Probate is usually needed when a person dies. It’s the process of dealing with their estate (their money, property and possessions). The person’s money and other assets are assembled, debts and taxes are paid and their Will is enacted.
To get authority for this to happen, a legal document called a Grant of Representation is needed. There are three types of Grant of Representation:
- Probate: Issued to one or more executors named in the Will.
- Letters of Administration when there is a Will: Issued when there is a Will but no executor named, or when the executors are unable or unwilling to apply for the Grant
- Letters of Administration when there is no Will: Issued when the deceased has not made a Will, or any Will made is not valid
After a client’s death, we can administer or assist their personal representatives to administer the estate – that is, identify and collect in all assets and pay debts, taxes and other expenses.
What remains would then be divided among the people and organisations entitled to a share, under the Will or Intestacy Rules. We can deal with all the matters arising from a Will or Intestacy, or just the necessary legal formalities, including:
- Acting as executors and trustees
- Identifying and valuing assets
- Applying for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
- Identifying and paying debts
- Claiming benefits/exemptions from Inheritance Tax
- Preparing HM Revenue & Customs accounts
- Dealing with beneficiaries
- Deeds of Variation and family arrangements
- Administration of continuing Trusts
Dealing with a Will can be time-consuming and attention to detail is essential. An experienced Solicitor can take over much of this burden at a difficult time and provide practical advice. If we prepared the Will, we will already be aware of its provisions and ready to act upon them.
We can do as much or as little as you wish, to assist with the administration of the estate.
This could include obtaining the grant of representation only based on the information you provide with you completing the rest of the administration, up to and including our full service of us dealing with the whole administration from start to finish on your behalf.
Personal representatives are responsible for ensuring that all assets are identified and properly declared. To assist with this we can undertake a Landmark financial asset search.