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Wills and Probate

It can be uncomfortable talking about death. That’s why we help to normalise the conversation and provide specialist legal advice so that you have the certainty of knowing your wishes are clear.

Call us on 01284 701131

Our Wills and Probate Services

A busy life often means that the focus is on the here and now, and before we know it, the future has arrived. That’s why it is never too early to make the right legal arrangements to manage your estate in the long term.

Our highly experienced Wills and Probate solicitors will help you to effectively plan and prepare for whatever the future may hold, including supporting you through any legal challenges and estate administration.

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Our Wills and Probate Solicitors offer the personal touch at what can be an emotional time and when it may feel that the number of questions outweighs the number of answers.

Our expert Wills and Probate lawyers can help you with

Making a will


Writing your Will to help ensure your loved ones receive the full benefit of the assets you leave to them.

Lasting power of attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney

Preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney so that someone else is legally able to make decisions on your behalf.

Trusts and inheritence planning

Inheritance Planning & Trusts

Setting up and administering trusts and structuring your estate to protect your assets and limit Inheritance Tax.

Administering an estate

Probate & Estate Administration

Supporting you through probate and estate administration, and helping you overcome any legal challenges you may face.

Helping you plan for the future

Our team has many years of experience in Wills, probate, tax and trust work. Since we administer Wills and trusts as well as draft them, we have the practical knowledge and legal capability to help.

Understanding your circumstances and wishes, we structure your estate and the necessary legal documents in the most effective way. Our aim – to put you in the best possible position.

Whether it involves changes to Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, or fluctuations in property prices – you need to know and make informed decisions about what happens to your estate after you die.

Book a Free Wills Consultation

We realise that it can be difficult to know where to start. This is why we offer a free initial consultation with one of our specialist Wills & probate solicitors.

At your initial consultation we’ll discuss your circumstances and what type of Will is suitable for you or whether you need to update your Will before you decide whether to go ahead.

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Our Wills Service fees

Our Will service starts from as little as £360 including VAT for a standard single Will.

300 pounds

If you wish to leave a gift or donation to charity or an organisation in your Will, our Wills solicitors can arrange this for you for no extra charge. This is another one of the benefits of our fixed fee Wills service.

Explore Our Fees

Supporting you through Probate

When a loved one dies there is often a lot to sort out. During what can be an emotional time, there will be important legal and financial ends to tie up and that is where our Wills & probate solicitors help.

We can advise you and your family with all the arrangements such as Inheritance Tax, property sales, pensions, shares, bank accounts, unpaid bills, business interests or claims against the estate.

This means that we can provide the full range of estate administration services, which can vary enormously.

This means that we can provide the full range of estate administration services, which can vary enormously.To give you an idea of how much full probate administration costs, please explore our example fees page.

Book a Free Consultation

In the course of our work, we may be simply obtaining the Grant of Probate for one client while administering a complex estate for another. That’s why we recommend booking a free initial no-obligation discussion with one of our specialist probate solicitors, who will inform you of your options and the probate administration fees you can expect to pay.

Book a Free Consultation

For help and legal advice, call Burnett Barker Solicitors on 01284 701131. You can also send us a message via this website, or pop in and see us at 20 Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds – we have free parking on site!

Here to help

Meet our Wills & Probate Team

Henrietta Brett

Henrietta Brett

Wills and Probate Solicitor

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Priscilla Ivory

Priscilla Ivory

Wills & Probate Solicitor

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Jane McIIroy

Jane McIIroy

Probate Executive

Anna Bartram

Anna Bartram

Wills & Probate Secretary

Tracey Sheppard

Tracey Sheppard

Wills & Probate Secretary

Frequently asked questions

Why should I make a Will?

What should you consider when making a Will? Well, a Will sets out what you want to happen to your assets and possessions (your “estate”) after you have died. This is particularly important if you have children or other family members who are financially dependent on you, or if you want to make sure that something is left to someone other than your next of kin.

Making a Will is also a fundamental part of estate planning and can assist in reducing the amount of Inheritance Tax that could be payable on what you leave behind.

If you have younger children, your Will can say who you want to be responsible for them if you die (their “Guardians”).

Your Will also specifies who you want to look after your estate and make sure the instructions in your Will are carried out (your “Executors”).

When is it best to make a Will?

You should consider making a Will if you have money or property that you want to leave to someone, or you want to make arrangements for who should care for your children if you die.

Significant life events are also a good time to think about making a Will or updating an existing Will.

Some of the reasons people tell us they are thinking about making a Will are when:

  • buying a property
  • getting married
  • separating or getting divorced
  • moving in with a partner
  • inheriting money
  • they have children from a previous relationship
  • they have concerns about Inheritance Tax
  • Own a business
  • Simply want to make sure they have control over what happens to their estate when they die.

These are just some reasons why people tell us they choose to make a Will.

There are lots of things to consider, though, which is why we offer a free initial consultation. During your consultation with one of our specialist Wills solicitors, we’ll discuss your circumstances, whether you need to make a Will and, if so, what type of Will is suitable for you.

Is it difficult to make a Will?

