Wills and Probate

Making a will

Your will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. Making a will may also reduce the amount of inheritance tax your family could pay.

If you want to update your will, you need to make an official alteration (called a ‘codicil’) or make a new will. When you have completed your will, you’ll need to get it formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid.

You can write your will yourself, but you should get advice if your will is not straightforward. We know a number of local solicitors who we can put you in touch with.

For more detailed information about wills, visit https://www.gov.uk/make-will

What is probate?

Probate is the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die.
You should not make any financial plans or put property on the market until you’ve got probate.

You need to apply to get probate. Before applying, you must check that it’s needed and that you’re eligible to apply. You also need to estimate and report the estate’s value to find out if there’s inheritance tax to pay.

For more detailed information about probate, visit https://www.gov.uk/applying-for-probate

The Solicitor

Following a death, it is often necessary to obtain a “Grant of Probate” on the estate of the deceased. Probate is granted by the Probate Registry to the executor named where a will has been left by the deceased. In order to do this it may be advisable to contact a Solicitor who can relieve you of many worries and take control of wills, problems of intestacy, any debts, grants and letters of administration etc.