Apart from administering probate, The Probate Bureau Ltd also has an in-house Will Department. We are members of the Institute of Professional Willwriters and appoved by the Office of Fair Trading so you can be assured that you will receive professional, reliable advice.
We are able to offer you a free appointment in your home to discuss the drafting of your Will and recommend the best type of Will for your needs. Making a professionally drafted Will now can save you a considerable sum later on.
Why do I need a Will?
Everybody over the age of 18 who has assets they want to protect should make a Will. The consequences of not doing so are that your estate will be distributed in accordance with government guidelines known as the Rules of Intestacy. This means you have no say whatsoever in who will receive your estate.
Having a Will is particularly important if you have children under the age of 18. If you die intestate and are a single parent, the absence of a Will means that the Local Authority will decide who receives guardianship of your children. This could be a close relative, a distant relative or a local care home. Whereas if you make a Will, you can stipulate to whom you wish to entrust the care of your children; as well as making suitable financial provision for their future.
Another issue that can be dealt with is the Inheritance Tax (IHT) bill due on your death. If your estate is valued at over the current Inheritance Tax threshold (£325,000) then you should seek advice immediately on how you can reduce IHT payable; this could be through your Will, Trust work or estate planning in conjunction with our sister company The Probate Bureau Financial Services Ltd.
As Probate Administrators we often see poorly drafted Wills which do not fulfill their intended purpose, as well as Wills which have been made invalid through lack of legal knowledge. Even worse is the complete absence of a Will in estates where the deceased had no immediate Next of Kin. In these cases the estate often gets distributed between distant relatives such as nephews and nieces or cousins, when those closest to the deceased know that this is not what they would have wanted.
Duties of an Executor
If you are appointed as an executor to an estate, you become responsible for ensuring the administration is carried out correctly. This includes gathering the necessary information and applying for probate as well as dealing with the realisation of assets and the distribution of the estate.
There are financial penalties payable if incorrect information is declared and, if the estate is distributed erronously, the executor can be held personally liable. Therefore, unless the estate is very simple, it is advisable to seek professional legal advice.
If you have been appointed as an executor, we are able to offer free, practical advice on what your responsibilities are and in the event that you decide you do not wish to act, whether because of time constraints or a lack of confidence, we are able to take over your duties.
Sometimes, you may wish to make a small change to your Will or add an additional beneficiary (for example, a new grandchild). However, lots of people don't want to go through the process of rewriting their entire Will when everything else is still correct and up to date.
The way around this issue is to add a 'codicil' to the Will. This method is substantially cheaper than rewriting your Will entirely and allows you to make simple changes such as increasing the amount of a pecuniary legacy or adding a beneficiary.
We understand that people's circumstances change frequently, therefore when you write your Will and store it with The Probate Bureau Ltd we offer a free rewrite every five years.
The Will Department offers a range of services, not just Will writing.
We are also able to advise on the following:
- Drafting of Codicils
- Preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Building a trust into your Will
- Drafting of Loan Instruments
- Inheritance Tax mitigation
- Will dispute resolution
If you are interested in, or require advice on any of the above services, please contact us freephone on 0800 028 2837 and select option 2
Use our handy guide below to see how the Rules of Intestacy apply in your case.