Probate and the administration of estates
Probate is the word often used to describe the process of dealing with the affairs of someone who has died, but it's most commonly known as estate administration. It can be a long and sometimes complicated task at a time when you may be struggling with the loss of a loved one.
Probate and estate administration involves hours of administrative work and if you have a family, a job or other responsibilities in your life, taking on this additional work may be just too much to deal with.
Don’t worry though - you can get help. There are many other good reasons for asking a probate lawyer to help you. Call us now on 0117 926 4121 and speak to one of our specialist probate lawyers now or make a free enquiry online and we will help you.
What is Probate?
After someone dies, you will have to show that you are entitled to deal with the probate process by obtaining a grant. You will probably hear the terms, grant of representation, grant of letters of administration or grant of probate.
They all relate to the same process, but which grant you need will depend on whether your loved one made a will or not.
If there was a will, the executor named in the will should apply for a grant of probate. This grant shows they have the legal right to access the whole estate and its assets. This includes bank accounts, property, cash and any other belongings.
If there was no will or if you can't find it, then someone, will have to apply for a grant of letters of administration. They will be known as the administrator. That person is usually the next of kin, so could be a spouse, civil partner or child.
Not leaving a will can have a significant impact, particularly if you are not married to your partner when they die. You won’t inherit any of their estate if they did not leave a will as the rules of intestacy do not allow this.
How do I complete probate?
There are two different processes to follow depending on whether there is a will or not, but the general principle is that you will have to value the estate, decide whether inheritance tax is payable and if so pay it, collect any money owed to the estate, pay any debts owed and then distribute the assets to the people who they have been left to.
Where there is no will, the rules of intestacy will decide who inherits from the estate.
Why should I ask a probate lawyer to help?
This decision is really up to you. You may be absolutely happy to complete probate and estate administration yourself, without any help. If this is the case, then that is fine.
But there are many reasons why you may want to ask a probate lawyer to help. Some of these are:
You may be grieving and can’t face completing the probate process
You might be worried that you won’t have the time to commit to completing probate properly
You could be concerned that you won’t meet all the legal requirements of probate
You may not want the responsibility
The estate may be complicated, with assets abroad for example.
You might get additional tax relief with post-death tax planning strategies
Whatever your reasons, we can help you. Our experienced, friendly and professional team can help you today. Call us now on 0117 926 4121 or make a free enquiry online and we will help you.
How much will it cost?
This is one of the most common questions we are asked when our clients contact us about probate. We know how important it is to be clear about the legal costs involved.
The first thing you should know is that most of the time, our legal fees can be taken from the estate once probate is settled. This means there will be no upfront costs for you.
We also offer a fixed fee probate service, so please do get in touch with us today to find out more.
Our probate expertise
Our friendly but professional probate lawyers have more than 30 years’ experience between them and have helped many clients both locally in Bristol and the South West, but right across the country.
Many of our clients have come to us through word of mouth and we want to give you an exceptional service.
To demonstrate our expertise, we are members of STEP, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Meade King is a STEP Gold Employer Partner. This means that we are up to date with all aspects of probate, trusts, estate planning and we adhere to the society’s strict code of conduct.
In addition, one of our solicitors is also a member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
Call now on 0117 926 4121 to talk to one of the team or make a free online enquiry and we will help you.