Our Wills & Probate department covers all aspects of preparing wills and dealing with a person’s assets after they have died. We also give advice on bringing claims against an estate and on defending an estate against such claims.
We deal with the Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian, in work that includes Powers of Attorney, Deputyship orders and Statutory Wills.
We all know the importance of making a Will and it is all too easy to put off. Making a Will has at last been made simple. We offer a complete service in Will drafting as well as assistance with probate and inheritance tax matters. At all times we seek to provide:
Please feel free to call us on 0191 213 1010 and ask to speak to someone in our Wills & Probate department. Alternatively please use the contact form.
McKeag & Co Probate Department
Our Department completed around 50 Grants of Probate in the last year and we deal with full Estate administration including property sales and assents.
Donna Ratcliffe – Solicitor
Donna has over 13 years’ experience in private client work and is now specialising in Probate. Donna first joined McKeag & Co. in 2012 having previously worked for several local law firms. She formerly worked as an Advocate and a Paralegal where she also gained experience in Clinical Negligence, Mental Health, Elderly Client, Civil Litigation and Conveyancing. She completed her training contract and qualified as a Solicitor with our firm in January 2015.
For further information on Wills & Probate services that we provide please expand the sections below:
Why make a will?
Between 50% and 65% of people in England and Wales die without any Will or with a faulty will (usually home made). As a result they leave their loved ones with what may be unnecessary, complicated and expensive problems, at the time when they are least able to deal with them.
If you die without a Will, the law will decide who will get your property and assets. This often means that the people who you wish to benefit will not receive what you would like them to get. A wife or husband does not always inherit everything. Under the current law if you are not married but in a long term relationship your partner will not be entitled to anything. In some cases, all you own goes to the Government, or to distant relatives you may never have heard of.
Making a Will is a simple process for most of us. Besides ensuring that the people (or charities) you wish to benefit will do so, you can:-
Why Use a Solicitor?
Even the simplest Will has to comply with legal formalities and therefore to ensure that it is correct you should make it through a Solicitor. A Solicitor can put into precise legal language your wishes so there can be no doubt as to what you mean.
We sometimes see Wills which are ambiguous, or produce results by their wording that we believe that the persons who made them would not have wanted.
We also see Wills which are not properly executed (although no doubt the persons who made them thought they were) and therefore have no legal validity. A great majority of these Wills are either home-made ones or ones that people have tried to make themselves using a commercial form.
Written instructions are no substitute for personal professional advice.
Personal representatives are the people named in the Will to act as the Executors, or the “next of kin” of somebody who has left no Will. Being a personal representative has heavy responsibilities and can be legally difficult. This is quite apart from the fact that after the loss of someone close to you, dealing with these matters may prove personally distressing.
With this in mind we can relieve you of the burden of “getting probate” to help you to ensure that the wishes of the deceased person are followed. We can give advice on all aspects of winding up a deceased person’s estate, including selling the house or transferring it to the persons entitled.
Dealing with a deceased person’s tax can be complicated and is often a specialist’s job. We can advise on the payment of Inheritance Tax, and deal with the Income Tax affairs of a person both before death and in the period of the administration of the estate.
We can offer professional advice to personal representatives so that they can be sure that they comply with their duty to all the people mentioned in the Will.
It is sometimes possible to save a considerable amount of Inheritance Tax after a person has died by means of changing the effect of the Will or the intestacy. This needs specialist advice which we are happy to provide.
Have you considered who would manage your affairs if you became physically or mentally incapable of handling things yourself?
Many people have had the foresight and wisdom to ask us, as Solicitors, to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney in order to minimise the problems should the situation arise. Many people think that it is only necessary to consider creating a Power of attorney if they are old but that is not the case, illness or injury can strike at any time and it is sensible to create a Power of Attorney when you are fit and active so that it can take effect if you were unfortunately physically or mentally incapable of looking after your affairs. The Power of Attorney would only become exercisable if you were incapable and it is too late to wait until you are unable to manage your affairs to create one. This is why we recommend a lasting Power of Attorney to everyone.
Making a lasting Power of Attorney is a simple process for which we charge very reasonable fees. You can choose the person or persons you want to manage your affairs, should you be unable to do so yourself for whatever reason.
Such a document can save a lot of trouble and expense as without it, it may be difficult for your relatives to handle your affairs for you.
Should you know somebody who has become mentally incapable, say because of old age, you may yourself have to handle their affairs. If they have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney we can advise on the alternative, a Deputyship Order with the Court of Protection which will allow you to manage your friend or relative’s affairs for their own good. We give practical help in this sometimes complex area of law.
McKeag & Co Solicitors, 1-3 Lansdowne Terrace, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1HN
Tel: 0191 213 1010
24 Hour Emergency Line: 07850 565543 (Crime only)