Our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Expertise
Our Wills, Tax, Trusts, and Probate solicitors can help individuals protect their wealth from potential life changes, such as divorce, by providing clear and focused advice with practical solutions. We have expertise when dealing with international wills.
We typically deal with estates with inheritance tax liabilities, both at the Will and planning stage and then at the stage of claiming exemptions when the client has passed away. We make every effort to streamline our inheritance tax service, so the client's experience is as smooth as possible, and you have all the information needed to confidently pay inheritance tax.
Our experienced team of Wills solicitors have dealt with wills involving complex family assets, wills involving extended families, and wills for individuals with high-value estates. We understand the importance of wealth management and succession planning to ensure future generations' security and protect your assets.
All our Wills, Trust and Probate lawyers are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners ("STEP"), an additional qualification in inheritance tax planning and the administration of estates and trusts. Our Wills, Trusts, and Probate team is also highly ranked by the Legal 500.
Bik-ki Wong, Head of the Wills, Trusts, and Probate team, has been recognised as one of the top influential private wealth law lawyers in Manchester 2023 by Business Today, and as one of the best probate and wills lawyers for high-net-worth individuals in the UK in 2023 by Spear's.
We consult with chartered tax advisers and financial planners to ensure we provide accurate capital gains tax and inheritance tax planning advice, so you can rest assured that your financial affairs and estate administration will be properly handled by Myerson's Wills, Trusts & Probate team.
Our Wills, Trust and Probate solicitors can provide expert legal advice and help you with the following WTP issues:
Why Work With Our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team?
- We have been ranked as a Top Tier law firm by the Legal 500 for the last seven years, and Myerson is recognised as a Top 200 UK law firm.
- You will have access to Myerson's full Wills, Trusts, and Probate experts; we have a large team capable of meeting your deadlines.
- When dealing with estates, we never forget that we are dealing with a grieving family, so our solicitors are tactile when handling a deceased person's estate.
- Our Wills, Trusts and Probate lawyers understand that estate administration can be complex, particularly when disputes arise.
- Our Wills, Trusts, and Probate solicitors appreciate that every person's circumstances are different, and our clients have different attitudes to tax saving and the distribution of their estates, so we take the time to find the best way to achieve our client’s aims.
- Our holistic approach means we can spot potential tax-saving opportunities the client may need to know. We can also warn where the client's proposals may lead to unexpected tax liabilities.
- You will receive city-quality trusts, wills, and probate advice at regional prices.
- We provide a partner-led service to ensure you receive the best legal advice and commercially minded support.
- Our personal service will prioritise your best interests as we push to fulfil your and your loved one's wishes. We understand the depth of emotion that matters relating to final wishes can hold, so we provide expert advice, support, and understanding.
- Our full-service law firm operates from a one-site office, so our teams communicate effectively and efficiently, sharing their considerable expertise. We may consult with our family law and property law teams to maintain an efficient and complete service.
- Our Wills, Trusts and Probate team works closely with our contested wills solicitors to ensure you get expert legal advice from specialist solicitors.
- We use the latest technology to ensure that we are working as efficiently as possible, and that geographical distance is no bar to us from providing excellent client service.
- Look at the Myerson Promise for further benefits of working with us here.
Why do I need to make a Will?
A Will is the most important document you will ever make as it disposes of all the wealth you have accumulated during your lifetime; therefore, it is important to take proper advice.
The best place to start is to gather details of your assets, liabilities, and family tree before considering who you would like to provide for.
We can help guide you through this with our Will Questionnaire, which sets out the basics of what you need to make a Will.
It is very important to make a Will as if you do not have one, your estate will be divided up according to intestacy rules, which often results in unwelcome outcomes.
Can an executor of a will also be a beneficiary?
An executor can also be a beneficiary of a Will, but a beneficiary should not act as a witness of the Will; otherwise, they will not be entitled to their inheritance under the Will (unless the Will is still valid without their signature).