Making a Will need not be difficult. However, it is very important that lots of little (but often crucial) details are taken care of.

Think of it like going for an eye test. Your optician is a highly trained specialist and will be looking at lots of little details that you are often not even aware of. But they are taking all of them into consideration when deciding if you should have glasses and what the strength and prescription should be and making sure that your new glasses work for you. You are very unlikely to be able to do all of that for yourself and the same applies when making a Will.

We have created a simple process so that making a Will needn’t be difficult but makes sure that all the little details are taken care of.

We offer a free initial consultation. When you have made your appointment, we will send out a helpful guide to the things you need to think about and space to make a note of your questions, to bring to your initial consultation.

At your consultation, we’ll discuss your individual circumstances and why you’re thinking about making a Will and tell you whether we think you need to make (or update) a Will.

If you decide to go ahead, we will make sure that your Will is made so that all of the little details are taken care of, so that your instructions are clear when you die and that the risk of your Will being challenged after you have died is minimised.

What is the role of an Executor in my Will?

As an Executor is responsible for dealing with your estate after your death it is an important decision for you to make.

An Executor should be someone you trust and who has the skills to handle the tasks of dealing with your estate.

To arrive at your decision when making a Will, a good starting point is to consider what an Executor will need to do.

They must establish what you owned and owed at the date of your death. They will also need to understand and consider the Inheritance Tax implications, determine whether it is necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate, complete an Inheritance Tax Return or the relevant statutory statement to HMRC, apply to the Probate Registry to obtain a Grant of Probate, settle any debts and expenses, close bank accounts and distribute your assets as set out in your Will.

In most circumstances we recommend that two Executors are appointed when you make a Will, as this covers the situation where one of them has died before you or is unable to deal with Will for any reason. Often, they will be family members or close friends, and often they will choose to instruct specialist probate solicitors such as us to act for them to deal with the Will for them, to make sure that the Will is properly administered.

The most important thing to consider when making a Will is can the person (or people) you are thinking of appointing as your Executors is whether they will in the future be able to handle the responsibility of making sure that all of the tasks involved in dealing with your estate. If you are appointing more than one Executor, as we would usually recommend, you should also be confident that they will be capable of working together once you are no longer around.

I am an Executor – what do I need to do?

If you are an Executor and need assistance with administering a Will, have a read of our “What is the role of an Executor in my Will?” FAQ.

If you need help to deal with a Will, we are specialist probate solicitors and can assist with all the arrangements, including Inheritance Tax, property sales, pensions, shares, bank accounts, unpaid bills, business interests, or claims against the estate.

Just get in touch for an initial chat and we will be happy to discuss it with you and to help you decide what your next steps should be.

What happens if the Executor of a Will has died?

It is possible for a named Executor to die before you. If you named more than one Executor when making a Will, the remaining Executors will continue their duties outlined in your Will. Or you may choose to appoint a reserve Executor when you make a Will who takes on the role of Executor if an Executor is unable or unwilling to act.

If there is only one Executor and they die, or if all the Executors die before you, the order in which others can administer the Will is usually:

  • A trustee of the residuary estate
  • A residuary beneficiary
  • A personal representative of a residuary beneficiary
  • A legatee (a person who receive a legacy) or creditor of the deceased
  • A personal representative of the legatee or creditor of the deceased

We can advise on this in further detail, and taking account of the specific circumstances, if required.

It’s important therefore to carefully consider all eventualities when appointing Executors. For example, what would happen if they were unable to act? This might not be due to death; they might be incapacitated, have moved away, or may not wish to act. That’s why having more than one Executor is advised.

Who gets a copy of a Will?

Wills are private documents, and usually, only the testator (the person who has made the Will) is legally entitled to see the Will before their death.

In England and Wales, only the Executors are legally entitled to see the Will after death before Probate is granted.

After a Grant of Probate has been issued, anyone can apply to the Probate Registry for a copy of the Will. If, however, a Grant of Probate has not been applied for, a Will is not given to the Probate Registry and does not become a public document.

How do I change my Will?

If you’re thinking, how do I change my Will? You have one of two options. You can either make a Will (a new Will) or add a codicil to an existing Will.

A Codicil is a separate legal document from the Will itself that alters part of an existing Will without changing the rest of the Will.

For example, you may choose to add a codicil if you want to add new family members or leave a gift to charity.

However, with the complications that can arise from a Codicil and with the cost of making a Codicil being not much less than that of making a Will, Codicils are becoming increasingly uncommon. In most situations, it is better to simply have a new Will written so that all your wishes are contained within one single document.

If you’re in two minds about what to do, please give us a call. We will happily discuss your requirements during an initial free consultation with one of our specialist Wills solicitors.

A few words from our clients

The quality of their offer is refreshingly first class; they listened, discussed and acted in the best interest of me, the client for which I am extremely grateful.
Paul Herbert explained information in great detail in an understandable way and Angella organised a very complicated set of documents exceptionally well.
I have found Burnett Barker to be absolutely outstanding. A breath of fresh air when it comes to solicitors. Extremely efficient, but also a total pleasure to deal with.

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