PROBATE FEE GUIDE
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Wills & Powers of Attorney

THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING A WILL

A primary purpose of making a will is to ensure that your assets and possessions (describing your estate) pass to the people and organisations (your beneficiaries) of your choice.  In most cases, this will be family members or close friends and perhaps charities which you wish to support.

Your estate includes your all of your personal possessions, as well as assets such as:

  • Property (in the UK or overseas), including land

  • Savings and financial investments 

  • Insurance funds

  • Pension funds 

In addition, perhaps you may have a business which you own entirely or with others.

If you die without a valid will (known as dying intestate), your estate will be distributed strictly according to the rules of intestacy.  Under these rules, only married partners, civil partners and certain close relatives can receive an inheritance for your estate.  Furthermore, the detail of those distributions will also be determined according to those rules.   Therefore, an unmarried partner or a partner outside a civil partnership, does not have the right to inherit even if you have been living together and will receive no part of your estate directly.

In order to avoid this, and to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your own wishes, it is necessary to make a will.

A will is particularly important if you:

  • Own property or a business in your own name

  • Have children

  • Have savings, investments or insurance policies

  • Have specific items of value

INDICATION OF FEES

The fees for making a Will depend largely upon the complexity of your estate.  For a single, straightforward will, the fee is £800 +VAT.   

 

Where the estate is more complex, requiring significantly more advice and input, the fees could be in the region of £3,500 +VAT.

Please note that we do not offer tax advice.  We are, however, in a position to suggest possible ways to mitigate future IHT exposure where possible.

LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which grants the power to others (known as "attorneys") to manage your personal and financial affairs on your behalf.

You (the "donor") choose the people who can act on your behalf , assuming that you have the capacity to do so.  Not everybody can act as an attorney, for example, nobody under the age of 18 can take on the role, nor can somebody who is bankrupt take on the role in relation to your financial affairs.  Generally, however, the "barring" conditions are relative narrow.  Most donors will, of course, choose to appoint a family member or a very close, trusted friend, to act in this way.  The emphasis is always that the person or people chosen have the absolute trust of the donor.

An LPA can take effect either immediately upon registration or upon the donor losing capacity.   

TYPES OF LPA

There are two types of formal LPAs

  • Health and welfare.  This gives you the right to nominate attorneys to help manage your healthcare in the event that you fall ill and cannot communicate your preferences at the time.  Without this provision, you may be subjected to treatments that you would not have voluntarily chosen.  Furthermore, the LPA enables you to record in advance your preferences for types of treatment and wishes regarding how and where any care might be given.  For example, you may make it known that your preference is to remain in your own home for as long as possible as opposed to entering any form of residential care.

  • Property and financial affairs.  In this case, you nominate a trusted representative, or individuals, to manage your financial affairs located in England and Wales. There is a considerable degree of flexibility in terms of formulating the operating requirements of such LPAs.   Generally, the LPA stipulates that control of your financial affairs passes to your attorney(s) once you lose capacity and whilst you have the capacity at your direction.  You can, however, create a more comprehensive document granting powers for specific events and time periods, for example, if you are out of the country or otherwise are incapacitated for a period.  You can further provide guidance and restrictions for how your attorneys can act and make decisions.  For example, yo may be happy to allow your attorneys to extend or renew a mobile phone contract on your behalf and to arrange house and car insurance, but you may wish them to engage a professional firm to manage some or all of your financial investments.  

LEGAL FEES

  • The fee for a single property and financial affairs LPA is £600 +VAT

  • The fee for a pair of similar property and finacial affairs LPAs is £1,000 +VAT

  • The fee for a pair of similar property and financial affairs LPAs together with a pair of similar health and welfare LPAs is £1,800 +VAT

INDICATIONS OF OTHER COSTS

The cost of registering an LPA in England and Wales is currently £82 (certain exemptions or reductions occur in some cases)

 

Pamela Clemo & Co | 146 Coombe Lane West  Kingston-upon-Thames  Surrey KT2 7DE
 
Telephone:  +44 (0) 208 336 6160  |  Email: client@pamelaclemo.com

Pamela Clemo & Co. Solicitors is registered with the Law Society of England & Wales & regulated and authorised by the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority  (http://www.sra.org.uk)  SRA Number : 45134