Our Private Client team can assist with all aspects of Probate – which is the legal work dealing with the estate after a person has passed away.
We understand that this is often a difficult and very distressing time for family and friends. You want probate solicitors who are empathetic and experienced.
Simple or complicated estate?
Some estates are very straightforward to deal with in terms of probate and there is little in the way of administration that needs to done. This is often the case where there is a surviving spouse and all the assets of the estate are in joint names, or perhaps all the funds are held in bank accounts.
However, often a person’s affairs will be much more complicated, either because there are many different assets, or because assets are held abroad, or held in trust. It may be, particularly in cases where there is no Will, that the distribution of the estate is complicated or disputed. Our Private Client team is experienced in dealing with these and many other aspects of estate administration.
Grant of Probate?
Many people have heard of ‘Probate’ but do not necessarily know when it is relevant. Whether the person who has died has left a valid Will does not determine whether it will be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate. This will depend on the assets which make up the estate and sometimes on who is going to inherit the estate. Our Private Client team can advise on whether a Grant of Probate is required, what type of application is necessary and other matters, such as any queries over the validity of the Will.
Inheritance Tax – Reductions?
Inheritance Tax is also often a concern and we can advise and assist Executors to complete the HMRC forms that are required, advise on claims for the transfer of the Nil Rate Band on the second death of a married couple, (which has been allowed since 2007) and advise on the payment of Inheritance Tax where applicable.
Where a married couple made Wills designed to save Inheritance Tax, often there is a Discretionary Trust over the estate of the first to die and we can advise on the various options available to the surviving spouse.
There can also be situations where Inheritance Tax is payable on the estate but a post-death variation of the distribution of the estate could reduce the amount of tax, or there may be some other reason to vary the estate.
We are able to advise on this and prepare the required legal documentation. Where the person who died has left part of or the entire estate to charity, we are able to deal with the relevant charities and ensure that their specific requirements with regard to the administration are complied with.
Do You Want Us To Be The Executor?
Being an Executor can be a daunting and very time consuming role and many people find it difficult to devote the time to administration, particularly if they have work or family commitments. They may live a long way from the property in the estate or perhaps live abroad making it much more difficult to deal with the estate.
Whether the person who has died made a Will or not, it is necessary to establish the value of the estate, settle any debts, ensure that any tax matters are dealt with and obtain the necessary authority, such as a Grant of Probate, in order to reach the point where the Executors are ready to distribute the estate.
For complete peace of mind, we can manage all aspects of the estate on behalf of the Executors or we can assist them with those parts of the estate which they may find more difficult.
Dealing with Assets
Naturally, we can also deal with insuring the property, clearing its contents or, if it is tenanted, we can liaise with the managing agents or tenants as required. We work closely with our experienced Property Conveyancing department which can ensure the sale of an estate property efficiently on behalf of the Executors. We can then collect in the assets of the estate and distribute the estate at the end of the administration.
Where we are appointed as the Executors of the estate, we will deal with all aspects, liaising with any co-Executors as necessary and we can also deal with matters such as registering the death and arranging the funeral, where of course we would consult with any family members where appropriate.
Transparent fees for Probate
Many people are worried about what Solicitors charge for dealing with the administration of an estate. Although it is difficult accurately to estimate the costs of a matter, our costs are straightforward and transparent and we would be happy to discuss these with an Executor before proceeding to deal with things. (You may find our tips on administering an estate useful reading).
For further information please read our Probate Fees page and then contact the Private Client team on 0118 958 9711 or by email to [email protected] who will be happy to put you in touch with one of our expert probate Solicitors and we shall do everything we can to help throughout a difficult time.
Justin provided me with legal council on behalf of Barrett and Co. I would highly recommend the initial consultation, as this helped outline the matter and provide me with possible options. Justin is personable, clear and concise and I would definitely recommend his services.
'I had no prior knowledge of this firm, until I telephoned the office based on Google reviews and with only a few days left prior to the case unfolding, the pressure was really on!! The approach of every staff member was gentle, caring and unusually courteous. I was terrified at the prospect of my chances, especially as the other side had considerable experience in court. Both Justin Sadler and Chris Miller were warm, sympathetic, calm and completely unperturbed; they immediately suggested a way forward and then recommended their choice of Counsel. I had my doubts and was like a rabbit in headlights; Chris carefully guided me through the process and kept me calm throughout. The result was an outright victory. An amazing result, delivered with care, attention and I was charged less than the amount of work actually delivered! A highly unusual firm of solicitors. Huge thanks to Chris/Justin.
Would like to place on record my thanks to Chris Miller who worked on our case. Great support and hard work to ensure we came out with a positive outcome. Would not hesitate to contact or recommend Chris, Justin and team to help with any future cases. Thanks again, Joe
I have recently used Barrett & Co to assist me with my divorce and can only say good words about the experience. Paul Wild especially not only provided reassuring advice, but his professionalism (and indeed, that of everyone at Barrett & Co) made me feel supported throughout the whole process, and left me with the feeling that he genuinely cared about my situation. The level of dedication displayed by not only Paul but also Richard Ince in the conveyancing team was top notch, in particular when turning work around within tight timescales, and keeping me appraised throughout so nothing came as a surprise. I will definitely use Barrett & Co for any legal needs in the future - very highly recommended!
Barrett & Co come highly recommended. I recently worked with Alan Warnes on a property sale that was very complicated due to changes in the lease, and dealing with difficult and lengthy queries from the buyer's solicitors, and Alan guided me expertly through the process. His tenacity, patience, legal expertise and good humour were greatly appreciated. I have used Barrett & Co's services for previous property purchases and sales, for declarations of trust, and one of the partners also became executor to my parent's estate several years ago. They are very professional, and also warm, friendly solicitors to work with. I would not hesitate to engage them again if the need arises.
Thanking Justin Sadler and Chris Miller for being so welcoming, understanding, supportive, very dedicated to our situation. They are very professional and a very committed legal team! Also the receptionists were always welcoming and kind. I would highly recommend Barrett and Co Solicitors in the first instance!
I had Justin Sadler work with me, giving excellent advice and general support with a very difficult, complex case against an ex-business partner. Happy to say that I got a full settlement before going to court, as with that advice, I was in a very strong, empowered position to emphatically 'win' my case without incurring additional court costs!
Jane Whitfield was friendly and professional and I found the process of making a will to be easy and straightforward. I would thoroughly recommend.