Covering wills, probate, powers of attorney and law for the elderly.
GOV.UK provides an extensive range of information on issues relating to death and bereavement, including making a will, and the probate process. Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their “estate”) when they die is called applying for probate and there is now an online service for this.
Solicitors for the Elderly is a national association of solicitors, barristers and legal executives who are concerned with improving the availability and delivery of legal services to older people. The site contains a list of member solicitors, arranged by town or area, and also a very good set of links to other bodies concerned with elderly people and the law, benefits, health, illness, disability, wills and so on.
Care Directions is a site offering extensive information on the services and help available to the elderly and those needing care.
Care Home Fees Planning is a site set up by Tim Embleton to provide sufficient help and advice for those seeking options for long term care (for themselves or for their loved ones) and help funding it. The site is operated by Time Independent, an IFA. You can answer a series of questions to determine if you are likely to get financial help from the state or local authority and also download a free guide to planning for care home fees.
Lasting Power of Attorney is covered in some detail by Solicitors Peacock & Co – when and why you might need to set one up, the different factores to consider and the steps to actually doing it.
Probate UK is a site set up by TM Solicitors of Hull. There is a lot of useful information on the site about what probate is, how to obtain probate, the processes needed to do this and also how to contest probate. There are also sections for people living abroad.
Probates Direct, is maintained by Chadwick Lawrence LLP, and covers the issues surrounding bereavement. There is information on dealing with the registrar, meeting the funeral expenses and arranging the funeral. Legal guidance is also available with advice on who to call for more help and there is a set of links to a wide range of support organisations. The site also allows you to apply for a grant of probate on-line (charged service).
Probate Solicitors (PSL) – Solihull, offer a Resources section with information and downloadable papers on many probate-related topics.
Bonallack and Bishop, Solicitors in Wilstshire Hampshire and Dorset, provide a great deal of free information on their site concerning, wills, probate, the Court of Protection, living wills, care funding, military wills, Lasting Power of Attorney and many other topics.
Graham & Rosen of Hull, provide a very extensive guide to wills and probate, both online and in a pdf version.
thewillplace.com is a national will registration service. It allows members of the public to register the whereabouts of their wills and enables people dealing with probate to search for missing wills. Members of the public can search on a name to see if there is a will and, if there is, the person will be referred to a probate solicitor in their area. Professionals can register with the site and can then, on production of a death certificate, search the database and retrieve the deceased’s will details.
Certainty National Will Register allows anyone to register their will online without charge. You can also search the register (the contents of the will are not given, but the fact that it exists, and where it is, is provided). Endorsed by Kevin Martin, a past Law Society President, Certainty.co.uk has been built to eradicate the real possibility of a will being lost, destroyed or stolen. Note that only wills prepared by qualified and regulated professionals (Law Society, ILEX, Notaries) may be registered. You can also use the site to find a solicitor specialising in wills, in your area.
Batchelors – Bromley & Sydenham, provide a site called Dispute a Will which gives information on ways that wills can be disputed, and the issues involved in this. There is also a glossary, a set of case histories, and a section of current news relating to wills and problems with wills.
Wright Hassall of Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, provide information on the factors relating to contesting a will and the grounds which might make this possible. There are various guides and articles available on the site.
More Firms of solicitors (and a few companies) offering information and also, in some cases, actually preparing the wills online
Barcan Woodward – Bristol City Centre, North Bristol, South Bristol, provides a set of question and answers on wills and probate.
Blake Morgan – Fareham, London, Portsmouth, Southampton & Brussels, provide information.
Brethertons – Rugby and Banbury, take details online for your will.
Clutton Cox of Bristol offer useful information about wills and probate on their site including a cartoon video about why you should make your will.
Elm Online is an online will writing service, where you are helped step by step to provide your instructions for the will (i.e. not just left to work on a document all by yourself). At the end of this process, the will is set to you in fully bound form, for you to sign. The company can also provide a will storage process if required. A different type of service is available if you live in Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Gloucester and the South West generally – a professional will writer can visit you in your own home and guide you through the entire will writing process.
Fidler & Pepper – Nottinghamshire, provide a facility for you to prepare your will online.
Law on the Web, a legal information site – take “wills, probate and inheritance”
Leicester Wills & Trusts is a will writing company assisting businesses and individuals with wills and trusts in and around Leicester and Leicestershire.
Pearson Maddin – New Malden and Surbiton
Rogers & Norton – Norwich
Shoosmiths – National, multi-branch firm
SGC Solicitors – Nottingham, provides “Fact Sheets” on long term care planning, inheritance tax, enduring powers of attorney and wills.
The Will Site is a company providing a will making service and also advice from a solicitor. There is lots of useful information.
The Will Writing Service comes from Fitzgibbons & Co Ltd of Croydon. The are members of The Society of Will Writers and have been providing will writing services in London, Kent and Surrey for thirty years. The site provides a considerable amount of useful information and they will visit you in your home if you wish.
Thomas Flavell & Sons – Hinckley, Earl Shilton and Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, offers information on making a will, administering an estate, and advice for the elderly.
Two sites relating to wills, probate, missing heirs and intestacy
The Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor’s Department deals with the assets of dissolved companies and the estates of people who die intestate and without known kin. (Bona Vacantia means Vacant Goods). The site has a facility for relatives of people who die intestate to search the records and there is also an auction on the site of domain names previously owned by dissolved companies. There are also guidelines on policy and “how it all works”.
Fraser & Fraser is a firm of genealogists which specialises in probate research to locate missing heirs and beneficiaries. The site has a good description of what probate research involves. They can also help find wills, obtain copies of certificates, help to administer an estate, calculate how an estate, intestacy or trust should be distributed. They can work either for firms of solicitors or for individuals who think there could be a bequest waiting for them.