Wills, Probate & Private Client

Our experienced team can assist with sorting your affairs and planning for the future.

Wills, Probate & Private Client

Our experienced team can assist with sorting your affairs and planning for the future.

Wills, Probate & Private Client

Nobody can be sure what the future holds but it is vital to take steps while you are in good health to protect yourself and your family.

Family structures have changed over the years and there are now many unmarried partners, stepchildren and second families. However the law still dictates that only spouses and blood relatives will benefit if you die without a Will.

Making a Will and executing a Lasting Power of Attorney will ensure that your wishes are carried out by people you choose, both after your death and, in case of mental incapacity, during your lifetime.

Many people are concerned about inheritance tax and nursing home fees but these can only be minimised if you act sooner rather than later.

Whatever the situation, our approach is sympathetic and practical. We will give you clear information about costs at the outset and keep you regularly updated on progress.

If you require Will Writing, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection, trust or probate services please get in touch.

To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

You can read more about our probate costs and likely timescales in the “Our Costs” section below.

• Clearly explained costs, often fixed fee
• An experienced, friendly and accessible team
• Lexcel accredited
• Advice from a qualified STEP Practitioner

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    Our Wills, Probate & Private Client Services
    • Will Writing

      A Will is a formally executed document which records how you wish your assets to be distributed on your death. There are strict rules prescribing how a Will should be executed. If they are not followed then your Will may invalid which is why it is important that you instruct a qualified solicitor to write your Will.

      Many people assume that their money and possessions will automatically pass on to their spouse or partner and children. However, this is not always the case. Unmarried partners have no right to inherit unless named in a Will, no matter how long the relationship.

      A Will should:

      • clearly outline how you wish your assets to be distributed.
      • set out who you want to handle your affairs.
      • indicate who should take on the responsibility of caring for your children if they are under 18 or need longer term care.
      • assist with inheritance tax planning and protection against care home fees.
      • prevent future disputes for your family and loved ones.

      Once you have a Will in place you can be reassured knowing that your wishes will be carried out should anything happen to you.

      To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293.


      Inheritance tax is charged on the value of your assets held at your death. With proper preparation and advice, reliefs and exemptions are available. At Bretherton Law our experienced team can advise on the steps to take, whilst you are still living, to minimise inheritance tax, either by making a tax efficient Will or by making gifts during your lifetime. However, these gifts are subject to strict rules and time limits. The earlier you seek professional advice, the more you and your family will benefit.

      You should also review the arrangements you have made regularly as the law and allowances do change.

      To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293.

    • Lasting Power of Attorney

      A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows people of your choosing to manage your financial affairs and to make decisions about your welfare if you become unable to do those things yourself, often because of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

      It is not possible to create an LPA if you become unable to make your own decisions so it is something you should consider putting in place as soon as possible. It does not have to be used immediately and you can run your own affairs and make your own decisions for as long as you are able.

      There are different types of LPA depending on what areas of your life you would like an attorney to deal with. To be valid, an LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

      At Bretherton Law, we can help with all aspects of creating an LPA – from choosing an attorney and deciding what type of LPA is right for you to correctly registering the documentation.

      If you are thinking of making an LPA we offer a free twenty minute consultation.

      To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293.

    • Court of Protection

      If it is too late for a Power of Attorney and a person is unable to make their own decisions because of mental incapacity, you can ask the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to act on their behalf. This could be to manage their financial affairs or to make decisions about their welfare. The deputy is usually a family member, close friend or solicitor.

      At Bretherton Law, we can assist you with the deputy application or with the ongoing responsibilities of acting as deputy such as completing the annual accounts required by the Court of Protection. We can also act as professional deputies.

      We can also assist with applications to the Court of Protection for permission to make a statutory will or to make gifts from the funds of the person who lacks capacity.

      To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 .


      When somebody dies, an appropriate person must collect in their assets, settle any debts and distribute the remainder to the beneficiaries. If there is a valid Will, this task will be undertaken by the Executor. Where there is no valid Will, the intestacy rules set out who must act as Administrator and who will benefit from the estate.

      If the value of the estate exceeds £15,000, a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration will usually be required. This is a document issued by the Probate Registry. An Inheritance Tax Account (short or long form) and Oath must be completed by the Executor or Administrator in order to obtain the Grant.

