It is usually necessary to attend to the legal formalities in the event of a person’s death.
This is called the administration of the estate. The approach which is adopted depends upon if they have made a Will or not.
Where a person dies leaving a Will it will be necessary to apply for a Grant of Probate. Technically, the Will gives the Executors of the estate the legal authority to deal with the assets of the person who has died, but the Grant of Probate is the legal document which confirms the validity of this authority and which is needed to deal with most assets.
Where a person dies without making a Will the rules of intestacy apply to his estate. It will be necessary to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration in this case. The authority of the persons responsible for administering the estate derives from the Grant of Letters of Administration itself.
We have many years of experience in advising and assisting clients in dealing with all aspects of the administration of estates, whether under a grant of probate or of letters of administration, or to assist with assets which can pass without either.
This will include:
• Checking the validity of the Will / advising on the effect of the Intestacy Rules
• Valuing assets within the estate.
• Establishing the liabilities within the estate.
• Applying for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
• Collecting assets into the estate and paying debts and any other amounts due
• Paying any legacies within the estate.
• Distributing the assets within the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or the rules of intestacy.
• Attending to all of the taxation implications in dealing with the administration of the estate. This will include income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax where applicable.
• Ensuring that the Executor or Administrator has been protected personally from any subsequent claims against the estate
We can also provide advice with regards to Deeds of Variation, which can be used after the person has died, to change the terms of their Will.
These are usually either because the main beneficiary is happy to give up part of their inheritance to someone else, or to structure the estate more efficiently for tax.
Our comprehensive service provides for the administration of estates whether or not a Will has been made, and for estates large or small, simple or complex.
For a consultation with a member of our team to find out how we can help, call 0330 300 1103 or request a call-back.