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Probate & Intestacy

Probate & Intestacy

In the event of someone dying, we are here to support you. We are experienced in dealing with all aspects of estate administration in a proactive, efficient and sensitive manner. This will include the application to the court to obtain probate and the preparation and submission of all necessary tax returns.

Probate and Intestacy explained

What is Intestacy?

Intestacy is when a person dies without having made a valid will or other binding declaration.

If this happens, there are intestacy rules which will determine how your estate is distributed upon your death. This includes any bank accounts, securities, property and any other assets you own at the time of death.

More information on intestacy can be found on the gov.uk website.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal term given to the process that is followed after someone has died. Grant of Probate is the legal document issued by the Probate Registry. At this point the deceased persons’ estate can be administered.

If there is a will then there will be an Executor, who has responsibility for the administration of the estate.

If there is no will, then the estate will be subject to the Intestacy Rules which will determine who will be the administrator for the estate and inherit the assets. This is normally the next of kin of the deceased person.

Where there is a will then a Grant of Probate will be obtained following an application made to the Probate Registry and where there is no will then a Grant of Letters of Administration obtained.

Administering a Deceased Person’s Estate

If your spouse dies, you may not need to obtain probate in order to administer their estate, for example if you own everything jointly. You should, however still collate the necessary information in order to be able to claim your spouse’s unused Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band on your death and we can help you with this.

When someone dies, the general practice of most banks and building societies is to freeze the accounts until the Personal Representatives of the estate has received the Grant of Probate.  Access to the accounts is only allowed to pay for funeral arrangements and any Inheritance Tax that is due.

This relaxation of the limits can ease the pressure put on families when waiting for the Grant of Probate as finances can become strained during a very difficult and emotional time.

How we can help

We are experienced and can offer support in dealing with all aspects of estate administration including (but not limited to):

  • Liaising with individuals and/or institutions to obtain the necessary information to complete the necessary estate return forms;
  • Assisting with establishing the total assets of the deceased;
  • Assisting with the payment of the deceased’s debts including funeral expenses;
  • Preparing and placing statutory notices and advertisements;
  • Calculating and paying any tax owed, such as Inheritance Tax;
  • Assisting with the completion of the necessary HMRC forms, such as forms IHT 400 or IHT 205;
  • Advice in relation to making the most of any tax exemptions available to the estate;
  • Assisting with the application for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration;
  • Preparing and submitting all necessary tax returns;
  • Advice and support for personal representatives to assist them in acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries; and
  • Preparing and finalising estate accounts.

If you need some advice please contact our team of probate solicitors.

 

See also

Thank you for your time and advice today. You made a difficult process feel very comfortable. Thanks again.

08/05/2017
Gail Donaldson
Senior Associate and Head of Private Client
Hayley Ruckin
Solicitor - Private client
Nina Gurra
Solicitor- Private Client
Carole Hewett
Chartered Legal Executive - Private Client
Maxine Braham
Senior Associate and Head of Private Client Luton
Chris England
Private Client Executive