IMPORTANT CORRESPONDENCE NOTE
For ALL correspondence with the firm, we ask you to please send all communications to us by e-mail, where possible; to the intended recipient or to email@example.com. For any documents or correspondence that cannot be sent by e-mail, please inform the intended recipient so arrangements can be made for collection at the office.
At Wells Solicitors, we understand that family matters. When it comes to Family Law, Wells Solicitors offers a prompt and caring service with the highest quality legal advice on matters such as:
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), gives another individual the legal authority to look after specific aspects of your financial affairs, or health and welfare, should you lose the capacity to do so. It's not just for the elderly; younger people may become incapacitated through accident or illness. More and more people are now recognising the importance of putting these in place so that you, the Donor of the Lasting Power of Attorney, have the power to decide who acts for you and makes these important decisions when you are no longer able to do so.
Once these LPAs are in place, your mind can rest easy so that if the worst were to happen, those you trust will be able to act in your best interests. Institutes such as banks, building societies, HMRC, DWP (for all pensions and benefits claims), care homes, local authorities etc will recognise the registered LPAs, allowing your Attorneys to deal with all matters on your behalf and make important decisions for you and always act in your best interests in making those decisions.
If you do not have LPAs in place and for example you had an accident or were diagnosed with dementia, then your family or friends will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order, to be able to act on your behalf. These applications and Orders are more expensive, take longer to put in place and have ongoing costs and fees on an annual bases. However, sometimes there is no option but to apply to the Court of Protection and we are able to help if that is your only option (see below).
Now is the time to act. Put in place LPAs and these will be used by those you trust, to act for you and when you are no longer able to do so. We all hope that these will not be required but if they are, you and your family/friends will be very happy that you have acted now to protect your future. Please telephone to book. an appointment for your own and your family’s/loved ones’ peace of mind.
If you do not have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place and you are no longer able to make your own decisions for whatever reason (due to accident, stroke, temporary or permanent incapacity) then your family/friends or Social Services will have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as Deputies to act on your behalf. The Court of Protection has the power to decide if a person lacks capacity to make decisions for themselves and then decides what is in that person’s best interest. Although the court will usually grant a Deputyship Order for someone to act in relation to Property and Financial affairs, they may not be granted a Deputyship Order to deal with Health and Welfare.
The Court of Protection has to deal with many issues, including Deprivation of Liberty applications (DoLs), whether Attorneys should be removed from post and specific health and welfare applications where no Lasting Power of Attorney is in place or for people who may not have had the capacity to grant an LPA in the first place.
The process to apply to the Court of Protection is more complex and takes longer and is more expensive than putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place. However, sometimes, there is no option other than to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order and we are here to help in those difficult times.
Please telephone if you wish to book an appointment to discuss an application to the Court of Protection.
Have you made a Will? Making a Will gives peace of mind in knowing that you have provided for your family and loved ones.
If you have not made a Will, then the Intestacy Rules dicate what happens to your money, home and other assets. This may not be what you want to happen.
Book an appointment with Wells Solicitors to discuss what would happen if you do not make a Will and who might benefit in those circumstances.
We provide Probate services which deals with the estate of someone who has died.
Wells Solicitors offer various options for assisting you in relation to your Probate needs.
We can offer a comprehensive service dealing with all of the administration of the Estate of your loved one who has passed away or we are able to offer more targeted options where you do some of the work and we will deal with the application for Probate or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will) on your behalf.
We have a dedicated home visit service available to anyone who is unable to attend the office or has mobility problems. This service is provided at no additional cost. We appreciate that some people require this service and we do not believe they should be penalised for needing such assistance.
We anticipate the work to provide a full service in dealing with all matters on your behalf to obtain the Grant, will take between 20 and 50 hours work at between £275 and £295 per hour plus VAT at 20%, depending on who is working on your file. As a guide, costs will usually be between 2% and 4% of the value of the Estate.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range and we may recommend that we deal with this as Obtaining the Grant Only option which is a fixed fee (see fixed fee options). If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, then costs will be at the higher end. We will handle the full process for you. This example of fees is for estates where:
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees.
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 9 to 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes up to 5 months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3 to 6 months. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets after the Estate Accounts have been drawn up and approved.
If there is inheritance tax payable, we will be able to advise you as to how much this is going to be, once we have the details of the value of the Estate, where the deceased is a surviving spouse/Civil Partner and there is property to pass to children, then the value of the estate (once the Transferrable allowances (Nil Rate Bands) are claimed), can currently be up to £950,000 before any inheritance tax is payable. This will depend on individual circumstances and whether there have been any lifetime gifts. The individual Threshold is currently £325,000 per individual before any inheritance tax is payable. Above that figure, there is potentially (subject to any additional allowances mentioned above) tax payable at 40% of assets in excess of the particular threshold.
