Wills and Probate Lawyers

As expert wills and probate solicitors in Warrington, Cheshire, our team understands how daunting writing a Will can be. However, it needn’t be complicated or expensive.

Wills solicitors covering Warrington and Cheshire

Having a Will provides individuals with peace of mind. So you know, if anything was to happen, your loved ones are protected. Watsons Solicitors have been helping both individuals and families prepare for the future for over 60 years. We have been the trusted wills and probate lawyers for hundreds of clients and we can help you too.

Watsons Solicitors can provide advice and assistance to ensure your estate is disposed of on your death in accordance with your wishes. It is important to note that in the event of your passing, assets may not pass automatically to a partner or child.

Many people pass away without making a Will, simply because they haven’t got around to it. Our specialist Wills department can assist you in planning your estate to mitigate inheritance tax as much as possible.

Expert probate lawyers

Obtaining probate is a legal process and can be a complex and onerous task. It is helpful to appoint a professional Executor to carry out the process and to relieve your family members of the burden. Remember, many assets cannot be called in until Probate is granted. So a swift resolution is one less thing for your family to worry about at a difficult time.

Our probate lawyers are approachable, professional and extremely experienced. Once they have established the complexity of the estate, they will then provide you with an estimate of their fees. Our charges are based on the time we spend dealing with a matter and we do not charge a fee that is a percentage value of the estate.

Contacting Watsons Solicitors

As your local solicitor for writing a Will, Alexandra Mitchell is on hand to help draft a professional Will and advise on probate matters. If you require more information or have any questions about our associated services, then please get in touch by contacting us directly on 01925 571212.

Further help and guidance on wills and probate

Read more about our advice and guidance on probate, and how your live-in partner could lose everything if you die without making a will. We also use our expertise in Will writing to support the local community, for example during Will Week in 2018, we worked closely with the Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation.


What our clients say...

“Alex provided a very friendly and professional service."

“The family has used Watsons (initially Colin Watson) for over half a century. My own engagement has been with Alex Mitchell over the last 12 years. She is a consummate professional providing the very highest advice and guidance at all times."

“I had excellent service from Kristel. She was understanding, kind, considerate and empathetic throughout the whole Court of Protection process. It was/is a difficult time for me, and she completely understood this. She was very patient in explaining things to me, even when I found it difficult to process all the information, she was giving me. I have been happy with all the help and advice she has given me."

“Solicitor was very helpful and informative at all times. Only used service for Will but would recommend Watsons for all matter of services. Recommended by my son who has used Watsons in the past"

“The time and care taken with my mother was very very good. Explained what was required and it was sorted out for us with no fuss. Thanks."

“Long term and ongoing relationship. Very happy with services and advice provided. Thank you."

“I have no hesitation in recommending Alexandra and Watsons as the service was outstanding – professional, trustworthy, and friendly.”

Meet the Team

Our Wills & Probate Experts

Alexandra Mitchell

Alexandra Mitchell

Partner and member of the Probate Department

Alex has an LLB Honours Degree in Law from University of Liverpool.

She qualified as a Solicitor in 2004 and joined Watsons in 2007 and became a partner in 2013.

Alex specialises in Probate, Wills, Trusts and all aspects of private client work, having a particular interest in Advising the Elderly.

She is a member of the Law Society Solicitor Trust and Estates Practitioners (STEP) Group.

Kristel Clarke, Watsons Solicitors

Kristel Clarke

Partner and member of the Probate Department

Kristel obtained her LLB Honours Law Degree from University of Liverpool.

She qualified as a Solicitor in April 2013. 

Kristel specialises in all aspects of Private Client including Wills, Trusts, Probate, Administration of Estates, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

Kristel is appointed by the Court of Protection as a Deputy in relation to Property and Financial Affairs.  She is also an accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.                 

Jennifer Stewart Solicitor

Jennifer Stewart

Solicitor and member of the Probate Department

Jennifer qualified as a solicitor in 2008 specialising in Wills and Probate.

She worked for the same firm for 18 years before moving to Watsons in 2023. Jen deals with Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection and Probate.

Probate FAQs

What is probate?

Probate is the legal and financial process of dealing with the assets – property, money, and possessions – of a person who has passed away.

When is probate required?

Probate is usually needed when a person who has died owned a property or significant assets in their name.

Who can apply for probate?

The executor is the person(s) who makes the application for the grant of probate. If there is no executor because they are unwilling or unable to act, then one of the beneficiaries can make the application instead.

Why does probate take so long?

It takes time to obtain valuations of assets to ascertain the value of someone’s estate.
The probate registry is also under pressure with the volume of applications and has said it can take up to 16 weeks to issue a grant of probate.
This has been increased for an application for grant of letters of administration if someone passes away intestate (without a will).

Can probate be contested or refused?

The will itself can be contested and there are various ways this can happen.
Probate can be ‘refused’ if someone has placed a caveat (temporary stop on the issue of a probate application) at the probate registry. The person who has made the application is notified of this.
A caveat is usually placed if there is a dispute over who is applying for the grant of probate or a dispute about the validity of a will.

How does probate work when there is no will?

The application will be for a personal representative of the estate to take on the role and obtain a grant of letters of administration.
The estate is then shared in accordance with the rules of intestacy. There are strict criteria as to who can take on the role as the personal representative in accordance with these rules.

What happens after probate is granted?

Once probate has been granted, the assets can be collected and distributed in accordance with the will of the deceased or in accordance with the intestacy rules.

Who gets paid first?

The first expense is the funeral and thereafter any other debts and testamentary expenses are paid.

Can probate fees be paid from the estate?

Probate fees can be deducted from the estate as long as they are reasonable. Such fees can include the application fee of £273 plus solicitors’ fees for the law firm instructed by the executor or personal representative of the estate.
Lay executors cannot be paid for the time they spend administering the estate.
Expenses that can be paid include inheritance tax, probate registry fees, and professional fees, such as instructing a solicitor.

Are probate records public?

Once proved, the will and the grant of probate/letters of administration becomes a public document.

How to get in touch with us

Watsons Solicitors

Watsons Solicitors is a trading name of Watsons Solicitors Warrington LLP a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales registered number OC386012 whose registered office is 13 Bold Street, Warrington, WA1 1DJ.

Watsons Solicitors Warrington LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 598547.

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