Probate and Administration of Estates
Norrie Waite & Slater solicitors are experts in dealing with the legal and financial work involved with a deceased person's estate. The paperwork involved can be daunting and quite complex, involving inheritance tax, income tax and many other financial considerations. Our experienced team can remove this burden from you during this difficult time and ensure that the wishes of the deceased are carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What is Probate?
Probate is the term commonly used to mean applying for the right to deal with a deceased person's estate. Someone will need to apply for "grant of representation" to enable them to deal with the person's affairs.
The legalities vary depending on whether or not the deceased left a Will.
If the deceased left a Will.
Executors will be named in the Will and they will be responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased. The executors have to apply to the probate registry for "grant of probate" which is a legal document confirming that the executors have the legal right to deal with the deceased's affairs. This document is required to deal with the person's property, finances and possessions.
If the deceased did not leave a Will.
If someone dies intestate a relative will need to apply to the probate registry for "grant of letters of administration" which gives them the legal authority to deal with the person's estate.
Our probate solicitors can deal with applying for grant of probate or grant of letters of administration on your behalf.
Is Probate (or grant of representation) always required?
In certain circumstances it is not necessary to apply for grant of representation. You should always seek legal advice to ascertain if this applies to you and to avoid any legal problems as a result of mistakenly not applying for grant.
As a general rule a grant is not required when everything the deceased owned was held in joint names with their spouse and they are the sole beneficiary.
It is also not usually necessary to apply for grant when the deceased has an estate of low value, for example a bank account containing less than £5000. If the deceased held shares or substantial savings or a property then grant is always required.
Administration of a deceased estate
Dealing with the administration of an estate can be time consuming, depending on the size and complexity of the person's affairs.
The deceased's assets and liabilities need to be ascertained, their debts settled and their position calculated for income tax and inheritance tax. Assets such as savings, investments, shares, property and insurance policies all need to be taken into account to enable the estate to be dealt with properly and the assets distributed to beneficiaries.
Our team are experienced in administering all types of estates, from the straightforward to the most complex. Contact us to speak to one of our solicitors who will be happy to assess your situation and provide you with an estimate for the work to be carried out.
All our Wills, Probate and Estate Planning services are offered at each of our branches. Please contact your most convenient office for advice.