Wealth Management

Will, Trusts and Probate

Acting for individuals, families, estates, trusts and family businesses, Vyman can assist with legal issues relating to Wills, Trusts and ownership of property, and Probate.

We specialise in:

We are experienced in drafting Wills and ensuring that your legacy is passed on to your loved ones or the charities of your choice. A Will provides assurance and guides those who you leave behind. If you do not leave a Will then the government will decide who benefits from your estate and in what proportions.

Vyman are here to help provide you with practical and affordable Wills and Probate advice to direct your assets and business interests to those you wish. You may make specific gifts of cash, or specific items to named individuals or to a charity of your choice. You can also express your funeral wishes. If you have minor children you can also set out who you would like to act as their guardians on your death. You can help avoid family disputes, reduce or minimise inheritance tax and reduce financial and other problems for beneficiaries.

It is a good idea to review an existing Will at least every three to five years to keep it in line with any changes in your family or financial circumstances and any changes in the law.

We work with accountants and financial advisers to implement plans drawn up to deal with estates in a tax efficient manner.

We have experience of drawing up and filing Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) so that a person’s affairs can be dealt with in the event of mental incapacity. There are two types of LPA: (1) property and financial affairs and (2) health and social welfare.

The legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate whether there is a Will or not is called Probate. We have extensive experience of obtaining grants of Probate or letters of administration and dealing with deceased estates. We also have experience of obtaining Probate where the person involved has foreign assets.

We understand that disputed Wills and estates can be very stressful. Our experts will work closely with you to bring any dispute to a favourable resolution quickly and cost-effectively. Find out more on Dispute Resolution.

Trusts can be used for a number of purposes such as tax planning and the protection of assets and family members. We can advise and assist on the creation of settlements, either during your lifetime or in your Will. We are also experienced in dealing with the ongoing administration and running of Trusts.

Contentious Probate is any dispute with respect to the administration of a deceased person’s estate, be it a dispute over the value of the deceased’s assets, the interpretation of a will, or dealing with difficult executors or beneficiaries disagreeing over their share of the deceased’s estate. Our litigation team can assist with all aspects of contentious Probate matters. Read more on Dispute Resolution

Our Probate department can advise and assist on all aspects of estate administration.

We appreciate that this can be a difficult and emotional time for those involved. We have an experienced team who undertake a range of non-contentious Probate work in a focused and sympathetic manner.  This work will be supervised by one of three Directors each with over 20 years’ experience, Solicitors with at least 5 years experience in this field or a Consultant with 25 years’ experience. These fee-earners are also often assisted, where necessary, by Paralegals, Trainees and Support Staff.

Our charges for non-contentious Probate are based on a range of factors depending on the specific circumstances of the matter. Factors that will affect the estimate provided include the size of the estate, whether or not Inheritance Tax is payable, and whether or not the deceased left a Will. Our charges can be over £30,000 + VAT but usually are in the range of £2,000 to £8,000 + VAT. These estimates are calculated with reference to the fee earner’s experience/hourly rate and cover all of the work needed to deal with the whole of the administration of an estate, including valuing the assets and applying for a Grant of Representation, collecting in the assets and then distributing them to the beneficiaries.

When instructed, we will advise you of the fee earner’s hourly rate and give you an estimate of the number of hours that we estimate it will take to complete your matter.

These costs will not include taxes that may be incurred on death or during the administration of an estate, such as Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax. These taxes, where applicable, will be payable in addition to our professional fees and disbursements.

In straight-forward estates where:

  • there is a valid Will;
  • there is not more than one property;
  • the rest of the estate consists of cash;
  • there are no other intangible assets (such as shares and investments);
  • there are 1 to 4 beneficiaries;
  • there are no disputes between beneficiaries on the division of estate assets. If any disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs;
  • there is no Inheritance Tax payable and the Executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC;
  • there are no claims made against the estate;
  • the estate is entirely situated in the UK and the Executors are based in the UK.

Our costs for completing the administration of straight-forward estates typically range between £2,000 and £4,000 + VAT.

Our charges will be greater where:-

  • The deceased did not leave a valid Will or the validity of the Will is disputed;
  • There is Inheritance Tax to pay, a full account needs to be delivered to HMRC and we may need to liaise or negotiate with HMRC to conclude the Inheritance Tax position of the estate
  • We are also instructed to complete a Tax Return, or to instruct a third-party, on behalf of the estate in relation to any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due
  • The estate consists of shareholdings and more than one property. The costs for dealing with these assets will vary depending on the number, value and what you want to do with such assets.

Dealing with the sale or transfer of estate assets is not included in the above estimates and we shall provide you with separate estimates for dealing with these matters.

Our estimates do not include the costs of disbursements which will be payable in addition. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Court fees or accountants. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Such disbursements commonly incurred in the administration of an estate are:-

  • Grant of Probate Court application fee – £155. Official copies of the Grant can be obtained for 50p per copy.
  • Swearing of the Oath fee (per Executor) – £7
  • Bankruptcy search fee (per beneficiary) – £2
  • Post in the London Gazette – to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors – in the region of £95 + VAT
  • Post in a local newspaper – also to protected against unexpected claims – in the region of £75 + VAT.
  • Will search fee – where there is doubt that the Will is the last Will of the deceased – in the region of £95 + VAT.
  • Fee for third party professional to complete a tax return on behalf of the estate – we will advise you if a Return needs to be completed and obtain a quote for you.

A straight-forward estate such as the one we have described above will normally take around 6 to 8 months to administer fully. Typically obtaining the Grant takes around 3 to 4 months and the collection of the assets, payment of debts, and distribution of the estate takes a further 3 to 4 months.

If the estate is larger in value, complex, requires a full Inheritance Tax Account and associated enquiries then the estate can typically take around 12 months if not more to conclude.

In certain cases, which we will discuss with you, instead of, or in addition to, our hourly rates, we may charge a percentage of the estate value.

For all enquires relating to Wills, Trusts and Probate, please call 020 8427 9080 or email  info@vyman.co.uk