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Wills & Probate services in Chester and the surrounding areas

Wills & Probate Solicitors

Expert Wills and Probate solicitors in Chester providing specialist practical legal advice on all aspects of will writing, probate matters, inheritance disputes and challenging wills.

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How we can help?

Careful Estate planning can help prevent the above problem and reduce the stress and cost of the whole process.  All of our advice is tailored to your individual needs however simple or complicated your affairs may be.

Our Private Client department can assist you with the following matters:

  • Making a simple straightforward will;
  • Making a complicated will;
  • Will storage and updates or codicils;
  • Estate Planning;
  • Inheritance Tax Planning;
  • Trust matters;
  • Deeds of variation;
  • Home visits are available for wills in Chester, Cheshire, Wrexham, Liverpool and Warrington for an additional small charge.

To discuss your personal circumstances in a free initial consultation, contact one of our will writing Chester solicitors today.

Why choose our Will Writing Service?

While it’s possible to quickly draw up a will online without the need to speak to a legal advisor, this isn’t always the best course of action. Due diligence isn’t always a priority with online wills so they have an increased risk of being invalid.

Our experienced will and probate specialists will ensure that your will takes care of every detail, that your loved ones are fully provided for, and that potential problems are addressed.

Our Will Writing service will make certain that you correctly specify whom you wish to inherit your estate and the proportions that they will receive. You can make specific cash legacies for other family members and friends as well as charitable organisations.

A will allows you to appoint guardians for young children rather than the decision being left to the Courts. It can allow you to set up maintenance trusts for children that protect their inheritance until they reach a specific age. You can ensure that any inheritance for your children or other beneficiaries is protected should your surviving partner remarry.

Your will can also make sure that your share of a property does not have to be sold to pay for a surviving partner’s future care fees, ensuring that there are still assets in place to leave to your family.

A will can also help reduce your Inheritance Tax liabilities so that your chosen beneficiaries receive more of your estate than the government.

Whether you’re looking for straightforward mirror wills for you and your partner or have more complex financial affairs that will require a more detailed will, Freeman Jones can help. Home visits are available for wills in Chester, Cheshire, Wrexham, Liverpool and Warrington for an additional small charge.

Estate Planning

As well as making a Will you may wish to consider Estate Planning to ensure that your affairs are properly managed when you die. Everyone who dies will have an Estate of some sort, even if that Estate is very small. If you own property and have savings, then Estate Planning is strongly recommended.

Working out the most effective ways to leave money in your will before you pass away helps to make the lives of loved ones easier after your death. It can also protect the value of your estate for your beneficiaries while reducing the impact of Inheritance Tax.

Our trusted and experienced team will help you draw up an estate plan that clearly details your wishes for when you’re gone and how you would like your estate to be managed. An estate plan will estimate your net worth by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. It will make sure that all of the necessary documentation is in place to administer your estate and distribute it among your beneficiaries in line with your wishes after your death. Without the correct documentation, your Will may not be legally binding.

A detailed estate plan will give you an accurate overview of your assets. This will help you make more informed decisions about how to provide for your loved ones.

We can also make sure that you pass on your assets effectively, helping to reduce your overall Inheritance Tax liability after your death. A detailed estate plan gives you complete control over your affairs and the confidence that when you die your wishes will be respected and enacted.

All of our estate planning advice is tailored to your individual needs however simple or complicated your affairs may be. We will help reduce the stress and cost of the whole process.

Inheritance Dispute Solicitors

Disputes about the contents of Wills can arise for a wide variety of reasons. Most commonly, someone who expected to inherit and then didn’t may feel that the Will was invalid. In the case of a parent, a dispute may arise if one or more siblings receive a greater share than the others.

When someone dies without a will the laws of intestacy are applied. The current spouse of the deceased will inherit automatically but if there is no spouse, the children of the deceased will inherit equally. This can cause difficulties and potential disputes if the deceased has remarried or if a sibling from whom the family has been estranged for some time receives an equal share.

A relative who was close to the deceased such as a sibling, cousin, nephew or niece, or long term friend, who helped them during their later years may not benefit from the estate. They may believe that the deceased would have made then a beneficiary of a will perhaps having received a verbal undertaking from the deceased when they were alive.  Getting to the bottom of these issues can be challenging and requires sensitive legal support.

Second marriages, step-children and general shifting family dynamics can all lead to potential disputes. Disagreements about the distribution of the estate between the deceased’s first family and their subsequent family are not uncommon if the deceased hasn’t updated their will.

The overall validity of the will may also be in question. A relative may feel that a will was produced under duress or that someone close to the deceased had an undue influence. Perhaps the deceased was vulnerable at the time the will was made and a relative may feel they were not fully capable of making informed decisions.

If you have questions about a Will or feel that you have been unfairly left out of a Will, then Freeman Jones can help. We can also advise if a Will to which you are a beneficiary is being challenged.

Inheritance Disputes require sensitive handling from experienced legal professionals and with our extensive experience, we will provide confidential advice to help bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.

Freeman Jones Solicitors are a law firm providing expert legal advice in this specialist area of law and all other types of contentious probate cases.

