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Handling the future of your Assets and Personal Affairs with care

There are few issues more sensitive than making a Will or sorting out matters when someone dies (estate administration). Whether you want to plan what will happen to your assets after you pass away, or need to deal with an estate after a loved one has died, it isn’t always easy to know where to start.

To navigate your way through the challenges involved in matters relating to Wills and administering the estate of someone close, you really need the advice and expertise of an experienced wills and probate solicitor.

Looking for legal advice to help with Wills and Estate Administration in the North East? Our solicitors are always happy to offer an initial consultation free of charge.

Call us today: Newcastle: 0345 900 5401 Sunderland: 0191 568 2050

What is a Will and why do I need one?

A Will is a legal document that sets out what you wish to happen when you die. To make a valid Will the law requires certain formalities and also for it to state clearly how your money and any other assets should be left to those that are close to you or to charities etc.

While a Will is often something people don’t consider until they reach their seventies or eighties, it can be just as important for you to have a Will in your twenties, thirties and forties – particularly if you have children or if you live with a partner you are not married to.

Should the worst happen and you die unexpectedly, a Will can set out how you would wish for your children to be cared for this is called appointing a guardian.

Quite simply, if you die without a Will there is a significant chance that your wishes will not be carried out as you would want them and a costly legal dispute could arise after your death.

What is Lasting Power of Attorney and do I need one?

Put simply, Lasting Power of Attorney it is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people to act as your Attorney in relation to the management of your financial affairs and property if you cannot do this for yourself. This type of case typically arises when an individual loses mental capacity due to a stroke, a head injury or perhaps a long term condition such as dementia.

Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, it could become very difficult for those close to you to access and manage your bank accounts, savings, investments or property if you lose the mental capacity to manage your financial affairs yourself.

You can also make a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and care decisions. For example, you may want to leave specific instructions as to how you should be cared for. Again, Lasting Powers of Attorney should be made at a time when still have the mental capacity to make an informed decision – something that we can fully advise and assist you with at Sweeney Miller.

What happens if someone hasn’t made a Lasting Power of Attorney and they lose or lack mental capacity?

Under these circumstances, an application will have to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a family member or close friend as a Deputy to manage the incapacitated individual’s financial affairs. However, it is always preferable to make a Lasting Power of Attorney as the process with the Court of Protection is costly, lengthy and to be avoided if at all possible.

We can provide advice and assistance with Court of Protection matters, including Deputyship applications and applications to the Court for Statutory Wills where someone lacks capacity to make a Will or amend an existing one.

What is Probate & Estate Administration?

Probate is the approval by the Court of the validity of the Will of the deceased.  Letters of Administration are obtained when the deceased has not made a Will prior to death.  We can assist and advise on obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration when a loved one dies.

We can also assist with the Administration of the Estate of the deceased including the sale of a house owned by the deceased and also deal with the payment of debts due from the estate, collecting in of assets and valuation of them, payment of Inheritance Tax and then the distribution of the Estate.

Why do you need a Wills and Probate solicitor?

The purpose of a Will is to act as a legally binding document on your death. A solicitor is an important figure in both the drafting of a Will and the distribution of assets upon the death of an individual to ensure that procedures are followed correctly and that the deceased’s wishes are carried out.

Why choose Sweeney Miller Law as your Wills and Probate solicitors?

Nobody likes to think about death. But preparing for the inevitable is something that we all need to do at some point. At Sweeney Miller Law we have a highly skilled team who understand the sensitivities of Wills and Probate.

If you have never considered how your assets should be divided up or who might look after your children if you die suddenly, it could be that you need a little help and guidance. Our Wills and Probate solicitors know the right questions to ask and have the expertise to make drafting a Will a straightforward process.

