There is a lot to deal with when someone dies and probate is the legal process for dealing with the estate. The estate must be established and valued, the assets called in, the debts paid, the tax position settled and the estate distributed to the beneficiaries. This process can take months to finalise and to ensure that every aspect of the estate is dealt with in the right way. We offer expert advice to guide you through the probate process.
Will or no will?
The rules about how an estate is distributed are different depending on whether or not there is a will.
If a will exists, the estate will be distributed according to the person’s wishes. If you are appointed as an executor under a will we go through the will with you, advise you on your responsibilities and explain how to carry out your duties so the instructions in the will are complied with.
If there is no will, we are able to advise you on the rules of intestacy and ensure that the correct beneficiaries are identified so that the estate can be distributed in accordance with the law.
In both cases, a grant may be required to confirm your authority to deal with the estate and complete the administration. We are able to advise on the circumstances that may require a Grant of Probate and whether it may be necessary to obtain a grant in the estate.
Deed of Variation
You may also want to vary the terms of a will because, for example, a beneficiary wants to pay their share to another person or for tax planning purposes. This is possible within two years of the date of death by a Deed of Variation. We are able to provide advice on such a deed and prepare the necessary document.
Our two levels of service for executors
1. Full Estate Administration: We will deal with the entire process for you including:
- Establishing the estate
- Valuing the estate
- Preparing the inheritance tax forms
- Settling the tax position
- Applying for the Grant of Probate
- Closing the accounts
- Collecting the assets
- Paying the debts
- Preparing the estate accounts
- Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries
- Dealing with any other estate matters
We can also deal with any trusts within the estate and work closely with our specialist conveyancing team to ensure that any property sale involved is handled in an efficient and professional manner.
2. Obtain the Grant of Probate only: You provide us with the information for the estate and, using this information, we prepare the necessary forms for an application for the Grant of Probate. This may be helpful for you if the estate is straightforward and you have the time to contact the various organisations yourself but need help to apply for the grant itself.