Probate solicitor in Sevenoaks
Losing a loved one will always be difficult; add to this the administrative burden of the probate process and other bereavement matters, and it’s easy to see why the death of someone close to you can be a particularly distressing time.
Wellers Reece-Jones in Sevenoaks can help you ensure that this time does not become overwhelming – it is important that you are able to focus on the things that matter most during the period of your loss.
Sally Andrews is a skilled and experienced probate solicitor working from our Sevenoaks office. Sally can bring clarity, accuracy and expertise to bear for your probate needs, along with sensitivity and compassion during your time of bereavement.
Wellers has produced a downloadable PDF guide to the probate process or feel free to contact Wellers Reece-Jones in Kent today for probate assistance.
The word “probate” comes from the Latin meaning “prove”. This is why any person who is applying for Grant of Probate must prove, as a point of public record, that they are who they say they are and have the right to handle the deceased person’s estate.
If you are an executor whose job is to ensure Grant of Probate from the probate registry, you will need to fill out several forms proving that everything is in place for the correct administration of the deceased’s estate. You will need to provide the Will, copies of the Will, and the death certificate to the registry. Forms you will need to fill in may include the following:
- Form PA1P: The probate application form if there is a Will.
- Form PA1A: The probate application form if there is no Will.
- Form IHT 400: Inheritance Tax form.
- Form IHT 205:Return of Estate Information.
- Form IHT 435: the “nil-rate band” form.
Grant of Probate is set at £215 for estates valued at £5,000 or over – the exception is for estates worth under £5,000; in these cases, no fee applies.
Intestacy and probate
If the deceased died intestate (without a valid Will), you must be a close relative in order to apply to the probate registry for a Grant of Letters of Administration. This is equivalent to receiving a Grant of Probate and confirms that the Administrator has the necessary authority to manage and distribute the deceased’s assets.
Do you need a probate solicitor?
Probate can be a tricky process, particularly if you are experiencing personal loss and grief. It is recommended that you take professional legal advice from an experienced probate solicitor who understands the law in this area and knows how to effectively and efficiently administer the estate.
Yes, you can do it yourself, but this can prove challenging, time-consuming and, potentially, may result in you being personally liable for any mistakes or oversights.
The following list highlights just some of the aspects an executor must handle:
- Ensuring the latest valid Will is being used for estate administration
- Identifying all financial assets that have to be taken into account
- Conducting a section 27 search to ensure 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
- Ensuring correct distribution of estate assets
With the above in mind, it may be preferable to ask a solicitor to act professionally as an executor or administrator and they will be able to take on these responsibilities for you.
How long does probate process take?
The length of time it will take to complete probate and to correctly distribute an estate will largely depend on its complexity and value, as well as whether there are any conflicting opinions about how it should be administered. International estates, intestate estates and those that give rise to disputes are likely to take much longer to administer than relatively straightforward cases. You should consider the advice and guidance of a probate solicitor as an essential in these circumstances.
Wellers Reece-Jones’ probate services in Kent
Sally Andrews and Annelise Tyler at Wellers Reece-Jones can help you manage the probate process in the most stress-free and efficient way possible.
We offer a pragmatic yet personalised approach which provides reassurance and support, and protects you from the potential pitfalls of DIY probate.