Wills and Probate


WILLS

Although many people find the prospect of making a Will unnerving and sometimes frightening, it is an important step to take. Lots of people believe that if they die without making a Will then their money will automatically go to their partner or spouse and therefore they don’t need to make a Will. But, this is not true – if you die without a Will, laws set out by the government decide how your assets are divided and this means that the people you would most like to benefit may get less than you intended, or nothing at all.

We have been based in Bushey for over 40 years and have lengthy experience in advising people on and drafting Wills to the specific and individual requirements of our clients.

We can give you specialist and expert advice on:-

  • Wills and inheritance

  • Trusts
  • Tax matters, including inheritance tax
  • Appointment of guardians
  • Charitable donations


PROBATE / ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATE

If you are the personal representative of someone who has died, you may find the task you have been appointed to daunting, or feel that you need specialist help with the process. If you are a personal representative and you are unsure as to whether you are able to handle things yourself, why not make an appointment to call in and discuss matters with us. We offer an initial consultation service, with no obligation, for £10.00. At this meeting, one of our experienced Solicitors will be able to discuss what needs to be done and give you an estimate of the costs of instructing Graham White and Company to deal with the administration on your behalf in a package which can be tailored to your needs - whether you wish to instruct us simply to the stage of obtaining the Grant of Probate, or whether you wish us to deal with the entire administration period, including distribution of the assets in accordance with any Will and winding up of the estate.

We offer a highly personal service, where your point of contact throughout will usually be with the Solicitor who you saw at that first meeting.

We are also able to deal with the conveyancing work in the sale of any estate property and our comprehensive service means that both the administration of the estate and the conveyancing will be dealt with by one Solicitor, meaning that you have the ease and confidence of a single consistent point of contact with this firm.


Contesting a Will

If you are unhappy because you have been left out of a Will altogether, or if you feel you have been left without reasonable financial provision, you can make an appointment to call in and speak to one of our Solicitors here. We offer an initial half hour interview for just £10.00 where one of our Solicitors will be happy to discuss the matter with you and advise you as to whether you may have a claim against the estate.


Living Wills

Every adult with mental capacity has the right to make their own choices in regards to medical treatment, whether to agree to, or refuse, such treatment. A living will enables you to make these decisions in advance.

Living wills are not legally binding at the current time, but they do allow you to make your wishes in regards to your future medical treatment clear and can provide a useful and often persuasive guide for your relatives and doctors in the event that you are unable to make firm decisions yourself.

Living wills can include general statements about your wishes for your treatment and they can also include specific refusals of treatment, which are called 'advance decisions' or 'advance directives'.

If you would like to talk to one of our Solicitors in more detail about whether a living will is right for you, please make an appointment to call in an discuss the matter in more detail.


Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a binding legal document which allows you to give another person the power to make decisions with regard to your financial affairs and/or your health and personal welfare. There are various different types of Power of Attorney.

Ordinary Power of Attorney

An Ordinary Power of Attorney is normally created for a fixed period of time. It may be used, for example, if you wish to go abroad, or you are otherwise is unable to act and wish to give someone else the authority to act on your behalf.

The authority given can be either general, or limited to specific affairs. The authority given under an Ordinary Power of Attorney will either end at the specified time or upon the request of the Donor using a Deed of Revocation. The authority given under an Ordinary Power of Attorney will also cease if the Donor loses mental capacity.

Enduring Power of Attorney

Due to changes in the law, it is no longer possible to make a new Enduring Power of Attorney as these have been replaced with Lasting Powers of Attorney. However, any existing Enduring Powers of Attorney remain valid.

Enduring Powers of Attorney remains valid if you lose mental capacity, but they must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in such an event.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced in 2007 and allow you to appoint attorney(s) to look after both your financial affairs and your personal welfare through individual Lasting Powers of Attorney. As such, if you wish to give your attorney the right to make decisions over your financial matters and your personal welfare, you need to make two separate Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they become valid for use, however the Lasting Power of Attorney remains valid if you lose mental capacity. If you make both a Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney and a Health and Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney, these must be registered separately.

We have many years of experience in advising our clients on Powers of Attorney and what may be the best for them so if you wish to discuss this matter further, please make an appointment to call in and talk to us.

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