Probate and the Administration of Estates
When someone dies their assets are called their Estate. If they leave a Will they appoint executors who apply for a Grant of Probate to let them deal with the Estate.
In some Estates the issues are straightforward and the executors can deal with things themselves. However some complex legal issues can arise during the course of administration of the Estate and there are some major pitfalls. Therefore even if you do intend to deal with these matters yourself it is sensible to have at least a meeting with a solicitor for your peace of mind.
We frequently provide assistance on a mix and match basis and many executors prefer this approach rather than taking on the full responsibility themselves. Others prefer to avoid the risk of personal liability and a lot of effort by instructing a solicitor. Many are surprised at how cost effective an approach this is. More straightforward probates can usually be done on a fixed costs basis and we always give you up front information about costs.
There are particular circumstances where particular problems can arise and it is always prudent to take advice. These include:
- The deceased owned a business or was a partner in a firm
- Where there is an agricultural element
- There are Trusts
- There is no Will
- There is a homemade Will
- There are missing beneficiaries
- There is inheritance tax to pay
- There is the possibility of a claim against the Estate
- The Estate may be insolvent
- If a beneficiary wishes to vary the provisions of a Will