Probate and Estate Administration

The legalities involved following a death in the family can be overwhelming: it is a difficult time, often full of uncertainty, intense emotions and distress.

We can guide you through the process and explain how that person's estate will pass (under the terms of his or her Will or the rules of intestacy) and what steps are needed for probate and tax purposes.

We help you make decisions by setting out your options clearly and with recommendations.

We administer simple and complex estates for those who die domiciled in the UK or abroad. Should a claim be brought (or need to be brought) against the estate we would work closely with our litigation team in the conduct of the claim.

Probate and estate administration can seem complex and bureaucratic. We will liaise with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on your behalf to negotiate on valuation issues where appropriate, as well as completing the appropriate HMRC forms, while considering the inheritance tax implications and resolving domicile issues. We will also, on your behalf, collect in assets and settle all liabilities and then deal with the distribution of the estate. If necessary, we will also advise you on how to raise the funds to pay any inheritance tax due.

As many of our clients have international personal and business assets to administer, as well as family spread throughout the world, we are well placed to liaise with foreign lawyers in order to release assets from overseas and obtain a grant of probate in a foreign jurisdiction (including re-sealing of grants of probate).

We can also advise in situations where drafting mistakes have been made which need to be rectified or, if someone has not made a will, we can explain how the rules of intestacy could be varied.  Tax planning measures can also be achieved by varying the terms of a will, using a Deed of Variation, or an inheritance can be disclaimed altogether if not needed or wanted.  Our expert team can guide you through the various options.

Our fees for probate and estate administration

Probate and Estate Administration Insights

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Probate: heritage assets - could your artwork or antiques pay the inheritance tax bill?

Probate: unoccupied property – do I need house insurance?

Probate fees: the uncertainty continues

Probate fees: Brexit brings some good news (for now)

Stop Press: Swearing abolished (for Probate anyway)

Personal possessions and death

Holiday home/Retirement planning: will Brexit wreck it?

Interpreting an ambiguous Will clause and intentions of the testator (Tish and others v Olley and others)

Inheritance Rights of Stepchildren

The post-death data mistake you don't want to make

How to ensure your funeral wishes are respected

Choosing executors for your will – pro or no?

The residence nil rate band - do I qualify?

The residence nil rate band - do I qualify and should I change my Will?

Contesting a forged or fraudulent will

Lord Chancellor drops plans to raise probate fees after General Election called

Probate Fees; Take a Hike … a new inheritance tax by stealth?

Death in the Digital Age

Dubai leads the world in avoiding disputed Wills

Next of Kin: No such thing

Did "Fifth Beatle" know his Will would cause family rift?

Disputed wills and mental capacity

Debts and Death

Wills, gifts and inheritance tax planning for Attorneys and Deputies

Severing a joint tenancy may be easier than you think

Lord Lucan’s legacy and the Presumption of Death Act 2013

Protecting a same-sex survivor’s right to pension funds

£1m Nil Rate Band – fact or fiction?

When are you on your deathbed?

Lasting Powers of Attorney - traditional signatures are here to stay

Thinking of excluding children from your inheritance? It may be harder than you think

Constructive trusts and the potential interplay of foreign and religious laws

Challenge to remove Jimmy Savile’s Executors fails

Divorcing wife wins domicile war and can divorce her husband in the UK

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill – welcome changes to Intestacy and Family Provision Rules?

Implications of the new “Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme” – for clients and private client lawyers

Invalid Wills – the challenge of proving lack of ‘testamentary capacity’

Bernard Matthews’ Will - French law has the final say

Suspicious Wills: the rise of ‘want of knowledge and approval’ claims?

Challenges to the validity of wills: beware of “homemade Wills”

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