Probate Lawyers Beaconsfield, Berkhamsted & Harrow
When someone dies, a legal process must be undertaken to administer their estate. This involves collecting together their property, money and possessions, paying off any outstanding debts, and distributing their assets in line with the instructions in their Will. This process is known as probate.
While this may at first seem relatively straightforward, the steps involved can be confusing for those without a legal background or skills in accountancy. For this reason, many people choose to instruct a solicitor to carry out or oversee the probate process to avoid any mistake being made which could lead to delays or problems emerging further down the line.
The probate service our solicitors provide is flexible and client-focused – we are always on hand to answer any questions you may have and will explain everything in a way that is clear and free of legal jargon.
Speak with us today to find out how our probate and estate planning lawyers can help.
What steps are involved in the probate process?
When someone dies leaving a Will, they will usually name someone as their ‘executor'. This person's role is to carry out the probate process, with responsibility for making sure that the estate is administered as per the wishes that are set out in the Will.
The executor will have to prepare documents required for a Grant of Probate application. This gives the executor the legal authority to administer the estate and can be used to recover money held in banks and savings accounts, collect insurance policies, and deal with the deceased's property. An inventory will need to be prepared and a total value of the estate established. Depending on the extent of the estate, tax may need to be calculated and paid. When the time comes to distribute the estate amongst the beneficiaries listed in the Will, the executor is responsible for identifying and corresponding with those who are due to inherit under the Will and ensuring that money or property is distributed to them.
Do I need a solicitor to help carry out this process?
It is not a legal requirement that a probate solicitor is instructed, but the complicated nature of this process means that having a legal expert supporting in this can be hugely beneficial. This is particularly true when the estate is valued at over £325,000 (the threshold for inheritance tax), where there are doubts about the validity of the Will, where the estate has complex arrangements (for example where assets are held in trust), or where the estate includes foreign assets.
Our solicitors can assist in:
- Obtaining letters of administration or a grant of probate
- Administration of an estate
- Preparing estate accounts
- Advising on inheritance tax and completing tax returns
- Making post-death arrangements that reduce inheritance tax liabilities
- Distribution of assets to beneficiaries
Contact our Probate Lawyers in Beaconsfield, Berkhamsted, Chesham and Chorleywood
The probate solicitors at Breakthrough Family Law can offer practical, sympathetic advice on all probate matters. We understand that losing a loved one is a stressful and upsetting experience. Our lawyers are on hand to help deal with administrative responsibilities following a death through their skills and expertise acquired over many years working in this area. Find out more information on our fees here.
Our professional and skilled team of lawyers are based in Beaconsfield, Berkhamsted, Chesham, Chorleywood. Contact us today on 01494 776 696 or using our online form to arrange an appointment with one of our team.