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.

Main areas of practice

We have offices in Cardiff, London, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading andSouthampton. 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

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Latest edition of Private Client Issues

News

Our magazine for private individuals and their families has recently been published.

What the 2017 Budget didn't say…

Compared to recent years, Mr Hammond's Budget of November 2017 could be described as relatively benign, particularly given the relatively low impact it is likely to have on most households.

Buried or cremated?

Have you considered how you would like to be laid to rest as part of your funeral plans? It is not just your wishes in relation to your financial estate that need to be considered.

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.