Wills & Probate
We recognise that private client matters often involve issues that can be highly sensitive and personal. Our dedicated wills and probate solicitors in our Private Law Department provide a personal service with effective solutions for our clients including wills, powers of attorney, legalisation, statutory declarations and probate. We aim to help you plan for the future and protect your financial security.
Dealing with the death of someone close to you can be traumatic, and if you have been appointed the executor of their Will, i.e., meaning that you are responsible for distributing what they have left behind, the potential for more stress lies ahead. There may be international aspects that complicate the case, many of our lawyers are multi-lingual and are on hand to offer useful guidance. We will advise and assist you on:-
- Wills and succession
- Probate and administration of estates
- Powers of Attorney
- Capital Gains Tax and income tax
- Statutory Declaration
- Attestation of Documents
In addition, although divorce is a separate area of law, it can affect inheritance. If you have not already done so, you should consider making a new Will or consider reviewing your existing one. It is always important to do so, but particularly if there are children involved. We offer a Wills service and can advise factors that you need to consider to avoid complications arising from the distribution of your wealth after your death.
'Probate' means the right to deal with a deceased person's affairs (called 'administering the estate'). Unless you have a grant of probate from the courts it becomes almost impossible to deal with the deceased Estate (e.g. jewellery, property and cars etc.,) because the banks will not release funds, you cannot distribute the Estate of the deceased, which includes selling their home, or other properties of the deceased.
When a person dies, you may be able to apply for a Grant of Representation as a Personal Representative (PR) of the Estate. This gives one or more persons the legal authority to administer the estate of the deceased in order to distribute it correctly to beneficiaries. PRs are legally responsible and ultimately liable for the administration of the estate of the deceased.
Matters can become complex if the deceased dies without a Will, they are considered to have then died ‘intestate.’ PRs of the Estate are either the Executors named in the Will, or the next of kin following the Rules of Intestacy, if there is no Will. The two main types of Grant of Representation are:
- The Grant of Probate, where there is a Will
- Letters of Administration, where there is no Will
Application for Grant Representation
However, if there is inheritance tax owing on the property the courts will not grant probate and therefore this needs to be settled with HM Revenue and Customs before an application is made. Probate can be contentious and this could lead to an application being contested in court. It does involve a series of interdependent legal and administrative activities in order to administer an estate.
Administration of Estate
We can apply for a grant on your behalf and explain the steps that you need to undertake before and after the grant is issued. We also advise Personal Representatives on their duties such as filling Inheritance Tax returns, personal income and Capital Gains Tax returns and on how the Estate ought to be distributed in accordance to the Will, or the Rules of Intestacy including the conveyance of properties belonging to the Estate.
Probate Lawyers, London
We work on a competitive fee structure, which includes fixed fees for probate. Call 0203 540 6340 to speak to one of our specialist solicitors. Alternatively, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online enquiry form.