Wills & Probate
At Andrew Kingston & Co., we regard our Wills and Probate Department as a vital part of our service to our clients throughout Hull and East Yorkshire, and indeed across the country. It was once said that the only certain things in life are death and taxes – tax we will happily leave to be dealt with by our friends in the Accountancy profession!
Everyone should make a Will. Without one, the Law decides who should inherit your property, and the results can come as an unpleasant shock to your family at a time when they need comfort, not more to worry about. We will give you straightforward advice and a prompt and efficient service at a competitive price.
Beware the home-made Will, on a form bought from the stationery shop. Get one thing wrong, and your Will may turn out to be invalid, or not to mean what you intended. Worse, it may well land your family with a Court case to sort matters out!
You may already have a Will, but there are many instances when you will need to review it. Once you have signed your Will, you will often put it to the back of your mind and forget about it, so you may not realise that your Will needs updating.
Some of the circumstances when you should consider updating your Will are:
- You are cohabiting with a new partner and wish to make provision for them.
- You jointly own a property and wish to choose who should have your share of the property after your death (please see further information below on “Severance of Joint Tenancy”).
- You have a partner but are not married and wish to make provision for them.
- You have married since your Will was drafted. Unless you referred to your marriage plans in your current Will, your subsequent marriage will invalidate the Will.
- You have divorced since your Will was drafted. Unlike marriage, divorce does not invalidate your Will, but it cancels any mention in it of your former wife, husband or civil partner. Therefore any provision you have made for them will lapse.
- You have new children or grandchildren who are not included in your Will.
- Your estate has changed in value since your Will was drafted.
- You have fallen out with your beneficiaries or executors or they have died.
- You are now a single parent and wish to appoint a guardian for your children.
We are Members of the National Free Wills Network. This means that if you support a particular charity who are part of the Network and they have issued you with a yellow confirmation form, we will be able to prepare your Will or pair of Wills for you and the National Free Wills Network will pay our charges for doing so, provided that the Will or Wills are straightforward. If there might be any additional charge we will, of course, discuss that with you before proceeding further.
Our fee to prepare a straightforward Will is £100.00 plus V.A.T. (a total of £120.00). If a couple make similar Wills at the same time, we charge £150.00 plus V.A.T. (a total of £180.00) for the two Wills.
If we have previously prepared a Will and you wish to make a simple change by way of a Codicil, our fee is £50 plus V.A.T. (a total of £60.00). If a couple make similar Codicils at the same time, we charge £75.00 plus V.A.T. (a total of £90.00) for the two Codicils.
A home or hospital visit is charged at £25.00, plus travelling expenses, plus V.A.T.
Severance of Joint Tenancy
When you own a property jointly with another person, it is possible to own the property in one of two ways, either as:
- “Joint Tenants”, or
- “Tenants in Common”.
These are legal terms and cause a lot of confusion, as they have nothing to do with being tenants in the ordinary sense of renting a property.
If you own the property as Joint Tenants, you each own the whole of it. If one of the Joint Tenants should die, their share of the property automatically passes to the other Joint Tenant. A Joint Tenant cannot leave their share of the property to anyone else, through their Will.
If you own the property as Tenants in Common, you each own a separate share, and the shares do not have to be equal. This can be useful, for instance, when one party is contributing more to the purchase price than the other. The main benefit of owning a property as Tenants in Common is that you can leave your share of the property through your Will. This enables you to leave your share to someone other than the joint owner.
It is possible to sever a Joint Tenancy so as to enable you to leave your share of the property through your Will. Our fees for severing a Joint Tenancy are £50.00 plus V.A.T. (a total of £60.00) and a £3.00 Land Registry fee.
Probate and Estate Administration
Here at Andrew Kingston & Co. we know that the death of a loved one can be an extremely upsetting time. Often the last thing that you want to have to do is deal with the estate. This is when we can help. We will deal with your case sensitively and efficiently and will guide you through this difficult task. Whether you want us to deal with the administration of the whole estate or just certain aspects of it, we are here to help in any way that we can.
Our charges for this work are calculated in a fully transparent way, at our standard hourly rate. We do not add an extra charge according to the value of the Estate. We also offer a fixed fee if you only want us to obtain the Grant for you, leaving you to deal with the administration of the estate from then on.
Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
You don’t have to use a Solicitor to take out a Grant of Probate, or Letters of Administration if there is no Will. However, most people choose to do so, to get everything resolved with the least amount of upset and disruption. This can be the most difficult aspect of administering an estate, hence why many people will use a professional.
We will take the worry out of this for you. We will deal with everything from drafting the oath and arranging to get it sworn to drafting the often complex inheritance tax forms.
Our fee to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is £500.00 plus V.A.T. (a total of £600.00). There is also a fee of £155.00 payable to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, plus 0.50 pence for every additional copy of the Grant/Letters that you require. The fee to swear the oath is £7.00 for Probate, or £5.00 for Letters of Administration, for each Executor or Administrator. We will also have to carry out an Anti-Money Laundering Search, costing £6.00 including V.A.T. for each Executor or Administrator.