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Wills & Probate solicitors

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Our team of experienced Wills and probate solicitors can assist you with any related service, from making a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney to the administration of estates and gifting property our specialists have the expertise to assist you. We are able to assist clients nationwide, there is no need to come into our offices, client meetings can be carried out over the telephone or via video conferencing, whichever contact method suits you best. This allows solicitors and clients to have virtual face to face meetings and provide a high level of personal service. For those people who wish, our solicitors are to provide draft documents using screen sharing facilities. Clients are able to comment on these drafts and they can be immediately amended. We can also use the more traditional approach of sending you draft documents to approve in the post. We will use whatever you feel most comfortable with.

If you would like further information on how we can help you, please call us on 01616 966 229 for a no obligation initial chat with one of our advisors. We have a team of friendly and approachable advisors who are waiting to take your call. They will talk to you about your situation without using legal jargon and they will do their best to make you feel comfortable and at ease. If you don’t want to call us initially you can contact us at a time most convenient to you, anytime of the day or night, through our online enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as we can to see if we can help.

Nationwide Will drafting and probate services

At Stephensons over 80% of our cases are handled without the need for clients to visit our offices. Our Wills and Probate services are no exception with Will drafting and the administration of estates increasingly being taken care of without the need for clients to attend a physical location.

Wills require the person making the Will to sign the document in the presence of two witnesses. These witnesses need to be over 18. They must not be beneficiaries, spouses of the beneficiaries or members of the testators (person making the Will) family. We will give you detailed guidance on how to get the Will properly executed and witnessed. During COVID-19, it is still possible to have a Will witnessed through a window, for instance, and we can explain how this can be done whilst adhering to the social distancing government requirements.

Video meetings

We offer video meetings, using most of the commonly available apps. Not only is this more convenient for you, to save having to come to an office, but it also allows you to conveniently have a family member or friend with you, who also does not need to travel. Sometimes when meeting a solicitor it is useful to have someone else who can ask any questions that you may miss or help you recall something afterwards.

We are happy for you to have someone with you if that makes you feel more comfortable but occasionally we may need to ask them to leave the meeting for a period of time to make sure that we understand your true wishes without outside influence.

Of course you do not have to have anyone with you in meetings and many of our clients do not. We aim to deliver services, whether it be by video, telephone or in the office, in a friendly, approachable and understandable way.

Making a Will

You do not have to come into our offices to make a Will, our solicitors can discuss your requirements and provide personal advice over the telephone or via video conferencing. You will still have the benefit of receiving legal advice and guidance from specialist solicitors which will stop you falling into any of the pitfalls that can cause problems for people who draft their own wills without legal advice.

For people who live more locally to our offices and want face to face advice, after the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed, we will be happy to see you at our offices if that is what you would prefer.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Our specialist solicitors have a wealth of knowledge in advising clients regarding obtaining a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA ensures that, should you be unable to manage your own affairs, the people you have appointed can manage financial affairs and make medical decisions on your behalf. Every adult should have a Lasting Power of Attorney in case of an accident or illness. This can save a great deal of money and distress, and will ensure that, as a vulnerable person, your affairs will be handled correctly and quickly. We can help you with a property and financial affairs LPA which allows your loved ones to deal with paying your bills, buying and selling your property and managing your bank accounts and investments. We can also assist with a health and welfare LPA which covers decisions about health and care.

It is a good idea to take legal advice on creating a Lasting Power of Attorney and we are here to help you with that. We will advise you on the things that you need to consider, draft the documents for you and register the power of attorney. You do not need to come into our office at all and we provide a nationwide service because everything can be done by telephone or video conferencing. But you will get a personal service and our friendly experts will be very happy to answer any questions that you have.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team to discuss any aspect of making a power of attorney please call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

Handling an estate - probate

You may be an executor to a Will or the closest blood-relative of someone who has died, this will clearly be a difficult time and our lawyers can provide help to deal with their estate.

When someone passes away the first thing you need to do is locate the Will. This may be held at the deceased person’s home, solicitors or bank.

Once identified the executors of the estate will then need to obtain a grant of probate. A grant of probate confirms the authority of the executor to administer the estate. Executors are then responsible for concluding the affairs of the person who has passed away and distributing their assets to their heirs.

An application for a grant of probate can be made without the need to visit a solicitor’s office. Our legal experts can complete the probate application form over the phone with you and submit it on your behalf. It is also possible to have a video conference during this process if you would prefer.

If we are appointed as the executor or act for the executors we can communicate with all the beneficiaries remotely and handle the estate without you or any of them having to come to our offices.

Many people are choosing to appoint a solicitor who can handle their affairs without the need to see them face to face as technology often makes this process faster and more convenient.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team to discuss any aspect of making a Will or the administration of an estate please call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

Further information

The advice provided to non-face to face clients will be through electronic or written communication only e.g. by telephone and email. Stephensons Solicitors LLP assumes no responsibility for, and shall not be liable for, (a) verification of mental capacity or testamentary capacity (b) verification of any undue influence or duress involved (c) the execution of any documents.

Solicitors for the Elderly - Accredited

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Why use Stephensons' Wills and probate solicitors?

Stephensons Trust Corporation - executors

Stephensons is one of the few solicitors in the country to operate a Trust Corporation. 

With most firms of solicitors when someone appoints solicitors as executors of their estate in their Will it will actually be the individual partners in the firm. That means that the executor will be a person in the firm who unfortunately could die themselves or become ill or move on to another firm, all of which means that additional costs could be incurred by the estate in appointing another executor. At Stephensons, we recommend that when clients want to appoint Stephensons as executors that they do so through our Trust Corporation, which is a company. Obviously the company can never die, become ill or move on, so it means that there is more consistency and less risk. The actual legal work is still undertaken by the solicitors in the firm to the same high standard. 

Stephensons Trust Corporation - deputies

Generally if solicitors are going to be appointed by the Court of Protection to act as an incapacitated person’s deputy the appointment will be of an individual solicitor at the firm. That solicitor could themselves die, get ill or move onto another firm. At Stephensons when applying to become an incapacitated person’s deputy we apply as Stephensons Trust Corporation. This is a company which cannot die, get ill or move on. The appointment of a trust company has a big advantage over individuals in providing consistency and removing the risk of something happening to the deputy. The actual legal work is still undertaken by the experienced lawyers at Stephensons who provide the same excellent service.

Stephensons Trust Corporation has been appointed as an executor by numerous clients and as a deputy by the Court of Protection. Indeed, being one of the first solicitors firms with a trust company to make applications to the court, we assisted the Court of Protection in creating the rules and practice directions which govern applications by trust companies. 

We believe that having a trust company rather than the appointment of an individual solicitor provides clients and estates with an important additional degree of consistency and longevity.

4.5out of 10
4.5 score on Trustpilot Based on count 1385

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