Our approach to clients is to offer a full service which is speedy and efficient whilst being empathetic to your needs. We understand that during probate transactions clients appreciate a clear and concise approach and will guide you through the process.
Probate can be stressful and from our experience communication is key, which is why we are always on hand either in person by appointment, on the phone or by email and pride ourselves on our level of contact throughout.
We also appreciate that in some circumstances access to assets is urgent. To assist in these cases we can provide clear timescales and deadlines for each stage, and most importantly ensure that these are kept to.
Our probate service is an end to end administration of the estate covering all aspects of managing the estate including:
Checking validity of the will.
Collecting information on assets and liabilities of the deceased.
Preparation of the legal Oath required to be sworn by the Executors and/or Administrators.
Calculation of any Inheritance Tax liability and completion of IHT tax forms for HMRC.
Statutory publication in the London Gazette to protect against any future claims on the estate from unknown creditors.
Apply for grant of representation.
Distribution of assets and payment of debts.
Assistance in disposal of any assets if required. The same lawyer will continue to act on any conveyancing files which arise as a result of my probate work, to ensure continuity for clients.
We also deal with any legalisation of documents required when assets are abroad, either carrying out apostille for member countries of the Vienna Convention or carrying out the appropriate procedure through the foreign office for countries who are not members.
What is the difference between Grant of Probate and Grant of Representation?
The terms are often used interchangeably which can lead to some confusion. Grant of Probate is a type of Grant of Representation, which is given when there is a valid will in place. The type of Grant of Representation without a will is known as Letters of Administration.
How long will the process take?
From our experience realistic time-frames for the process are around 3 months. If your case is urgent then please let us know from the outset so we can dedicate the appropriate resources and ensure that we chase the appropriate organisations to get prompt responses throughout the process.
What happens if there is no will or the will is invalid?
In circumstances where there is no will or the will is not valid the Grant of Representation we would apply for would be the Letters of Administration. The application will still follow the same process of application and filling out the IHT form however the estate will be distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy. If you want to avoid this scenario and choose how your estate is distributed we provide a professional will service at very reasonable rates.
How do assets abroad get dealt with?
The grant of administration we apply for covers the entire state all over the world. As it is legalised in England we have to legalise (legalize in some countries) the document abroad. How we do that comes down to the country where the asset is located. If the country is a member of the Vienna Convention then we can apply for an Apostille to have the grant apply to that country. For countries which aren’t members of the Vienna Convention we have to apply through the foreign office to get the document legalised.