What is Probate?
In England and Wales, when a person dies somebody has to deal with their estate (the money and possessions left) by collecting in all the money, paying any debts and distributing what is left to those people entitled to it. In order to get the authority to do this, they usually need to obtain a legal document called a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry.
There are three types of Grant of Representation.
1. Probate – Issued to Executor/s named in the deceased’s Will
2. Letters of Administration (with Will) – Issued when there is a Will but there is no Executor named or when Executors are unable or unwilling to apply for the Grant.
3. Letters of Administration – issued when the deceased has not made a Will or any Will made is not valid.
Why is a grant necessary?
All Estates worth over £5,000 require a Grant of Representation as organisations holding money in the deceased’s name need to know to whom that money should be paid and the Grant is proof that the person named in it may collect the money.
When a person dies the Estate left passes to the people named in his or her Will. If there is no valid Will it passes to his or her next of kin. See Intestacy flowchart.
The distribution of the Estate is the responsibility of the person named in the Grant, i.e. the Executor.
N.B. a Grant is always required to sell or transfer a property held under the deceased’s sole name.
If an Executor makes a mistake and does not follow the directions of Trustees Acts they could be held personally liable to the deceased’s creditors. Professional assistance is recommended.
How our probate services work?
An initial consultation and assessment is made to discuss services that may be required, be advised on the completion of form PA1 and IHT 205 or D18. Or in the case of larger Estates setting up of Trusts and associated matters.
After the initial meeting, a quotation is supplied, for the services agreed, prior to the commencement of any work being carried out.
Terms of business and necessary documentation is signed.
The administration is handled by a professional/trustee who will complete the operation as swiftly as possible, keeping you fully informed of progress at all times. Our service offers a substantial cost saving over the traditional providers, i.e. Banks and Solicitors etc. Our typical costs are from £175.00 per hour or approximately 1.75% of the gross Estate value dependant on complexity plus usual disbursements plus VAT.
How we can support you through the estate administration process
We understand that dealing with the death of a loved one can be a stressful and emotional experience. This is why we want to support our clients at their time of need by offering them access to professional services that can reduce the burden on them at this difficult time.
One task that you may need to consider is administering the estate of the person who has passed away. This can be a complex and time-consuming legal process that involves dealing with all of the assets and liabilities associated with the estate. This could include property, stocks, shares, bank accounts and other personal belongings that need to be distributed in line with the Will.
There is often a significant amount of paperwork that needs to be completed, not to mention liaising with various third parties and calculating the tax that is payable on the estate. Some clients choose to undertake the estate administration themselves but others prefer to appoint a specialist firm to do the hard work for them.
We offer a number of services that you can take advantage of:
- Free, impartial and practical advice on what to do when someone dies so that you can understand your options and make an informed decision with confidence
- A comprehensive estate administration service that will remove the stress, effort and legal liability of dealing with a potentially complicated process yourself
- A fixed fee service so that you know exactly what you will pay up front and don’t have the uncertainty of hourly rates or contingency fees to consider
- Regular updates on how the estate is being managed
- You will be allocated a dedicated personal estate adviser