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Probate Administration

The immediate sense of loss to the bereaved following a death is very often made worse by the difficulties which present themselves in getting the deceased’s affairs in order.  For dependent relatives, in particular, the realisation that bank accounts become frozen and/or the absence of regular income can become harrowing at a such a difficult time.

The service we provide is fast, efficient and sensitively undertaken having regard to the individual’s requirements enabling us in exceptional and appropriate cases to obtain a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration within a reasonably short period of time of being instructed.

As a matter of course we:

  1. Liaise with all parties. Be they banks, life assurance companies, building societies, private individuals or otherwise with a view to all monies due to the estate being realised within the shortest time and any debts paid including the funeral accounts.
  2. File with the Inland Revenue a final tax return and bring the deceased’s tax affairs to a close.
  3. Keep the client advised of progress by providing copies of correspondence and estate accounts.
  4. Attend to the administration of the estate by dealing with the bequests and legacies in accordance with the deceased’s wishes or as directed under the rules of intestacy.
  5. Provide a final – and if appropriate interim – statement of account recording the financial aspects of the administration summarising monies received and expended.
  6. Negotiate bridging loans with banks in circumstances where inheritance tax must be paid before probate is granted and the estate realised if there is no money in the estate to do so.
  7. Arrange for the deceased’s bank to discharge the funeral account from funds on the deceased’s account before probate is granted.

As to fees, unlike High Street banks who can charge up to 5% and solicitors who charge up to 2% of the gross estate, this practice has no scale of charges on probate matters. Instead, our fees reflect the extent of the work undertaken and where the estate is involved and complex. In all cases, however, the fees are much less than banks and Solicitors and like to feel that the client receives a more personal service at a realistic price.

Deed of Variation (D.O.V)

A (D.O.V) is a document which changes a Will after they have died. we can even make a Will for somebody who has died intestate (without ever making a Will) by inserting a notional Will in the Deed.

For example, Husband, wife, two children over 18 years all property and assets were in the name of the husband and valued at £800,000, so under the Laws of intestacy at that time his wife receives £125,000 and the remaining balance is divided between his wife in a trust (£337,500) and the two children (£337,500). At that time, the rate above which inheritance tax (IHT) is payable at 40% was £250,000. Although his wife would not have paid any (IHT) due to spousal exemption, the children would have had a tax bill of 40% on their share of the estate (£337,000), so £337,000 minus the Inheritance Tax Free allowance of £250,000 would leave a taxable amount of £87,000 which is taxable by 40%, amounts to £34,800 (IHT) payable. 

A Deed of Variation was entered into creating a notional Will giving all of his estate to his wife who has 100% spousal exemption for (I.H.T)

Of course, in order for the (D.O.V) to be legal then all the persons who are affected by the laws of intestacy have to agree and sign it.

International Probate

Now and again someone dies who resides in another country with assets in the UK which have to be dealt with in accordance with the wishes laid down in their Will.

UK probate registry will not issue a grant unless a trustee domiciled in the UK is appointed and applies for a grant under the laws of England & Wales.

We have taken on this role on many occasions and dealt with the assets in the UK and distribution. This is a specialist area which we have much experience in, further information can be obtained from this practice on 01932 855551.