Probate is the process of dealing with the assets of a person who has died. Before the Executor or any person named in the Will can claim any of the deceased’s assets, they may have to apply for Probate. When this has been granted, the assets can then be dealt with either in accordance with deceased’s Will, or in accordance with the law if a Will was not in place.
“My sister and I would like to thank Kim for her help with dealing with probate for our late mum. Kim was professional, sympathetic and also provided great advice to.”
K C of Norwich.
What if there is no Will?
When someone dies without a Will, the rules of Intestacy apply and determine who is entitled to deal with the estate as well as who is set to inherit from the estate. It is important that the correct person is appointed as the personal representative of the estate, and so if you are unsure of this then we are happy to help. The process to follow is very similar to that of obtaining a Grant of Probate. However, whereas the Executor’s authority in the case of where the deceased had a Will, derives from the Will. Whereas the authority of the administrator of an intestate estate derives from the Letters of Administration granted by the Probate Registry.
What are the stages of Probate?
The main stages of Probate are:
- Informing interested parties
- Collating and valuing the estate
- Paying Inheritance Tax
- Applying for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
- Gather and liquidate assets, pay any debts and then distribute the estate in accordance with the Will or Intestacy Rules
- Pay any debts from the estate
- Distribute the estate in accordance with the Will or Intestacy rules
When do I need a Probate Solicitor?
It is not compulsory to use a Probate Lawyer or Solicitor, but it can help to ease the burden during a difficult time. If you have been named as Executor, or if your loved one did not have a Will, you may need help to complete Probate for their estate. This can be a complicated and confusing process with a great deal of responsibility attached. In addition, the Executors can be personally liable for the estate if it is not dealt with correctly. Being an Executor or an administrator can be an onerous task which comes at a time when people are grieving.
There are certain instances when you may wish to employ the services of a Probate Solicitor:
- The estate’s value is over the inheritance tax (IHT) threshold
- The estate is still earning an income, and there are taxes due
- The deceased died without a Will
- The validity of the Will is in doubt
- The deceased had descendants that have been left out of the Will but may wish to make a claim on the estate
- The estate is insolvent (bankrupt)
- The estate has complex arrangements, such as assets in a Trust, foreign property, or foreign assets
- The deceased lived outside the UK
We are Specialist Probate Solicitors, with considerable experience in this field. If you need advice on any aspect of Probate, please get in touch. We are happy to work with you and involve ourselves as little or as much as you wish.
How much do Probate services cost?
The cost of our Specialist Probate serves an depend on the value and the complexity of the deceased’s estate. We offer a fixed price Probate service based on a small percentage of the value of the estate. If you would like more details about our fees, please contact us.
What is Contested Probate?
It is hard enough when a loved one dies, but it is even harder when the contents of their Will is disappointing to you or another family member.
It may be possible to contest a relative’s Will once they have died, depending on personal circumstances and the relationship that had been between the relative and the deceased.
If you are the Executor of an estate which is being contested, then we can help too. In such a case the estate is likely to bear the costs of defending any claim, but you need to be aware of the prospects of success for any such claim in order for you to make right decisions on dealing with it.
We are very experienced in these types of matter. We can guide you through the minefield of issues to ensure you are protected personally if beneficiaries are unhappy with any such decisions. Please see our Contested Probate page for further guidance.
We are here to help you
We understand that having to deal with a loved one’s estate so soon after their death can be distressing, and we are here to help with all matters connected with obtaining a Grant of Probate and finalising a person’s affairs.
How we can help
The process may involve the valuation of assets, paying debts and liabilities, arranging funerals, and dealing with Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax. We are happy to deal with these matters for you to ensure that everything is done correctly and efficiently.
“The service you provided was very considerate and helpful and very professional.”