Estate Planning

Our team of experts are specialists in wills, trusts, probate, estate planning and court of protection matters. We work hard to understand your needs, provide straightforward and honest advice to help you protect your loved ones.

Effective lifetime planning is about getting the right advice, considering everything that could affect your wishes and being aware of all your options. You can then make an informed decision about your planning to ensure your wishes are met, preserving your wealth as best you can.


A Will is an important and relatively inexpensive document for everyone to have. You can choose what happens to your property and money, as well as your proposals in relation to the care of your minor children, and any other wishes you may have.

Nobody wants to think about what happens when we pass away, but there sadly is no greater certainty in life. Not having a Will, or having a badly drafted one, can cause many problems for your loved ones.

If you have young children, or adults, who are dependent on you, appointing a guardian for your children is very important.

It will take you half an hour of your time and we can visit you at home should you need us to.

Fixed Fees

• Basic Individual Last Will and Testament: £150 + VAT

• Basic Mirror Last Will and Testament: £200 + VAT

Where a basic Will is insufficient you may wish to consider as part of your estate plan Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Will Trusts

• Single – £450 + VAT
• Couple – £600 + VAT

VAT is charged at the standard rate of 20%

Cancer Research Wills Service

Hayden Solicitors has partnered with Cancer Research since October 2018 to provide Wills at no cost to our clients. Gifts in Wills fund over a third of the charity’s life-saving research. Read more here.

We are pleased to be able to continue to offer this service to all new and existing clients.

Please make an appointment using our online booking system or call us. We will get back to you within 24 hours.


More of our clients are securing inheritance for bloodline relatives by creating a simple trust for their home or assets. The main purpose for setting up a trust is to protect and preserve family wealth for your loved ones and the generations to come.

What can a trust do?

• Reduce the costs and delays of probate

• Protect the surviving spouse on first death

• Avoid your family wealth passing outside the ‘bloodline’ family

• Protect your family wealth from any claims from unexpected/excluded beneficiaries

• Avoid your family wealth passing to creditors or any third parties

Some trusts are created during your lifetime others are upon death. We will discuss with you which type of trust best suits your needs.


If the deceased has left more than £5,000, stocks or shares, a house or land, or certain policies, you will need to get a grant of probate.  This is an official document which the executors need to administer the estate.

Obtaining a Grant of Probate

Where there is a Will and if you are named as an executor you may need to apply for a Grant of Probate.  Where there is no Will, the process is more complicated.  However, a Grant still needs to be applied for.

Contested Probate

A Will can be disputed or challenged for many reasons.  We can advise if you are an executor, Trustee or a disappointed family member. 

Fixed Fees

Starting from £600 + VAT for a modest estate

Starting from £1,500 + VAT for a more complex estate

VAT is charged at the standard rate of 20%


Likely disbursements relating to the administration of an estate that are payable are as follows with no VAT at current rate unless stated:

  • Probate Court fee £273 (if the value of the estate exceeds £5,000)
  • Additional copies of the grant of representation £1.50 each (one is usually needed to deal with each asset)
  • Bankruptcy search against each beneficiary £2.00 plus £0.40 VAT, totalling £2.40
  • Valuation of assets, including property, jewellery/antiques and share valuations – usually not exceeding £500 plus VAT
  • Fees payable to trace any missing beneficiaries usually between £30 and £200 plus VAT
  • Obtaining copy documents such as grants of probate and marriage certificates to claim any transferable Inheritance Tax allowances approximately £20
  • Land Registry searches approximately £3-15 if the estate comprises of property/land.

In every case we carry out identification checks on the deceased, the executors and any beneficiary  £5.25 plus £1.05 VAT totalling £6.30 per check.

Services not included in the prices above involve the services provided by a third party, for example a Barrister.  You will also need to pay for an independent solicitor to swear the Oath.

What does our service include?

  • Ascertaining the value of all the assets held in the estate, which includes the balances held in any bank or building society accounts, the value of any shares and other investments and any properties which are owned
  • Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries of the estate
  • Accurately identifying the type of probate application which will be required
  • Completing the relevant H M Revenue & Customs forms and if the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax, arranging for the payment of any tax to be made
  • Preparing the Oath papers for swearing by the personal representatives to enable us to submit an application to the Probate Registry to obtain the grant of representation, which is the formal authority to handle the assets and distribute the estate
  • Arranging to collect in the assets of the estate and paying any funeral expenses and other debts
  • The preparation of an estate account in respect of monies received and paid out on behalf of the estate for your approval, prior to distributing the estate
  • Answering any enquiries from the Department for Work & Pensions in the event of any benefits being received during the lifetime of the deceased
  • Finalising the Income Tax affairs of the deceased
  • We will NOT assist with claims against financial services providers for the mis-selling of financial products. This will include but is not limited to claims in relation to Payment Protection Insurance and pension mis-selling

Timescales and stages of the Administration of an Estate

It can take about 2 – 6 months to obtain a Grant of Probate.  Collecting the assets then follows issuing of a Grant of Probate, afterwards is distribution.  After a Grant of Probate has been issued, it will take approximately a further 1 – 3 months if the assets can be collected at that stage.

Overall timescales depend on the assets and the complexity of the estate.  The sale of a property usually has an impact on the timescale.  However, on average this takes between 3 – 12 months.

The lawyers dealing with these matters are our in house barrister Mr Nigel Walker-Jennings, who has over 20 years’ experience, and Mrs Nicola Evans who has 17 years’ legal experience and qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in December 2014.

Their supervisor is Mrs Deborah Hayden-Pawson who qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and has over 30 years’ experience.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

It is sensible for everyone to consider what will happen if you are unable to manage your own affairs, whether temporarily or permanently.

It is often assumed that if we were unable to look after our own affairs those closest to us would simply take over and make decisions about our finances and health care. Sadly, without Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in place you would not be able to do so. This can be significantly difficult for loved ones and can be physically and emotionally draining.

A LPA is a legal document that enables you to appoint someone you trust to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.

It is extremely important to note that you MUST have mental capacity at the time of making the LPA. If you do not have capacity, you cannot make an LPA. An application to the Court of Protection will have to be made, which is very expensive and time consuming.

There are two types of LPA’s;

• Property and Financial Affairs

• Health and Welfare

Property and Financial Affairs

An attorney under this type of LPA may act even though the donor has capacity, unless stated otherwise.

An attorney would be able to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:

• Managing a bank or building society account

• Paying bills

• Collecting benefits or a pension

• Selling your home

Health and Welfare

This enables an attorney to make decisions about social and health care needs. The attorney can only act if the person is deemed to not have capacity.

An attorney would be able to make decisions about things like:

• Deciding where the persons main residence should be

• Medical care

• Moving into a care home

• Life-sustaining treatment

Remember, once you have lost mental capacity it is too late to make LPA’s and your loved ones would need to apply for a deputyship order. LPA’s are like insurance; you might never need it but it is there for if/when you do.

The legal fees for a Lasting Powers of Attorney are £300 + VAT per LPA plus office of public guardian registration fee of £82 per document (maybe suitable for exemption).

VAT is charged at the standard rate of 20%