Our team of exceptional private client solicitors have been assisting families locally for 150 years.

The death or incapacity of a family member or friend is a very difficult and emotional time.  It can be hard  for family and friends to sort out the financial and other affairs that need to be dealt with.  We can help make this process easier for you. Our team of understanding and compassionate private client solicitors will assist in providing the necessary advice and documentation.  We have qualified experts in our Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale offices.  We are friendly and approachable and we have the technical skills to assist with Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection and Inheritance Tax planning.


Correctly drawn Wills assist your family members in dealing with your estate and affairs.  Clear provisions made in your will can provide certainty and ease the administrative burden on your relatives. Wills can also protect your family by minimising the burden of inheritance tax and preserving assets.

Without a valid Will the Intestacy Rules govern how your estate  and assets will be dealt with. These Rules can lead to unexpected and upsetting consequences.  This means that your assets may not be dealt with in the way you intend.  This can cause additional upset at an already emotional time.

When making a Will we can help you to make provision for your intended beneficiaries.  We work closely with you to understand your family circumstances and consider succession and business structures.  We can also help to guard against possible challenges to your Will after your death.

You will is an opportunity to consider issues such as:

  • inheritance tax planning
  • asset protection
  • nursing home consideration
  • trusts to allow you to provide for vulnerable beneficiaries or younger generations and beyond
  • potential challenges to your Will
  • business succession
  • appointing a guardian for young children

We can also assist you with preparing a letter of wishes.  This is not legally binding but can be used to state your wishes in relation to your funeral arrangements and other wishes.


Probate is the process of obtaining legal authority to deal with someone’s estate and assets after they have died.  If you are going to deal with someone’s estate then the Executors will have various duties and responsibilities.  We are on hand to clearly explain and assist you in understanding what needs to happen next.  We will support and help you deal with complex affairs or more straightforward estates. We can guide you through the probate process whether a Will was left or not.

Our friendly experts can assist with:

  • an application to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate (where there is a will)
  • Letters of Administration (where there is no will)
  • inheritance tax issues and factors such as agricultural and business property relief
  • protecting assets and maximising value where possible
  • anticipating and resolving problems so that the estate is dealt with sensitively and efficiently


Incapacity can be mental or physical (or both).  When a person becomes unable to deal with their affairs no one has the automatic right to deal with their assets or make decisions on their behalf.  This can cause difficulty and distress for family members trying to make provision for their loved ones.

Planing for the future allows you to anticipate these events and put provisions in place.  Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) enable you to appoint your chosen attorney(s) to act for you in the event of incapacity.

LPAs can:

  • be made in relation to your property and financial affairs, and your health and welfare.
  • be very flexible, allowing you to appoint different combinations of people or replacements to act on your behalf
  • provide instructions and guidance on what you want

Without an LPA in place an application to the Court of Protection may be required for the appointment of a deputy to deal with your affairs.  This process can take some time but we can advise on the steps to be taken.

We have extensive experience in making all types of LPAs and applications to the Court of Protection.  We can also help an appointed deputy carry out their duties.  In some circumstances we can act as a deputy or attorney if required.

Specialist Expertise

A number of our private client solicitors are qualified members of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP).  STEP is the internationally recognised leading professional organisation in this area of law and our Trust and Estate Practitioners are highly qualified, having undertaken further examinations and they are fully aware of the legal technical and regulatory developments.

We have been providing friendly and approaching expert services to generations of local families from our offices in Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale.

Please contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

For an estate of £325,000 and below requiring an IHT205 costs estimated at between £1,750 to £4,500 (plus VAT*) based on the hourly rate of the person or persons dealing with your matter.

Consultant £300.00 plus VAT

Partner £260.00 plus VAT

Associate £225.00 plus VAT

Senior Solicitor £215.00 plus VAT

Solicitor £210.00 plus VAT

Trainee Solicitor / Trainee Legal Executive £120.00 – £150.00 plus VAT

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid Will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 10 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 1-6 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements in addition to this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £215.00
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50 (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

Stages in the Probate Process

  • Identifying all of the the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and Beneficiaries
  • Contacting the various institutions to obtain valuations of all of the assets in the estate and balances of any liabilities.
  • Completing the Probate Application and the relevant HM Revenue and Customs forms for approval
  • Making the application to the Probate Registry on your behalf
  • Upon receipt of the Grant of Probate, collecting in the assets and discharging any liabilities
  • Drafting a full set of Estate Accounts for the Executors and Beneficiaries approval
  • Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries


We estimate that a straightforward estate (requiring form IHT205) will be completed within 12 months. We estimate that more complex estates take between 1 to 3 years to complete. These estimates are on the basis that the matter does not become unduly complicated or protracted or involve the sale of property. We will keep you updated on the progress of your matter throughout.

* VAT refers to the VAT rate in force from time to time – this rate is currently 20%


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