What is Probate?
A Grant of Probate is the legal authority to act for the estate of the Deceased and administer and/or distribute it in accordance with a Will or Rules of Intestacy.
Our probate solicitors help you deal with the administration of estates following the death of a family member or friend.
Probate is necessary whether the deceased made a will or not – if a person dies intestate, a close family member can act as their personal representative and appoint other executors and a solicitor to help administer the estate and apply for probate, so that their assets can be distributed.
When is Probate necessary?
Probate is necessary if a person owns a property and/or has money held in bank accounts. Some financial institutions have limits above which probate will be required, so taking expert legal advice on probate can be helpful in most cases – and essential in some cases.
At H & S Solicitors, can guide executors and personal representatives through probate – and also advise in cases involving probate and high-value wills, probate and international wills, or probate and Islamic wills made in England and Wales.
H & S solicitors offer clear and focused legal advice on probate – and can guide executors at every stage of the process, to make sure probate goes smoothly and with as little stress as possible.
Our probate solicitors
The expertise within our probate team allows them to deal with the most complex of estates and legal issues. We have particular expertise in cross-border estates, issues of foreign succession and domicile issues, as well as business property and heritage issues. The long experience of our probate team also allows us to deal sympathetically and efficiently with probate where there are complexities. We appreciate that clients instruct us at a difficult time in their lives and we understand the importance of giving clear, timely, practical advice.
Most of our clients chose to have their fees for probate work calculated on the basis of hourly rates. Our rates compare well with firms of comparable quality. For our clients this will often work out to be the most economical option but it does carry a risk that complications will cause initial estimates to be exceeded. Some clients prefer the re-assurance of a fixed fee and we're happy to offer a fixed fee basis for probate work if that suits the client best.
Sometimes issues are not limited to dealing with probate because for example disputes arise or there may be special aspects such as a foreign element. At H & S Solicitors, we shall always discuss and confirm with our client what each charging option involves to allow real choice. We are happy to discuss a reduced percentage basis for estates with high value.
What H & S Solicitors Can Do for You
We can assist you with the administration of the estate and you can decide to what extent you want to involve us. We can carry out all the procedures in administrating the estate. However, in order for us to proceed we require from you an original death certificate and details of the estate (both assets and debts).
Once the extent of the estate has been established, we will take the following steps:
- Notify the beneficiaries of their interest in the estate
- Place statutory notices, if required
- Prepare the formal documents to apply for grant of representation
- Deal with any inheritance tax liability
- Carry out any wishes of the deceased in accordance with the Will or apply the rules of intestacy
- Collect money and assets
- Pay any debts or expenses
- Finalise any income tax affairs
- Make interim payments to beneficiaries on account of their entitlement where necessary
- Deal with the sale or transfer of any property owned by the deceased
- Prepare final estate accounts showing how the estate shall be administered
We can offer you an initial consultation at a reduced rate.
For expert legal advice on Probate, call H & S Probate Solicitors in confidence on 020 7316 3090.