T: 01202 802807

T: 01202 802807

Probate

Administration of an estate

Probate Lawyers in Bournemouth

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The upset of a family member passing is often exacerbated by the responsibilities of having to administer their estate.

Administration procedures can be daunting. Our probate team aim to assist you by making the process as straightforward as possible. Call Solomons Solicitors on 01202 802807 or fill in our online contact form to find out how we can help.

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Our Expertise

If you are looking for probate guidance in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, or further afield, our solicitors can help with:

● Inheritance tax and completion of tax returns● Administration of an estate● Preparing estate accounts● Obtaining letters of administration and/or a grant of probate● Making post-death arrangements that reduce liability for inheritance tax● Distributing assets to beneficiaries

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What is Probate?

Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has recently died. If this person has drafted a will, an ‘Executor' will be named – this is the person with responsibility for overseeing the distribution of their estate.  The legal process of probate involves collecting together the deceased's estate, paying off any outstanding debts, and sharing their assets in line with the instructions in their will. Many people will instruct a solicitor to carry out or oversee the probate process on their behalf to avoid any mistakes which could lead to delays or problems emerging further down the line.

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What happens if there is no will?

If no will was left by the deceased, the rules of intestacy are used to determine how the estate will be shared. If there is a relative or friend of the deceased who is willing to sort out the estate, they can apply for a ‘grant of letters of administration’. This makes them the ‘administrator’ of the estate and allows them to value the estate, pay any debts and distribute the estate according to the rules.
In England & Wales, the estate will be divided in a particular order. If the deceased was married or in a civil partnership at the time of their death, their spouse will receive the majority of the estate. It should be noted that if the deceased had a surviving partner to whom they were not married or with whom they were not in a civil partnership, they do not have an automatic right to inherit from the estate. If no family members exist, the entire estate goes to the Crown.

How can Solomons Solicitors help?

There is no requirement that the person administering an estate is a qualified solicitor and some people choose to carry out this role themselves. However, this process can be complicated and time-consuming, requiring an understanding of the relevant legal procedures, accountancy skills, as well as dealing with all of the beneficiaries detailed in the will. 
In many cases an estate may seem relatively straightforward only for complications to emerge on further investigation. Having an experienced probate solicitor involved from the earliest stage can help you identify any potential issues and address these accordingly.

FAQ

  • What is Probate?

    The term probate simply means the process of handling someone’s estate once they pass away. An estate is defined as your home, savings, investments and any other property you may have. If the deceased person has a will, then there will be named Executors, who are the people chosen by the deceased person to handle the estate. 

  • Should I deal with Probate myself?

    Whilst it is in some cases, “DIY” Probate is a more cost-effective option, there are both traps and opportunities which arise when someone dies of which a non-professional may not be aware, and which may be difficult to navigate without expert advice.

    Such opportunities could take the form of significant inheritance tax savings for the estate and beneficiaries, whilst threats could be hidden liabilities (including inheritance tax) for which the Executors of the estate are generally personally liable.

  • What is a Deed of Variation?

    A Deed of Variation (DOV) is a document that allows a Will (or indeed the rules of intestacy) to be formally varied for a period of up to two years following the date of death of a Testator. It requires the consent of any person who loses a beneficial interest in an estate as a result of the DOV but save thereto is a very useful tool to correct injustices caused by a Will and to reduce existing or future inheritance tax (IHT) liabilities.

  • Can I reclaim overpaid IHT?

    Fortunately, in most cases, it is possible to claim back overpaid inheritance tax.
    The most common reason for an inadvertent overpayment of inheritance tax is either an overvaluation of assets at the date of death or a subsequent drop in the value of assets (most commonly property or shares).

Contact our Probate Solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole & Christchurch

Solomons Solicitors offer professional yet sensitive guidance. Our service begins as soon as you need us and can include funeral arrangements, notifying banks and other relevant parties, calculating the Inheritance Tax, applying for and obtaining the Grant of Probate, preparation of estate accounts and distributing the estate.
Call us on 01202 802 807 and book your no-obligation initial consultation at our Bournemouth office.