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Probate & Contested Probate

Following the death of a loved one, sorting out their affairs can be daunting whether or not they have left a Will. 

We understand that this is a sad and stressful time, particularly if there is any dispute about the Will or how the estate should be distributed. We can share the load.

Probate & Contested Probate

“Probate” is often considered to be the whole process of administering the estate of somebody who has died. Technically, the term refers only to obtaining the “Grant of Probate” which is the legal document that allows the assets to be collected and distributed. If the deceased did not leave a Will, the people administering the estate take out a “Grant of Letters of Administration”. However, we can deal with the whole process from beginning to end, meaning that you do not have to worry about the terminology.

An inevitable consequence of death is the number of tasks that need to be carried out, whether your loved one left a Will or not. The estate needs to be valued, tax liability considered and often an account made to the Inland Revenue in order to apply for a Grant. If there is a Will, a Grant of Probate can be obtained and Executors appointed. If there is no Will, Administrators can be appointed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. It is imperative that the process is carried out diligently as the Executor or Administrators are personally liable for what happens. We can deal with the whole process on your behalf or, if you prefer, we can guide you through undertaking the process yourself.

We are able to offer a two options in terms of legal fees. Most people prefer to pay a competitive hourly rate which is often the most economical option. Alternatively, we can offer a fix fee if this suits you better. We are happy to discuss the options and determine which is best for you.

If a loved one has passed away and you do not feel that you have been provided for or you are concerned about the validity of the Will or that it has been made as a result of pressure from someone else, we can advise you about whether you may raise a challenge. Similarly, we can represent you if you are the Executor and someone else is raising a challenge.

For a Will to be valid it must comply with certain legal requirements including that the person making the Will was of sound mind and not influenced. This area can be complex, but we will advise and represent you. It may be that the Will needs to be rectified or that the challenge leads to a dispute but we will be happy to guide you through the process.

If you need help at this difficult time we are happy to provide assistance with sympathy and efficiency. Please contact one of our experts today.

Some frequently asked questions about Probate and Contested Probate

We cannot find the Original will but have a copy can this be used?
Probate can be obtained using a copy will but thorough search must be conducted and then the requisite application made to use the copy.
I am appointed the Executor, can you act for me?
Yes. We can act on your behalf as Executor to deal with the entire administration of the estate. The legal costs are an administration expense, so they come out of the estate not out of your pocket.
My mum died, she did not own a property but has money in accounts, do we need Probate?
It is not always necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate but this depends upon the values of the accounts. If there is only a small amount, Probate may not be required.
My dad recently died and my mum died 50 years ago can her Nil Rate band still be transferred?
It does not matter how long ago the spouse passed away. If your mother’s estate passed to your father then her nil rate band remains available to be transferred – meaning that there will be no Inheritance Tax due on the first £650,000.00 of your mother’s estate.
What is the Nil Rate band?
It is the amount of the estate that is charged at 0%. Currently the NRB is £325,000. Anything above this amount will be charged at 40%

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