Probate

“Thank you for your efficient and courteous handling of our affairs.”

Mr R Blackpool
The death of a loved one is always a difficult and challenging time. We can provide all the expert advice, assistance and reassurance necessary to make the process as straightforward as possible.

Download our Probate Fees Guides: A non-taxable estate (where there is a Will and no inheritance Tax is payable, A taxable estate (where there is a will and Inheritance Tax is payable), A non-taxable intestate estate (where there is no Will and no Inheritance Tax is payable) and A taxable intestate estate (where there is no Will and Inheritance Tax is payable).

Main areas of practice

We have offices in Cardiff, London, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading and Southampton. However we can also assist nationally. We can assist with all aspects of probate and the administration of estates, including:

  • Helping with the immediate tasks following a death, such as registering the death, understanding the terms of the Will (or considering the position if there is no Will) and providing an initial guide to the necessary action required
  • Investigating the values of the assets and liabilities in the estate
  • Advising on inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax
  • Obtaining, as necessary, the grant of probate or letters of administration
  • Contacting all financial institutions and gathering information
  • Selling or transferring assets
  • Paying bills
  • Contacting beneficiaries and paying monies due
  • Negotiating with tax authorities as required
  • Preparing deeds of variation and deeds of family arrangement
  • Dealing with assets in different countries and foreign wills.

Some other things you should know about probate and estates

  • If you are appointed as an executor or personal representative of an estate, you will be personally liable to ensure that the estate is administered properly.
  • Some estates can take weeks to administer, most take months and others can take years. No two estates are ever the same.
  • An executor is entitled to take legal advice to ensure that they carry out their role correctly, and the costs of this are normally payable from the estate.
  • If the deceased left a simple will, this does not automatically mean that the administration will be straightforward.
  • Estate administration work is an unregulated activity, which means that any organisation can claim to offer 'probate services', even if the people undertaking the work are completely unqualified. There have been numerous unfavourable reports in the press about such organisations. In view of the complex nature of the work, and the potentially disastrous consequences when things go wrong, we would always recommend that you take advice from a solicitor specialising in this area of law.

We will always endeavour to provide you will an estimate of time and costs from the outset, which we will normally address at the initial meeting with the executors once we are familiar with the estate.

For further information on probate and administration of estates see our Client Guides at the top right of this page or click here.

“The team can boast a substantial reputation on private client matters.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, 2014

Related expertise

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Related Knowledge & Resources

Leading law firm Blake Morgan wins prestigious UK award for ‘heir hunting’ excellence

Press Release

National leading law firm Blake Morgan have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to ‘heir hunting’, or probate research – the process of helping next of kin become reunited with estates, at The UK Probate Research Awards.

Blake Morgan awarded STEP Employer Platinum Partner accreditation

Press Release

National leading law firm Blake Morgan has been accredited by the STEP Employer Partnership Programme (EPP) and awarded 'Platinum Employment Partner' status.

Inheritance Tax Review Call for Evidence

News

The independent Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published a call for evidence to gather information about people’s experience and perceptions of Inheritance Tax.

Mary Poppins Returns - a hidden probate message?

We take a look at what the role of a probate lawyer could have done in Mary Poppins Returns. The film would have been less exciting but any family law issues would have been resolved and the Banks family would have had peace of mind!

Why you won't be able to swear in front of a solicitor for too much longer

The Government has recently announced changes to the procedure for applying for a grant of probate in England and Wales. The Non-Contentious Probate (Amendment) Rules 2018 form part of the Government's continuing project to modernise the probate process.

An increase in Probate fees set to be introduced in April 2019

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice Lucy Frazer QC MP has recently announced that she has put new legislation before Parliament, which if implemented, would introduce a new, banded structure of fees for obtaining a grant of probate.

Resealing foreign grants

Most probate practitioners will be well aware that, on a more technical level, the word “resealing” refers to the process by which foreign grants of representation are sealed by the probate registry.

Getting a grant where the deceased died domiciled abroad

We discuss the issues surrounding extracting an English grant of representation when the deceased died domiciled abroad.

Probate and Estate Administration

We recently acted in the estate of a sophisticated investor who died without a Will.

Estate Administration

This case was referred to us following a successful claim on an intestate estate to the Treasury Solicitor.