Wills & Probate Solicitors

Cygnet Law, with offices in Darlington and Redcar, we are specialist wills and probate solicitors ready to assist you.

If you want to make sure that your estate is handled as it should be and that your family and loved ones are taken care of, then it is vital to have a will in place. A will ensures that your final wishes are heard and taken into account, it is important that specialist wills and probate solicitors offer legal advice to make the process as easy as possible.

Our team of specialist wills and probate solicitors will guide you through the will-writing process to make sure that there are no issues that may present themselves later down the road. If your will is not written properly, it could affect the value of your estate after you pass away.

Whether you need help with the preparation of your Will, setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney, inheritance tax planning or estate administration, we have a committed, experienced team of wills and probate solicitors who can assist you. We understand that the legalities can often be overwhelming, so we ensure our advice is clear and simple each step of the way.

Our wills and probate solicitors deal with a wide range of family requirements, including ones that fall within the organisation of wills and probate. We offer a friendly and professional service at our offices in Redcar and Darlington in the North East, to arrange everything you need to offer peace of mind for the future and also to assist should the worst happen. 


Making a Will ensures that when you die your estate is dealt with as you would wish. It makes dealing with your estate much easier for your loved ones to handle. It also allows you to appoint executors who are responsible for dealing with your estate administration, to name those who you wish to inherit from your estate and stipulate what it is that you want them to inherit.  Other important considerations include arrangements for your funeral and for the future care of your children. Having a Will may also assist with the future inheritance tax/financial planning of your estate. 

It’s a good idea to consider seeking support when preparing a Will, as there is specialised language involved which can become confusing and many formalities that must be met to ensure your Will is valid.

If you already have a Will it is important that you review it regularly to ensure that it still adequately covers all of your wishes and that it hasn’t been invalidated by a life event such as marriage.

If you need support and advice regarding your Will, please get in touch with our friendly and professional team of solicitors who will be on hand to assist. 

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is something that is often considered alongside your Will although it does have a very different effect. It allows you to appoint people to handle your affairs if it becomes difficult for you to manage them yourself, and choose people of your choice to sort your financial and property affairs and/or make decisions about your health and welfare if it ever came down to it. 

It’s important you appoint people that you trust who will make the best decisions for you. This way, you’ll have the greatest peace of mind.

Our team is able to advise and assist with the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney, the various options involved and also deal with the registration of the documents with the Office of the Public Guardian.

For more LPA info.


Applications for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration

In the unfortunate event someone you know has died and you are appointed as the executor in their Will or in the absence of a Will you are charged with dealing with their estate administration, you may be required to make an application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

Basically, the grant gives authority to the named person to handle all of the assets the deceased possessed, which includes their savings, investments and property.

Typically, you’ll need to apply for a grant in one or more of the following instances:

  • The deceased had £10,000 or more.
  • They had market stocks.
  • They owned land in their name.
  • They had particular insurance policies in place


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Estate Administration

We understand how difficult it is when someone close to you has died and how overwhelming it can be to deal with all aspects of their estate administration.

As well as assisting with applications to the Probate Registry we can take the emotional and often complex tasks away from you in dealing with the full estate administration. This covers all steps of the process from collating information, preparing applications to the Probate Registry, realising estate assets, dealing with tax implications and ultimately distributing the estate to the rightful beneficiaries. 

There are many important stages during the process of estate administration whether the deceased has left a will or not and we have the resources, expertise and support available to assist you with this.

Creation and Administration of Trusts

The creation and administration of trusts is an important consideration to make during your lifetime. Trusts can be set up for a number of reasons, and are commonly misunderstood as something that only the wealthy can have in place. Trusts can often be helpful to your family. Some of the types of trusts you may wish to consider that we can assist with are:

  • Charitable trusts.
  • Lifetime Property Trusts.
  • Trusts allocated only to trusted individuals to protect money and assets for the future.


If you are considering creating a trust, require advice on the administration of an existing trust including making any changes or even bringing the trust to an end, our team of solicitors can help.

Inheritance Tax Planning

Inheritance tax is payable from your estate, when the value of your estate exceeds the IHT nil-rate band. The basic IHT nil-rate band (NRB) is £325,000. If the value of your estate exceeds the IHT NRB (and the Residence NRB if applicable) and there are no reliefs that can be claimed, your estate will attract an IHT liability of up to 40%. 

Forward planning can significantly reduce any IHT liability from your estate. You can do this in a variety of ways to make sure as much of your estate is left to your family or chosen charity. Some of the most common ways to reduce the amount paid includes:

  • Using gifts.
  • Setting up trusts
  • Giving to charity.
  • Making use of available reliefs.


These matters can be complex, so if you would like to discuss possible options available to you please contact our team.

Deputyship Applications

If a loved one is deemed to lack mental capacity and as a result unable to deal with their affairs we understand how challenging this can be for all concerned. There are a number of reasons why someone may not have the capacity to make their own decisions, for example, they might experience illness or suffer from a past injury, have dementia or learning disabilities.

In such circumstances you may need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy for your loved one. We can assist with this and help you secure the legal power you need to be able to deal with their personal affairs, money, property and estate.

Some of the decisions that you can make as a deputy include:

  • Having access to the person’s bank account.
  • Manage their bills and income.
  • Pay care fees.
  • Sell their property.


Cygnet Law can provide you with all the information you need to make responsible decisions about your loved one. Please contact us if you require our help from our wills and probate solicitors team.

Will & Estate Disputes

Being involved in a dispute regarding a loved one’s estate can be both stressful and complex. Whether you are an executor or a beneficiary we can provide advice and assistance to you every step of the way both in court and outside the court arena.

Our team regularly advise on challenging the validity of Wills, bringing and defending claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants Act) 1975 for those who have been disinherited from their loved one’s estate and actions to remove executors.

If you have a query relating to a contentious probate matter our team are here to help.


If you have any questions, please check out our FAQ’s for more help.

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