A point to note is that an executor is usually appointed as a trustee. If the Will contains a discretionary trust, there may be a conflict of interest as the executor/trustee may wish to exercise their discretion and appoint all the Trust funds themselves.
It is always prudent to consider carefully who should be appointed executor/trustee and, if possible, appoint more than one, as trustees must act unanimously.
What happens if a Will is contested?
There are many grounds on which a Will can be contested. If the Will is contested on the grounds of validity, those issues must be resolved before the Will is proved at the Probate Registry. If a Will is contested on the basis that reasonable provision has not been made for them under the Inheritance Provision (for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, the person challenging the Will has six months from the date of the grant to make a claim.
The Executors should wait nine months and one day before distributing the estate, as an application can be made within six months, but the individual has a further three months to serve the claim. Any distribution before that time means the estate's executors are at personal risk.
How can a trust help with inheritance tax planning?
If you survive seven years from creating a Trust during your lifetime and do not retain any benefit from the Trust, then the assets in the Trust will not form part of your estate for IHT purposes on your death. A Trust can be preferable to give assets away for IHT purposes without giving them outright to beneficiaries who may still be minors or vulnerable. It will allow you to retain control over how the trust assets are dealt with and applied if you appoint yourself as a Trustee.
Trusts in Wills can also help to mitigate IHT. For example, suppose you own business assets or agricultural assets. In that case, you could leave these assets into a trust on the first death to maximise the available reliefs and exemptions, potentially resulting in an overall IHT saving. The Trust can also reduce the value of the estate passing to a surviving spouse, allowing your estate to qualify for other IHT reliefs, such as the Residence Nil Rate Band.
Who can act as a trustee?
In principle, anyone can be a Trustee if they are over 18 and have the mental capacity to act. A Trustee can be the person creating the Trust who wishes to retain control over the trust assets, a Beneficiary (but keep in mind a potential conflict of interest if other beneficiaries are not trustees), a professional person (they will be the most impartial but will charge for acting), any other individual, a company, or a limited liability partnership.
It is important to choose Trustees carefully and trust they have the relevant skills to carry out their duties. You should have a minimum of two trustees and a maximum of four. Trustees must act unanimously, so they need to be able to work together.
How long does it take to administer an Estate?
The administration of the estate consists of many elements, and much of it depends on what assets need to be dealt with, and the time it takes for third parties to respond. The initial steps to obtain the details of assets and liabilities at the date of death usually take several weeks. The next step is to prepare the application for probate, which involves completing an Inheritance Tax (IHT) form setting out the value of the estate. If IHT is payable, a longer form is required, and IHT will need to pay (or the first instalment) before HMRC issues a receipt for you to progress matters with the Probate Registry. Again, this stage will take several weeks.
Once the Probate Registry has issued the grant, the Executors or Administrators can collect the assets and discharge an outstanding liability, including any tax, to the date of death and during the estate administration before distributing the estate. This stage can take a couple of weeks if the deceased's affairs were straightforward and consisted of straightforward assets such as bank accounts. If the estate consists of property or a business, finding a buyer can take much longer. Typically, an estate administration can vary from around six months to a year but longer if the estate is more complicated or there are disputes.
How much will it cost to create a Will?
At Myerson, we provide a bespoke service and advise you on your individual circumstances based on your priorities.
As a guide, we find that mirror Wills without Trust are in the region of £600 to £900 + VAT.
If you require more complicated Wills containing a trust or further advice regarding estate planning or Inheritance Tax mitigation, our charges are from £1600 + VAT.
Check out our probate service costs page for more details.
Meet Our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Lawyers
Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our wills, trusts, and probate lawyers are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.
Bik-ki is a Partner and is Head of our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team
Clara is a Partner in our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team
Laura is a Senior Associate in our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team
Simon is a Senior Associate in our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team
Sarah is a Senior Associate in our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team
Aalia is a Senior Associate within our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team
Hannah is a Solicitor in our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team
Carolyn is a Legal PA in our Wills, Trusts, and Probate Team
Contact Myerson Solicitors
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