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When a partner or close family member dies the emotional cost of dealing with all the necessary legal formalities and paperwork can be overwhelming – especially given the stress of the occasion.
To help you at this difficult time, our experts will discuss your specific probate requirements during a no charge, one hour meeting at our offices to help you understand the process, as well as the general problems and liabilities you might be exposed to when administering an estate.
Our specialist probate team is extremely experienced in dealing with a wide range of issues around deceased estates. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping families through the legal maze at a time when their emotions are still very raw and to ensuring the process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Locating the will
Although it may not seem like your first priority, it's important to ascertain as early as possible if a will has been made and then to locate it. This is because not only does a will deal with the distribution of any estate in the longer term, but it may also include specific instructions about the funeral itself. It can be extremely comforting to the person who has responsibility for making the arrangements to know they are carrying out the last wishes of a loved one.
Presuming a will exists, the deceased will have named an executor to take responsibility for administering the estate - this can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially for the layman, and the advice of our professional probate practitioners can be invaluable.
If, on the other hand, no will has been made, then the intestacy rules will apply. These cases can sometimes be even more complex, meaning it is equally important to consult a probate practitioner.
Grant of Probate
For an executor, one of the first steps is to apply for a Grant of Probate to enable the deceased's assets to be administered appropriately. Although it is possible to make a personal application to a District Probate Registry, the guidance of an expert can be extremely helpful.
B P Collins provides executors with a questionnaire to help them collate the information necessary to apply for a Grant of Probate and then takes care of the application.
It is also at this point that the issue of inheritance tax arises. An inheritance tax account must be completed and submitted to HM Revenue and Customs. A shortened account needs to be prepared for estates which are not subject to inheritance tax and, in both these instances our legal team can complete the necessary accounts and forward the relevant information.
Clients are assured that our solicitors deal promptly and sensitively with probate including cases of intestacy and provide effective advice if an estate is contested.