Similarly, we have been involved in the execution of hundreds of Wills over the years. We know what it takes to help individuals apply for Probate and for those who have been unfairly excluded to dispute a will. There are many different aspects to Wills and Probate. Our specialist team of solicitors can help you with:

  • Drafting a Will
  • Amending a Will
  • Deed of Variation of a Will
  • Preparing Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Administering Estates on behalf of appointed Executors
  • Administering Estates of people who die without a Will (intestate)
  • Inheritance Tax planning
  • Court of Protection matters – including Deputyship and Statutory Wills
  • Asset protection matters – protecting family wealth for the future

Our costs

For details of our costs, click HERE

Need Wills and Probate advice?

Call us today: Newcastle: 0345 900 5401 Sunderland: 0191 568 2050

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    Miss J of Barking
  • Amazing service! I’ve moved house several times and this has been the best firm I’ve ever used.

    Mr & Mrs B of Newark
  • Dear Michael,

    Many thanks for all of your help and support over the last few months. We have been extremely impressed and are looking forward to working with you all again in the future.

    Best wishes and thanks again.

    Mr L of London
  • Stephanie, this is to express my appreciation to you and the entire team that helped with my mortgage. I am very grateful for the professionalism displayed throughout.


    Mr A of Ipswich
  • Elly – Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

    I actually wanted to thank you, you have been brilliant through the whole process. Thank you for being clear with me. I will gladly refer you to friends and family 🙂

    Mr & Mrs M of London
  • Being in our 60’s buying another property was daunting to say the least but Damien made everything uncomplicated, can’t believe how smooth everything went.

    Mr & Mrs M of Chester Le Street
  • Abbey –  On behalf of myself and all my family,  we are extremely grateful for your professionalism and support during this stressful process for us. We are very happy to have our first house and we couldn’t do this without your help. Thank you!

    Miss A of Rugby
  • Hi All,

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all, for all the hard work you have periodically contributed over this rather long journey we have had together.

    I was very worried about going with a solicitors which wasn’t local but ohhh how I was wrong. I genuinely don’t think we could of done better and we will recommend your firm to everyone.

    Kara!! You are amazing and thank you for going completely above and beyond in the last 6 months. We never once felt like just money signs and actually felt like you cared and shared all our ups and downs with us.

    Thank you all again for everything.

    Much Love

    Miss D & Mr C of Dudley
  • Special mention to Alys Terebenec  who dealt with our sale and purchase in an excellent manner. Keeping us up to date at all times and explained the process on the way.

    Mr and Mrs W of Sunderland
  • Kara, we would like to say a huge thank you for helping us with our sale and purchase. This was the first time we had sold and purchased a property, we had no clue as to what to do but your explanation of things and the communication you kept with us made it much easier. I would also like to thank David Turk, Zarah Rowntree, Emma Hunter, Isabelle Levitt and Chloe Slater for the work and correspondence in the last days before the completion and making the final few days go smoothly. We will definitely be requesting the services of Sweeney Miller and also recommending you to friends and family in the future.

    Mr and Mrs E of The West Midlands
  • I have used Sweeney Miller’s conveyancing services twice this year. Once to oversee the sale of my apartment & subsequently to manage all matters in relation to a complex housing purchase. Throughout, all staff I dealt with were knowledgeable, courteous and efficient in handling my case and the queries I had. 

    A law firm that takes pride in delivering excellent customer service.

    Mr H of London
  • Thank you so much for the speedy and professional services I received from you. I really appreciate the clear and prompt communication – especially over the phone. I’ve already recommended Sweeney Miller to others 🙂

    Mr P of Newcastle
  • Lois – could you please pass on our thanks for a great service for the purchase of our property, you couldn’t have been anymore helpful and kept us informed all the way through the purchase.

    We will be recommending you to any friends or family who need your services.

    Mr and Mrs C of Gloucestershire
  • Stephanie – Thank you to you and your team for all your professional support and faultless communications. Much appreciated.

    Mrs D of Devon
  • David – this is just to thank you for your excellent service which you (and Alex) provided in completing a variety of matters on behalf of the family.

    Mr P of Sunderland