Losing a loved one is hard but when a person dies, someone has to be responsible for tidying up their affairs
Their property and all of their assets are frozen and cannot be dealt with. If there is a Will that appoints you as an executor you have obligations to both HM Revenue & Customs and to the beneficiaries of the Will. You must, in time and in most circumstances, apply for a ‘Grant of Probate’. If there is no Will someone, typically a close relative, must follow a similar procedure to apply for ‘Letters of Administration’.
Some estates are reasonably straightforward; a matrimonial home, a life policy and a few shares. Many clients are faced with sorting out estates of this type and whilst they do not fully understand their legal obligations they do not want to go near a lawyer, for fear that the lawyer will take over and use up all of the estate for legal fees.
Advice on ‘DIY’ Probates
Our team understands that concern and are happy to give clients advice on how to “do it yourself”. Typically such a client might come in for initial advice and come back only when they want to, or if they think that things have got too tricky. Some clients like us to do the tricky bits while they do the rest. Other estates are so complex that clients prefer to leave the whole business to our specialists.
Any executor should at least have one meeting with a lawyer, just to check that there are no hidden issues that are not obvious from the Will. As an example, many estates are subject to Inheritance Tax and HMRC will look to you, the executors to personally carry out enquiries, calculate tax correctly and pay it on time. If you fail in that duty they will look to you to pay the tax. There are many other examples; third parties that could challenge the Will, assets that have to be transferred in a particular way and open ended liabilities that have to be closed. It may take just one meeting to give you the peace of mind that there are no such issues.
Whatever service you require our team of experts are happy to help.