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I need help to grant power of attorney

Powers of Attorney are a versatile and common means of delegating authority to a trusted individual in relation to a specific matter. You can put a simple power in place for short periods, but the best way to ensure your affairs are managed is to register a lasting power of attorney form with the Court of Protection.

On 1 October 2007, Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPAs) replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) as the primary way of appointing a decision-maker to act on behalf of a person in the event of a loss of mental capacity. There are two types of LPA and we can assist you with preparing either or both, depending on your circumstances. Alternatively, if you are an elected attorney, we can also assist you in the administrative process of a LPA.

The two types of LPAs are as follows:

  1. An LPA that grants authority to deal with property and financial affairs

This type of LPA may be sought to allow a chosen attorney to manage investments, or sell property on behalf. The chosen attorney(s) can use the LPA whilst you still have capacity, unless otherwise specified.

  1. An LPA that grants authority to deal with health and welfare

For example, this type of LPA may be sought by a family member who wishes to appoint another family member to make decisions on their behalf should they lack mental capacity at some point in the future, or no longer wish to make decisions themselves. Crucially, this type of LPA can only be used once the person making the LPA has lost capacity.

Vardags are well versed in preparing both types of LPA application and successfully registering them with the Office of the Public Guardian.

The first step is to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors.

Overview

Probate is the entire process for managing and distributing the assets of a person who has died. We understand that bereavement can be a very emotional event and our supportive team will help you every step of the way.

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Our Probate Solicitor, Claire Trotel, has a wealth of experience handling work relating to the administration of estates; drafting of Wills; estate planning; and Powers of Attorney. During her career, Claire has been involved in many high value and complex estate administration cases involving UK and international assets.

What Does Our Probate Service Provide?

We offer a full estate administration service, guiding you through the process from start to finish. The service would typically include:

  • An initial meeting to take your instructions.
  • A review of the deceased’s Will, or where there is no Will, guidance on the application of the Intestacy Rules, advising on who can administer the estate, as well as identifying beneficiaries and highlighting any issues that may affect the Grant of Probate/ Letters of Administration.
  • Identifying and investigating the assets and liabilities of the estate, including arranging professional valuations of property, investments and other assets.
  • Calculating the initial inheritance tax that is due.
  • Preparing probate papers and tax forms.
  • Liaising with HMRC in relation to the Inheritance Tax liability of the estate, and arranging the payment of inheritance tax.
  • Applying for and obtaining the Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry.
  • Assembling together the assets of the estate and/or transferring them to the beneficiaries.
  • Handling any income or capital gains tax liabilities of the estate.
  • Arranging the preparation of the final estate accounts.
  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries either directly or via a lifetime or will trust.

What is the Cost of Applying for Probate?

The exact cost depends on the individual circumstances of the matter, including:

  • The size of the estate.
  • The complexity of the estate as well as the deceased’s financial affairs, including whether there is a large number of bank accounts, stocks or other investments.
  • If the estate includes foreign assets, trusts, or business interests.
  • Whether the deceased left a Will (and how well it was drafted), or whether the estate passes under the Intestacy Rules.

We charge based on the time spend administering the estate. Our hourly rates are between £205 to £245 plus VAT for trainees and £495 plus VAT for solicitors.

We can only provide an estimate of the likely costs of our probate services once we have fully discussed the matter with you and reviewed the paperwork. However, we can provide an indication of our likely fees associated with work of varying complexity.

Low complexity - from £10,000 to £20,000 plus VAT

Mid complexity - from £20,000 to £40,000 plus VAT

High complexity - in excess of £50,000 plus VAT

Disbursements

In addition to our fees, there are also third party costs (known as “disbursements”). We handle these payments on your behalf, to ensure that the administration progresses smoothly and efficiently.

Examples of these fees are as follows:

 

Probate court fee

 

£155 plus £1.50 per copy

Advert posted in the London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

£92 plus VAT

Advert posted in local newspaper – This helps to protect against unexpected claims.

Variable

Landmark Financial Assets Search

(Lost Assets Search)

£155 plus VAT

Copy of death certificates (per copy)

£11-15

Copy of divorce papers

£10 – £45 depending on whether court and case number known

 

Potential Additional Costs

Additional costs to those set out above may arise for various case specific reasons, including, but are not limited to:

  • Any challenge including those relating to the validity of the Will, entitlement to the grant of probate, and by beneficiaries and third parties in relation to any distribution to be made, or that has been made.
  • Liaising with lawyers, accountants or representatives regarding any overseas elements of the estate.
  • Litigation involving the estate as a claimant or defendant.
  • Obtaining legal services to sell estate assets; and
  • Arranging tax advice outside of the service set out above (for example, working with an accountant in relation to income tax or capital gains tax returns).

How Long Does Probate Take?

On average, estates that fall under the inheritance tax threshold are resolved within 12 to 18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6 to 8 months, followed by the collection of assets, which can take between 8 to 12 weeks. Once this has been finalised, the assets can be distributed, which normally takes 4-8 weeks. Sometimes estates can be finalised much quicker, depending on the turnaround times at HMRC and the probate registry.

Higher value and more complex estates (especially if the distribution of the estate is disputed) can take far longer to finalise.




Is Vardags Right For You?

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

When you contact us a member of our client relations team will take the full details of your situation, assess whether we can assist you, and if so, determine the best team for your case. 

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