When a loved one dies, often the last thought is as to the process of dealing with the estate. However, this is an aspect which must be dealt with. The responsibility for dealing with the estate falls to the executor (where the deceased has left a Will) or the administrator (where the deceased died without a Will, known as intestacy).
Their job is to establish the assets and liabilities of the estate as at the date of death, prepare a return to HM Revenue & Customs and make an application to the Probate Registry to obtain a Grant of Representation. Once they have obtained the Grant, they draw in the monies and administer the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or the laws of intestacy.
In simple cases, an executor can apply for a Grant of Representation themselves. However, even seemingly straightforward estates can prove surprisingly complex and time consuming and executors are legally liable for any mistakes. As a result, the great majority of people seek expert advice from a fully insured Probate Solicitor.
Should you wish to instruct us, there are choices available to you. You can either instruct us simply to obtain the Grant of Representation for you and then leave you to complete the administration of the estate yourself. Alternatively, we can obtain the Grant of Representation and deal with such other aspects of the administration as you instruct us to, with the advantage being that you only pay for the services you require. As a final option, we can offer a comprehensive service covering all aspects of the estate administration. This option provides you with the peace of mind and certainty that all matters have been fully attended to and you may feel that this option relieves you of the burden you may feel at an already difficult time.
If you wish to talk to a member of our Probate team please contact us and we can talk through the options with you at no obligation.
Deeds of Variation
There are many reasons why beneficiaries of an estate may wish to vary an estate. This could be down to a simple wish to re-distribute estate assets, a desire to bring up to date the deceased’s wishes if, for example, they had not had time to update their Will prior to their death, or for tax reasons.
A Deed of Variation can only be done with the agreement of all affected beneficiaries but, in these circumstances, the Deed effectively re-writes the deceased’s Will and can be a useful tool for the estate.