Estate Administration - Probate

When you’ve just experienced the death of a loved one, dealing with the responsibility of estate administration and probate can be a very difficult and stressful time. We can help you and make that experience as stress-free as possible.

I'm an Executor – what are my duties?

We are often appointed to act as professional Executors and so we know that an Executor’s job can be very complicated and places a great deal of responsibility on you. It is therefore important that you take professional legal advice as to what the law expects of you. If you instruct us to deal with the estate, we will ensure that the estate of your loved one is administered correctly so as to minimise the potential for disputes surrounding the handling of it.

We offer expert advice and assistance in all aspects of estate administration, including:

  • Applying for Grant of Probate
  • Identification and valuation of your loved one’s assets & liabilities
  • Completion of the Oath and Inland Revenue form
  • Finalising your loved one’s tax affairs
  • Discharging outstanding debts and payment of legacies
  • Preparation of comprehensive estate accounts
  • Dealing with distribution to all those entitled
  • Comprehensive advice and assistance in respect of any trusts arising in the estate

What is Probate?

Also called a ‘Grant of Probate.’ If your loved one’s assets are more than £5,000, it’s likely that you will need to apply to Court for this legal document of authority. You will then be able to deal with your loved one’s assets, such as their bank accounts and property. At Painters we can help you obtain the Grant quickly and with the minimum of inconvenience to you.

What if there’s no Will?

We can advise as to the correct procedure to be followed under what’s called the ‘Intestacy Rules’ - both as to who is entitled to share in the estate and who has the authority to apply to deal with the estate. This area can be fraught with difficulty, so please seek our advice as soon as possible.

What do I do if my loved one’s left a property?

Our Property team can assist you in all aspects of property and land sale, as well as deal with transfers of land. You may also consider renting out the property, in which case, a rental agreement will need to be drawn up. Importantly, insurance for the property will need to be arranged, which we can help you with, and you should ensure that the property is secure.

Will there be any Inheritance Tax to pay?

We can advise you if there will be any Inheritance Tax to pay and organise payment to the Inland Revenue. We will also provide specialist advice in respect of any reliefs that might be available (such as agricultural or business reliefs)

We can also advise on ways for families to reorganise the estate so as to minimise unforeseen tax liabilities and plan for the better protection of your family’s wealth in the future (sometimes called Deeds of Family Arrangement or Deeds of Variation).

What happens if someone challenges the Will?

Our Dispute Resolution team deal with any dispute relating to Wills, Estates, Trusts and Court of Protection issues. This is a complex and specialist area of law. Please seek advice from our experienced lawyers at the earliest opportunity.