Probate and administration of estates

When dealing with the death of a loved one, sorting out the legal side can be overwhelming and confusing. Compassionate, experienced legal advice can make this difficult situation much easier on you and your family.

What needs to be done with someone’s estate when they die?

When someone a loved one dies, there are lots of legal and financial steps that need to be taken.  These include:

  • Cancelling regular payments made by the person who has died that are no longer required (e.g. utility bills).
  • Notifying organisations, including pension providers and banks, that the person has died.
  • Collecting in all the assets.
  • Discharging any debts owed.
  • Distributing assets to the beneficiaries of the estate.
  • Preparation of estate accounts.

Do we need a Grant of Probate?

When someone dies it is often necessary for the people who are going to deal with the estate to apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Legal Representation (known as a Grant of Probate, if there is a Will).  The Grant confirms that they have authority to deal with the estate as the personal representatives of the deceased person.

If the estate is small, then it may not be necessary to apply for a Grant.  This will depend on the nature of the assets that form the estate and the policies of the organisations that deal with those assets.  For example, banks may have policies that they will not require a Grant to deal with accounts with a balance of less than a certain figure, but they will insist on a Grant if the accounts have a higher balance.

We can advise you on whether a Grant is necessary in your case.

Do I need a solicitor to deal with the administration of the estate?

Personal Representatives can deal with the administration of the estate themselves if they wish.  Some elements can be straightforward, but others can be more complex.

We are happy to deal with all the administration of the estate on your behalf or only deal with those aspects that you feel you need help with.  If, for example, you want to minimise the stress at this difficult time, there are difficult family dynamics, or the estate may have to pay inheritance tax you may appreciate us dealing with the full administration so you do not have to worry about it.  However, if the estate is more straightforward, you may simply want us to help you with applying for the Grant of Probate, which we are happy to do for a fixed fee.

How much does it cost?

Details of our fees for dealing with the administration of the estate can be found here.