      At Bretherton Law, we can advise you on the validity of a Will or, if no valid Will exists, guide you through the intestacy rules. We can handle the administration of the estate and advise the Executor or Administrator about the steps they must take to ensure they comply with the law, the deadlines to avoid financial penalties and how to protect themselves from claims. Our expert team are also experienced in preparing Deeds of Variation should beneficiaries wish to vary the distribution of the estate.

      For the recently bereaved, who are faced with administering an estate, we offer a free 20 minute consultation. This consultation will help you understand the probate process. There is no obligation to instruct following the appointment but the consultation will help you to decide on the next steps forward.

    • Resealing a Grant of Probate

      When the documents that give someone the legal right to administer the estate of a deceased person (known as Grant of Probate or Letters or Administration in this country) are issued in a foreign country they will not give the person (s) they are granted to the rights to administer UK based assets unless, they are Resealed by the UK Probate Registry. The process is known as resealing a Grant of Probate.

    • TRUSTS

      People think of trusts as a form of tax planning but they are used primarily to protect vulnerable people and to preserve assets. There are various types of trust and they can be created during your lifetime or by your Will.

      Trusts can be used to safeguard your interests if you’re buying a house with someone, especially if you’re not married. If you’re a grandparent, you might use a trust to provide for your grandchildren’s education. If you have a disabled child, a trust can be set up to ensure that their entitlement to means tested benefits is not affected.

      At Bretherton Law, we can advise you on trust creation as well as assisting with the ongoing work involved such as completing annual Trusts & Estates Tax Returns for HMRC or preparing Deeds for the Retirement and Appointment of Trustees.

      To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293.

    • Our costs

      The Solicitors Regulation Authority requires us to publish certain information about our costs for uncontested probate on our website. We charge this work at an hourly rate (currently £260 plus VAT) but will quote you a fixed fee once we know details of the estate. Our costs range from £1600 for a straightforward estate where we simply obtain the Grant on your behalf to several thousand pounds for full administration of a very complex estate. Please telephone us to discuss your particular circumstances and we will provide an accurate quotation.

      We will inform you if any unforeseen additional work becomes necessary that could increase our quotation, for example because further assets are discovered which cause inheritance tax to become payable.

      VAT at twenty percent and disbursements (payments that we must make to other parties on your behalf) are not included in our fees. Likely disbursements are:


      Probate court fee On application for Grant £273 plus £1.50 per copy
      Notice for Creditors (if required) Once Grant has been obtained Approximately £200 – £300
      Bankruptcy fees Before distribution of estate £2 per beneficiary
      Foreign bankruptcy fee Before distribution of estate Approximately £150
      Office copies Before distribution of estate £3
      Probate court fee On application for grant £273 plus £1.50 for each sealed copy
      Notice for creditors Once grant has been obtained £200 to £300
      Valuation of stocks and shares, property and personal effects On delivery Varying
      Geneologist searches for missing beneficiaries or on intestacy On delivery Varying
      Missing beneficiary insurance On delivery Varying

      Key stages & Timescale

      Although it is hard to generalise, we set out approximate timescales below. Please be aware that we remain reliant on information from third parties e.g. bank/building societies, registrars and creditors. Therefore, unless we have all the information necessary from such institutions, there can be a delay.

      During the administration of the estate, we will update you regularly either by means of telephone, letter or e-mail as you prefer.

      You can see more about our wills & probate team on the Our People page.

      Probate Key Stages Timescale
      Obtaining probate valuations of all assets and debts

      Completing Inheritance Tax Account or Return of Estate Information

      Preparing Legal Statement for the Probate Registry to be signed by personal representatives

      Obtaining Grant of representation

      1 – 3 Months
      Collecting in all assets 1 – 3 Months from date of Grant

    Bretherton Law have been terrific. They have been prompt, informative and were so empathetic. Not every organisation we have had to deal with through this process has been all of those things.

    Bretherton Law handled my father’s death with great delicacy and professionalism throughout every step of my father’s probate and prompt disbursement of monies.

    Bretherton Law have been prompt, efficient and meticulous in the matters they have dealt with on our behalf.

    My phone call was answered quickly and my questions answered promptly and professionally. It made making my will much less daunting. Thank you.

    Fantastic, quick, very helpful. Excellent service, thank you so much.

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