Legal formalities

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.

From wills or intestacy to estate administration and dealing with inheritance tax, there are certain steps that need to be taken.

Probate requirements

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.

Inheritance tax

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.


The loss of a family member or friend can be very distressing. The process can be made even more difficult, if the loss is unexpected and without an obvious explanation. When this happens, the case may be referred to a Coroner. Our criminal law team can help you gain a better understanding of the inquest process, make contact with the Coroner’s office and ensure your voice is heard. We will analyse the evidence and if necessary, obtain second opinions on the evidence. We will also represent you at the inquest hearing asking questions to assist the Coroner.

Price and service transparency

Our specialist team is extremely experienced in dealing with a wide range of issues around deceased estates, we offer compassionate advice and are dedicated to helping unravel any confusion and ensure the process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible

Regional heavyweights

B P Collins' reputation continues to excel in the legal directories. The firm is recognised as a regional heavyweight, many of our services are tier one and lots of our lawyers are recognised as either leaders in their field or next generation lawyers.

Chambers UK     The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Get in touch 

For further information or advice please call 01753 889995 or email

Probate Specialists

Sarah Reynolds
Senior Associate
Lucy Wood
Practice Group Leader
Dominic Ibbs
Senior Associate
Sharon Heselton
Senior Associate (Non Solicitor)

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