Probate, Wills, Trusts And Lasting Powers Of Attorney Frequently Asked Questions

Can I book a weekend appointment?

Our offices are open from 9am until 5pm on a Monday - Thursday and until 4.30pm on a Friday.

The Wigston branch is open for booked appointments from 10am - 1pm on the 4th Saturday of the month for Wills, Probate and Family matters.

Please contact us to book an appointment or feel free to drop-in.

Can I give different people different shares of my estate?

Yes, by making a Will, you can set out exactly who is to get what amount. For example, if one child needs more money than another, you can leave them unequal amounts if you wish.

Can the executors and beneficiaries in my Will be the same people?

Yes. In most cases, there is no reason why the people inheriting your estate can't be the same people as those dealing with the practicalities. We can tell you whether this will cause a problem in your particular circumstances.

Does having a Will mean my family won't need Probate?

No. If you have any asset worth over £5,000, any stocks and shares or a property then your executors will usually need to apply for probate. If you don't make a Will, they need to apply for Letters of Administration instead, which is very similar. Unless your assets are all owned jointly with someone else and pass to them automatically, you will need Probate before your estate can be paid out.

How do I make a Will and how much will it cost?

We can offer you a complimentary no-obligation consultation to discuss making or changing your Will. Because we tailor-make your Will for you, the cost will depend on your own particular needs and circumstances.

How do I stop my children inheriting until they are old enough?

If you don't have a Will, anything which your children inherit passes to them at the age of 18. By making a Will, you can determine when your children will inherit, safeguarding the money for a time when they may really need it. You can include a provision saying that your children are not to inherit until they reach 21 or 25 (for example).

Leaving money to charity

The Intestacy Rules don't allow for any gifts to charity out of your estate but by making a Will you can leave a set amount or a percentage of your total estate.

What if I made an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Since 1 October 2007, Enduring Powers of Attorney were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney. However, any existing Enduring Power of Attorney made before 1 October 2007, is still valid but only in respect of Property and Affairs.

What is involved in making a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you’d like us to draft a Lasting Power of Attorney you will need to provide us with the following information:

  • Your full name and any previous names (e.g. maiden name), date of birth, address, telephone number, mobile phone numbers and email address
  • The names and contact details of the person or people you have chosen to act as your attorney(s). (If you want to make both a Personal Welfare and a Property and Affairs LPA, let us know if you want to appoint the same or different attorneys for each).
  • If you choose to appoint more than one attorney, you will need to consider whether you want them to work together or have the ability to work alone.
  • You will also need to tell us if you require any restrictions to be placed on your attorneys, e.g. if there are specific assets you don’t want them to have power over, such as a house. If you have any personal views you want them to take into consideration about medical treatment or care, then this needs to be recorded as well.
When does an LPA take effect?

An LPA cannot be used by the attorney until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Before an LPA can be registered, it is necessary to notify members of your family or friends whose details are in the LPA that it is the intention of your attorney to register the LPA.

Once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, your LPA can be used by your attorney in determining matters to do with your Personal Welfare or Property and Affairs.

Although LPAs are mainly designed to be activated following the loss of mental capacity, a Property and Affairs LPA can also be put into action if you still have mental capacity, but would prefer someone else to deal with such matters for you.

When I appoint an attorney, what do they do?

There are two types of LPA, which allow you to choose someone to act on your behalf as your attorney, in relation to either your Property and Affairs or your Personal Welfare.

If you make a Property & Affairs LPA, your attorney can make decisions about matters such as buying or selling property, managing your bank account or claiming benefits for you. If you make a Personal Welfare LPA, your attorney will be able to make decisions about where you should live, your medical treatment and any day to day care you require.

Who will see my Will?

Your Will is a private document whilst you are alive and will not become a public document until after you die and probate is granted. Anyone can then obtain a copy from the Probate Registry for a small fee.
While you are alive, no-one has any right to see your Will unless you want them to.

Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

When you make an LPA, it allows you to decide who you would like to deal with your affairs in the future, if you are unable or unwilling to deal with them yourself.

Why should I appoint guardians in my Will?

If you have children, you can name guardians to look after them if anything were to happen to you. The choice of guardians is up to you, we are happy to advise you on the factors to consider when making this important decision. If you haven't named anyone to look after your children, it might be that members of your family need to go to court for permission to look after them. In the worst cases, it might mean that your children are taken into care until this is sorted out.

Won't everything just go to my husband/wife?

Not necessarily. The Intestacy Rules set out a strict order of who will inherit what. If you have children, your spouse may not inherit everything you own, whether or not you are close to your children or how wealthy they are in their own right. Your spouse might not even get the house, depending on how much it is worth.