Probate is the term used to describe the legal process of dealing with a person's estate after their death. This can be an extremely stressful process, especially if you are dealing with the death of a loved one.
Our specialist Probate and Trusts team have many years’ experience in taking the burden off family members and dealing with the necessary legal procedures involved in administering a person's estate in the UK.
If the deceased left a Will, it will usually appoint Executors who are responsible for administering the estate. If there is no Will, Administrators will be appointed to administer the estate. Executors and Administrators are often referred to as Personal Representatives. They have the task of collecting in the deceased's assets, i.e. closing down bank accounts, selling or transferring shares, selling or transferring property and paying any legacies of money and distributing personal items. They are also required to settle any debts of the estate and to deal with any tax issues, including Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.
Personal Representatives will often need to apply for a Grant of Representation. This is a legal document issued by the High Court which authorises the Personal Representatives to administer the estate. If there is a Will, the Grant is called a Grant of Probate. If there is no Will, it is called a Grant of Letters of Administration. Most financial institutions will require sight of the Grant before they will release the monies, although this may not be the case if the sums involved are relatively small. If the deceased owned a property or shares, a Grant will almost certainly be required.
Our Probate and Trusts solicitors can help you with this process by taking care of all the paperwork involved, including sworn Oaths by the Personal Representatives and accounts of the estate for HM Revenue & Customs.