Our wills and probate solicitors can help you with:

  • Will disputes where it is alleged the testator/testatrix lacked sound mind (mental capacity);
  • Disputed wills where undue influence is alleged;
  • Wills disputes concerning on allegations of fraud or the requisite formalities not being adhered to and followed;
  • Inheritance Disputes – Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (IPFDA) Claims;
  • Disputes involving executors or trustees including their removal from the probate process and breach of their fiduciary duties;
  • Disputes over Powers of Attorney;
  • Professional negligence claims against solicitors and will writing companies concerning negligently drafted wills;
  • Other Contentious trust and probate cases;
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney – Financial & Property Affairs;
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney – Health and Welfare;
  • Court of Protection and deputy-ship matters;
  • Obtaining a grant of probate;
  • Obtaining a grant of letters of administration;
  • Administering an estate.

Probate Services

When someone you love dies it is an incredibly stressful time. If you’re named as the Executor of the deceased’s estate you will also have to take care of a large amount of administration. The probate process can seem complicated, even with fairly simple estates. With larger estates and more complex financial affairs, the probate process can be long and involved with lots of potential for errors.

At Freeman Jones, we provide a complete probate service for our clients. We tailor our approach to the particular needs of every client and estate. We can provide basic support to assist with the process or a complete probate service that takes care of every aspect of the process allowing you the time to grieve for your loss.

The complete process has a number of steps that the executor or their legal representative needs to carry out. Firstly, they have to gather the full details of the estate’s assets and debts. They then need to apply for the Grant of Probate, complete an inheritance tax return and then pay any tax that is due. After the Grant of Probate is received, any outstanding debts will need to be settled and the rest of the estate distributed in accordance with the instructions set out in the Will.

Probate may also be complicated if any disputes arise between the executor, the beneficiaries of the will, HMRC or creditors.

Freeman Jones will help you negotiate the process ensuring that all the details are taken care of, minimising the risk of delays or problems, and helping to resolve any disputes.

Powers of Attorney

Power of attorney is a legal document allowing someone who you trust to make responsible decisions for you or to act on your behalf if you’re no longer able to, or no longer want to, make your own decisions.

This might be temporary if for instance you are incapacitated or in hospital and need help with everyday tasks such as paying bills. Alternatively, it might be a long term arrangement because you have been diagnosed with a long-term condition such as dementia, and you may progressively lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions in the future.

If there is no valid Power of Attorney in place before you lose capacity then your loved ones will have to apply to the court to get formal legal authorisation to help you which is a long and often costly process.

Freeman Jones can help you make a decision about granting power of attorney. There are two types of LPAs and whilst we would recommend that you consider making both to offer maximum protection you do not have to. You may think one is more important than the other.

The two types of LPA are:

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

This LPA typically authorises your chosen attorney to pay your bills, deal with your bank accounts (and other investments) and buy and sell property for you. This type of LPA can even be used whilst you still have capacity if you wish.

Health and Welfare LPA

You can only use this type of LPA when you have lost capacity and are unable to make decisions for yourself. It gives your trusted attorney the authority to make decisions about where you should live and what medical treatment you should receive.

We understand that deciding to grant Power of Attorney to a loved one can be a difficult and sensitive decision. We will guide you through the process and help you feel happy about your choice.

A comprehensive Wills and Probate service in Chester

Freeman Jones is the first choice for Wills and Probate services in Chester. Our trusted and experienced team can help you make your Will, plan your estate and ensure that your affairs are taken care of efficiently. If you have lost a loved one, then we can guide you through the probate service or help to resolve any disputes.

To find out more about any of our services, call 01244 506 444 or email info@fjsolicitors.co.uk today.

We have a strong reputation for providing high quality legal advice

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Wills and Probate Solicitors Chester

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Our Wills & Probate Services

Contesting a Will

If you are contesting the validity of a will you may not have to go to court but it is advisable to instruct a solicitor to help you settle any potential disputes.

Court of Protection

Our Court of Protection solicitors can make sure your affairs are all in the right place and fully protected if you are in a vulnerable position where you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Executor Disputes

If you experiencing problems with an Executor of a Will or need advice on claims of fraud, negligence, or tension between an executor and beneficiaries of a Will, our expert probate team will be happy to assist.

Inheritance Dispute Solicitors

Our Inheritance Dispute Solicitors can help with a variety of disputes and claims that may arise; ranging from disputed, fraudulent or invalid wills to disputes over assets, beneficiaries, estates, and power of attorney.

Intestacy Rules

If your loved one has passed away without a valid will, this will trigger intestacy. Our expert Wills solicitors can help guide you through the rules of intestacy and what you need to do.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Our solicitors offer fixed-priced Lasting Power of Attorney services for individuals and couples, covering Property and Financial Affairs LPA and Health and Welfare LPA.

Probate Estate

Our experienced Probate and Estate Administration solicitors can help deal with the legal and financial aspects of dealing with an estate. We can provide tailored support specific to your needs or a comprehensive Estate Administration service.

Writing a Will

Having a will in place puts you in control of what should happen to your money and property after you die. Our will writing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis when it comes to drafting your will. We provide a complete will writing service and help guide clients through the process step-by-step .

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