work and secondly it was cost-effective for them to do so.
Where appropriate we use support staff to carry out administrative tasks which significantly reduces the time spent by partners/senior solicitors and can then ensure a further saving in terms of costs. All work though is of course supervised by a fully qualified solicitor.
Do contact us if you have a potential probate matter or require further information.