Probate and Estate Administration – How we can Help
When someone has died, we understand that those who are bereaved may feel a sense of loss, confusion and turmoil. Dealing with the affairs of the deceased can seem overwhelming. With our experienced team, we will do our very best to offer sensitive, practical, cost effective support and assistance in overcoming the administrative burdens which have to be faced.
We are proud that we are long established. In some cases, we have acted for generations of the same family. In other cases, we are acting for clients for the first time and we pride ourselves on seeing them, or members of their family, return to us for ongoing legal advice.
Increasingly, we are aware that many organisations seek to get involved when someone has died. Often, those organisations are part of large institutions which operate from national centres, backed by high profile advertising campaigns. They seek to sell a streamlined service but they may actually charge more than a local Solicitor who can offer an individual, personalised service. Everyone is free to choose who helps them and we would like you to choose us.
We offer two types of service to those who are faced with winding up the affairs of someone who has died: –
“Full Administration” and “Grant Only”. Both types of service can be conducted by all the members of our Wills, Probate and Estates Team. Regardless of which team member works with you, they will be supervised by the Head of our Wills, Probate and Estates Department who is a solicitor and partner. Regardless of which team member works with you, we do our best to provide consistently caring, considered and cost effective advice.
When our Full Administration Service is used, the work that we would usually undertake is,
- Meeting to take full details about the deceased, the family circumstances and the nature and extent of assets and liabilities of the estate
- Ascertaining whether there is a valid Will and its whereabouts
- Contacting institutions to register the death and obtain valuations and details of assets or liabilities
- Preparing any inheritance tax accounts that may be required and arranging payment of any inheritance tax due (this has to be paid before the Court will issue the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration)
- Preparing the paperwork necessary to apply for a Grant from the Court
- Making arrangements for the papers to be signed, including (where appropriate) arranging for the Executors or Administrators to attend at an independent Solicitors office for the purpose of swearing the Oath
- Submitting the application for a Grant to the Court and dealing with any enquiries that the Court may raise
- Preparing form of Authority to Banks, Building Society and others holding money and property and arranging for them to be signed by the Executors or Administrators
- Registering the Grant with institutions and submitting forms of Authority to them
- Collecting and paying estate money into our Client Account (where it is subject to the protection of our rules regarding Solicitors’ firms handling of client money)
- Paying bills and any other liabilities and, once they have been paid, paying cash gifts and legacies under the Will
- Obtaining confirmation from HM Revenue and Customs that no more tax is due (where relevant)
- Preparing Estate Accounts showing the assets of the estate and the payment of liabilities and legacies
- Ascertaining the identity of residuary beneficiaries, obtaining their approval of the Estate Accounts, handing over entitlements and obtaining their receipts
- Where relevant, helping to set up any Trusts created by the Will or in consequence of the Rules of Intestacy where someone has died without a Will
When our Grant Only Service is used, our clients collate information and deal with the administration, but seek our assistance in helping them to prepare and submit the Court papers. The work that we would undertake is,
- Preparing the paperwork necessary to apply for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration from the Court
- Submit the papers to the Court and checking the Grant when it has been issued
- Delivering the Grant to the Executor or Administrator so that he, she or they can complete the administration
Our Grant Only Service is offered in cases where there is no inheritance tax to pay and no requirement to file a full inheritance tax account with HM Revenue and Customs.
We understand that this can be a difficult time and that support may be needed from us which does not fall distinctly into our two standard types of service. As our focus is to meet the needs of our clients, we can also, on request, offer flexible and tailored services where we would agree which work we would carry out and which tasks would be undertaken personally so that the wellbeing and budget of our clients can be met.
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