As an example, if a single person is leaving a property worth £250,000 to nieces and nephews and there are otherwise assets of £200,000 in her estate, making a total net estate of £450,000 then the Nil Rate band of £325,000 will apply to this estate meaning that there will be inheritance tax payable of £50,000 in this estate (£450,000 - £325,000 = £125,000 which is then taxed at 40%).
If on the other hand this lady was a widow and her late husband had left all of his assets to her when he passed away and she was leaving her property to her children, then the Transferable Nil Rate Band (NRB) from her late husband would be available making her allowance up to £650,000 (2 x £325,000 as she is entitled to claim her late husband’s NRB) there would therefore be no inheritance tax payable on the Estate as she has an allowance of £650,000 available to her and her Estate would be £450,000.
Please note that all inheritance tax is payable before a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are issued (but if there is someone living in the property, the inheritance tax can in those circumstances be paid in 10 equal annual instalments which incur interest).
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf and then you will administer the Estate yourself. You will provide us with the information we need to be able to do this for you as a fixed fee option.
TOTAL: fixed fee of £1,500 plus VAT at 20% and disbursements (see below) or £2,500 plus VAT at 20% and disbursements, depending on the extent of the Estate and if a full account is to be submitted to HMRC with inheritance tax payable and whether an application has to be made for the Residence Nil Rate Band.
Legal fees £1800 to £3,000 including VAT at 20% depending on the extent of the Estate.
The Total Disbursements will of course depend on how many searches for bankruptcy are carried out, how many official copies of the Grant you require and if for example it were necessary to swear an oath in making the application. We have no control over the disbursements, as these are fees charged by third parties (such as the Court) but which are necessary to enable the application to proceed.
Our team has over 55 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to Wills and Estate Administration.
Kate Wells is the head of our Probate, Wills and Trusts department along with Alison Brotherton, Helen Thomas and our Consultant David who has over 30 years of Estate Administration experience, who may also work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, Kate Wells will be in overall charge of your file and you may contact any of us working on your file, to assist.
Kate Wells – Principal
Kate is the head of the team and has more than 10 years' experience in private client work, specialising in wills and probate. Prior to that, Kate has had expertise in Family Law and Housing Law at Central London Law Centre. Kate has also completed several professional development courses in probate and estate administration.
Alison Brotherton – Family Law Specialist
Alison qualified as a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives in 1995. Alison is the head of our Family Department and as some of her clients wish her to continue to act for them in regards to their Private Client cases, she deals with Probate matters at her clients’ request, having gained experience over the last five years. This is in addition to her main area of work which is Family and Matrimonial Law.
Helen – Office Manager and Legal Secretary
Helen is an integral part of the team and will work on files on occasion, to assist the team when required. She has a good working knowledge of Probate and Estate Administration department having been a legal secretary for over 20 years.
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service, we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues. if you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure - please telephone the Upminster Office on 01708 251560 or the Camberley Office on 01276 538305 to request the same. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00.
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, disability, or other characteristic.
Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
This Notice is issued by Wells Solicitors of Suite 4, Station Road, Upminster, RM14 2SJ and 5 Green Lane, Blackwater, Camberley, Surrey, GU17 9DG, to all clients.
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under Registered Number 534660.
How information about you will be used
The personal data we collect will be used for the following purposes: -
Our legal basis for processing the personal data
Consent if required for Wells Solicitors to process your personal data but it must be explicitly given. Where we are asking you for sensitive personal data we will always tell you why and how the information will be used. By consenting to this Privacy Notice you are giving us permission to process your personal data specifically for the purposes identified. You may withdraw consent at any time by completing the Subject to Access Request which will be provided on request.
Wells Solicitors will only pass on your personal data to third parties where it is relevant to your legal matter. You will have given us consent when you instructed us to act on your behalf. We will not pass on your details to any third parties for marketing purposes.
Wells Solicitors will continue to process your personal data for as long as your file remains open and we will store personal data for a minimum of 6 years.
During the course of our instructions you have the following rights: -
Complaints about your personal data
In the event that you wish to make a complaint about how your personal data is being processed by Wells Solicitors you a right to lodge a complaint directly to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) on (0303) 1231113, or write to Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or email on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Principal at Wells Solicitors namely Kathleen Ellen Wells.
If you need any further information you can email us at email@example.com or write to us at Suite 4, Essex House, Station Road, Upminster, RM14 2SJ or check our website at Wells-Solicitors.co.uk.
5 Green Lane
SRA Number 534660
Head Office: Suite 4, Essex House, Station Road, Upminster, RM14 2SJ