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Wills, Trusts and Probate

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Our team at Crane & Staples will help you with the legal processes of protecting your property and possessions during your lifetime and, as far as possible after you die.

Currently in the UK only around 30% of people have made a will. For those who have, 2 out of every 3 are out of date. This means that many bereaved families have the additional stress of working out how their family wished for their estate to be dealt with.

Our advice covers everything from will writing, powers of attorney and tax planning to disposal of business interests. We appreciate that many of these subjects are difficult to talk about but you’ll find us easy to talk to and you are welcome to do so at our offices or in the comfort of your own home.

Click on the headings below to

Will Writing

What exactly is a will?
A legally binding document that specifies exactly what you want to happen to your money and property after your death. It sets out your arrangements for the care of your children, allows you to make provisions for your dependants, bequests to family, friends and charities and details the arrangements for your funeral. So it's vitally important that you get it right!

Why do I need a will?
If you don't make a will your wishes can be ignored or intentionally misunderstood, and your estate could pass to someone you wouldn’t choose or even to the Crown. We'll advise you how to turn your wishes into legally binding wording and help you ensure that every aspect is covered. Alongside the preparation of a will we'll assist you with tax planning, including inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning – to minimise the amount claimed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

We will also make sure your will is signed and can make arrangements to store your will safely for you, giving you a complete copy.

What happens if my circumstances change?
Any change in personal circumstances, such as getting married, separated or divorced, having children or moving house can mean that your wishes change and your will needs to be updated to reflect that. With many people marrying for a second time and having an extended family this can create more complicated situations. We can diarise and appointment to review your will with you, and advise on the best way of making any changes.

Reassurance and trust in trying times
Our experienced and sympathetic team of advisors never forget the great importance and personal significance of your final wishes - and they're here to help you tailor your will to suit your particular circumstances. That might include using appropriate trusts for a variety of purposes including for example Inheritance Tax Planning and the protection of vulnerable or minor beneficiaries.

Asset Protection and advice on setting up trusts

Planning ahead - for reassurance in retirement and old age.

Financial security in retirement is rarely something you can leave to chance - and many of our clients find it reassuring to use us as a 'family solicitor'. That role extends beyond drafting wills to the provision of clear and impartial advice on how best to provide for your own and your dependants' future.

This includes advice on Inheritance Tax planning and Capital Gains Tax, in life and upon death. It also includes advice, where appropriate, to secure children's inheritance, for example in the context of a second marriage or relationship. It may also involve drafting and setting up family trusts and lasting powers of attorney so that your chosen representatives can make decisions and act for you if you become unable to do so.

We can also advise on the funding of residential nursing care. Many clients are concerned about being able to protect their home if they need residential nursing care.

Whilst this is a complex area, with careful planning we can in many instances help you achieve a high degree of asset protection, providing both security and peace of mind for the future.

Administration of Estates and Probate Services

We can deal with all aspects of the administration of a deceased person’s estate and are experienced in dealing with both straightforward and complex estates. We can advise and assist in administering your estate in a professional yet sensitive manner. Your family will find our team's support invaluable following a bereavement.

If you wish to appoint professionals to administer your estate, we offer a full Executor and Trustee service, which will shield your family and beneficiaries from the many legal issues that can arise when a person dies. We are happy to act either alone or with lay persons nominated by you such as family members and friends.

Other areas on which we can advise are Will disputes and potentially contentious estate matters and preparing deeds of variation to change the way an estate is divided after death. 

We always bear in mind that many of these services take place at very distressing times, and provide advice in what might be termed a 'compassionately diplomatic' manner.

I would like to thank you so much for the care you have taken since first meeting Mum and me last October. I am so glad you met her because it made it much more personal and I would strongly suggest that people do that with their parents. It made such a difference to Mum that you had made the effort to meet her and Emi.  What a shame it ended so soon after that meeting. Thank you for your professionalism, prompt replies and attention to detail.

If you have any specific queries or would like to make an appointment with one of our team on 01707 387074 or email

Department Contacts

The following members of the C&S team specialise in this area of law. To find out more about them simply click on their name.

Department contact details

Direct dial 01707 387074 or email

Secretarial Support

  • Thea Mein
  • Mary Oliver
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners logo
  • Solicitors for the Elderly logo
Forms & Factsheets
Lexcel Law Society Accreditation logo.

Crane & Staples Solicitors
Longcroft House, Fretherne Road, Welwyn Garden City,
Hertfordshire AL8 6TU

Tel: 01707 329333

Fax: 01707 331194


DX: 30051 Welwyn Garden City

Wills, Trusts and Probate