While it is common for a family member to handle probate as executor, in some instances resort is made to third party professionals. Administration of estates is not a regulated activity in England & Wales, and paying someone who is not a qualified solicitor to handle legal affairs carries inherent risk. Unless the handling of the estate is anticipated to be straightforward, it is highly advisable to consult a Wills and Probate Solicitor.
Circumstances where a solicitor should be contacted
Common situations where a testator resorts to a Wills and Probate Lawyer include:
- Where the validity of the Will is called into question. If the validity of the Will is not properly defended, the estate may fall into intestacy.
- Dependant family members are trying to make a claim for reasonable provision that overrides the Will. UK law permits family members who have not been adequately provided for by the Will to apply for have its provision overridden by a court and have sums paid to them.
- Where the estate is valued over £325,000 and inheritance tax issues are implicated.
- There is an active business as part of the estate. A protracted probate period may damage an otherwise healthy business that was previously owned or operated by the deceased.
- The estate includes property outside the UK.
- The estate is insolvent.
- The estate includes a trust.
Wills and Probate Solicitors
Where a deceased left no Will, distribution of assets will follow a statutory default, which may lead to a high level of resentment between family members. Appointing an experienced Wills and Probate Solicitor who can properly handle adverse claims and mediate interpersonal relationships is highly advisable.
Granting of probate
The granting of probate involves asking a court to have access granted to all bank accounts and assets owned by the deceased, which can be a highly complicated process. Over and above, due diligence has to be carried out in order to identify what assets the deceased had and where they can be located.
It is important to note that a discount is offered from the probate fee, ordinarily £215, but reduced to £155 if a Probate Lawyer is used.
Contact our Wills and Probate Solicitors London
Our solicitors have extensive experience in handling matters relating to trusts, HMRC and tax implications, Power of Attorney and business advice. Our client base is not only domestic, but international, meaning we are well placed to advise on situations where a deceased either had assets overseas or their primary domicile was not in the UK.
We offer a tailored approach that explores and addresses the personal circumstances of our clients. Contact our Wills and Probate Solicitors today on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form.