All assets (including property) in an estate will generally remain frozen, until a Grant of Probate is granted to the executor. If you do not have a Will, then the law prescribes who will act on behalf of the estate, usually a family member.
If there is a Will, the estate will pass to the people named in the Will. If there is no Will, the rules of intestacy will apply, these set out the way in which the estate is to be divided and may not necessarily be in accordance with your wishes.
Whether you are an executor or the next of kin, our experienced, caring team of solicitors can provide practical guidance to help you deal with the administration of someone’s estate and apply for a Grant of Probate. We can help you determine the size of an estate for the purposes of Probate and Inheritance Tax. We can prepare an application for a Grant of Probate on your behalf and will deal with payment of any Inheritance Tax due, lodging the required forms with the relevant organisations to collect monies due to the estate.
After settling any outstanding debts and payment of legacies, we can prepare estate accounts and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries and our Property Services team can deal with the sale or transfer of any property or land owned by the deceased.
If you are an executor, you should be aware that your role comes with a number of responsibilities for which you may be personally legally liable. The following list highlights just some of the aspects of an estate which will hold potential risks.
- Ensuring that you are working from the latest valid Will
- Conducting a search to identify all the financial assets that have to be taken into account
- Conducting a section 27 search to ensure that all outstanding debts are identified and taken into account
- Ensuring all taxes have been correctly calculated and paid
- Realising fair value for the deceased’s assets, from property through to personal possessions such as jewellery, art or furniture
At Wellers we will undertake the above work and more on your behalf and also take out insurance on your behalf to compensate beneficiaries if the need arises. If you are uncertain if these points have been addressed please contact us to conduct a review.