Probate & Estate Administration
Probate is the term used to deal with the legal process of dealing with a person's estate after their death. Our specialist team of Probate and Trusts Solicitors have many years experience in taking the burden off family members and dealing with the necessary legal procedures involved in administering a person's estate in the UK.
If the deceased left a Will, there will be Executors who are responsible for dealing with the estate. If there is no Will, the people responsible for dealing with the estate are called Administrators. Executors and Administrators are often referred to as Personal Representatives. They have the task of collecting in the deceased's assets, i.e. closing down bank accounts, selling or transferring shares, selling or transferring property and dealing with any legacies of money or personal items. They are also required to settle any debts of the estate, including funeral expenses and administration expenses, out of the deceased's funds. Personal Representatives are also responsible for sorting out any tax issues, including Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.
Obtaining the Grant of Representation
In order to deal with assets in the estate, Personal Representatives will often need to apply for a Grant of Representation. This is a legal document issued by the High Court which authorises the Personal Representatives to collect in the assets. If there is a Will, the Grant is called a Grant of Probate. If there is no Will, the Grant is called a Grant of Letters of Administration. Most financial institutions will require sight of the Grant before they will release the monies, although this may not be the case if there are small amounts of money involved. If the deceased owned a property or shares, a Grant will certainly be required. Our Probate and Trusts Solicitors can help you with this process by taking care of all the paperwork involved, which includes an Oath which the Personal Representatives are required to swear in the presence of a Solicitor / Commissioner for Oaths and an Inland Revenue account.
If you would like Lovell Chohan Solicitors to deal with the whole administration of the estate for you, we can assist with all these matters including:
- Notifying third parties of the death, i.e. financial institutions, share registrars, utility companies
- Obtaining valuations of assets
- Dealing with any Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax matters
- Obtaining the Grant of Representation
- Collecting in the assets
- Settling liabilities, tax liabilities, funeral expenses and administration expenses
- Selling the deceased's property or transferring property to beneficiaries
- Selling shares or transferring shares to beneficiaries
- Paying any legacies left by the deceased to beneficiaries
- Placing statutory notices in newspapers to advertise for any unknown creditors
- Preparing estate accounts to account for monies going in and out of the estate from the date of death
- Distributing the monies in the estate as per the Will or Intestacy Rules (if there is no Will)
- Advising on trust arrangements within the Will
- Post-death variations - advising on variations of the Will after death to maximise tax mitigation or vary entitlements under the Intestacy Rules