Our Probate and Administration of Estates experts can help guide you through the process following a death, whether or not there is a Will. Our service includes advice regarding:
- Registration of a death
- Organising a funeral
- Payment of bills and legacies
- Drawing up accounts
- Distribution of the estate
Whether planning for the future by making a Lasting Power of Attorney or responding to an illness or accident, our approachable team has the experience to guide you through the complex issues and practical problems arising out of Mental Incapacity.
When someone dies, their property, savings, investments and debts, known collectively as their “estate,” has to be dealt with or “administered.” If the deceased left a valid Will, then the people named as executors will be responsible for administering the estate. If, however, the deceased died intestate, without a Will, then the estate will be administered in accordance with the Intestacy Rules that also set out who is responsible for the administration. In either case, we appreciate that this can be a daunting prospect, as it is usually time-consuming and it can be complicated. Our team have considerable experience and are here to guide you through the process.
We can deal with the whole administration on your behalf, including identifying and obtaining valuations of all the deceased’s assets, ascertaining any debts, liabilities and taxes that may be due on, or as a result of, the deceased’s death, completing any Inheritance Tax accounts that may be due, and arranging for the payment of any tax due. We can also apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration as appropriate. Once the Grant has been made, we can arrange for the release of any money, or the sale or transfer of any assets. We can ensure that all debts and liabilities are discharged and any legacies are paid before drawing up Estate Accounts and arranging for the remaining estate to be distributed in accordance with the Will or the Intestacy Rules.
In certain circumstances, usually where the estate is relatively small or most assets are owned jointly, it may not be necessary to apply for a Grant. Our experts will be able to advise you if this is the case and use the Small Estate Procedure, which applies in those circumstances.
It may be that you would prefer to undertake much of the work yourself, and only ask us to apply for the Grant on your behalf.
We will explain the basis on which we charge and give you a clear estimate of the costs at an early stage in the process. We calculate our charges on the basis of the time we spend working on your behalf, and we do not usually make any charge based on the value of the estate.
We are happy to meet you and discuss your individual circumstances without charge, so that you can understand which process will apply to you and the likely costs involved before you commit to instructing us. We can make home visits if it is difficult for you to come into the office.
For more information, read our Guide to Estate Administration.
If you wish to dispute a Will, our Litigation team can help.
Wills & Probate – Introduction
Information about Making a Will
Information about Inheritance Tax Planning
Information about Mental Incapacity and Powers of Attorney
Please see Probate fee structure for more information regarding the costs for grants of probate and estate administration.