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.
I had a general conveyancing query and needed a second opinion. The response was so quick and the reply was really informative with a surprising amount of detail, but delivered in plain English (no legal jargon) that even I could understand. If I could start this whole buying and selling process again I’d have gone with Barrett and Co rather than the solicitors I’ve gone with.
Thank you Charlotte for the help and advice you gave us. The work was carried out quickly and efficiently and our meetings with you were a pleasure. I would certainly suggest Barrett and Co if asked for a recommendation.
Barrett and Co has been our family solicitors for over 20 years for various legal matters, including, immigration, purchasing properties, tenancy disputes, wills and recently employment related matters. This includes our extended family too. We would without any hesitation recommend Barrett and Co and in particular, Justin Sadler and his team for legal matters. Very helpful team of solicitors, knowledgable, friendly and understanding. On every occasion, from the initial contact to the resolution, it’s always a pleasure to work with them and no complaints at all. Easy to contact, updates where needed and the charges are well explained and reasonable too. Even though we live in Ascot, we find it easy to do most of the paperwork remotely and only visit the branch when it’s absolutely necessary. Thanks again and a very happy client.
I would definitely recommend Barrett and co-solicitors to anyone! I recently engaged Charlotte Fox to get a will put together and I must say that Charlotte made it an fast, effortless and painless process for me.. pricing was very competitive and I received regular communication and some great advice from her that ensured the will represented exactly what I needed. I have used other solicitors in Caversham in the past and I must say my experience with Barrett and co has been the best by far.
I found these solicitors very helpful in drawing up my will. First class service and a pleasure to deal with.
Not having spoken with Solicitors for many years we viewed our visit to Barrett and Co. with some trepidation but were completely put as ease by both Charlotte's with the advice and understanding given by them when requiring advice on changing our Wills and other associated matters. These matters were discussed thoroughly with ourselves throughout and completed very promptly. We would certainly recommend their services and have no hesitation in using them again, should the need arise.
Charlotte Fox handled my father’s Will in a professional and timely way. I would recommend them as solicitors for their excellent service
Excellent service and advice I would certainly use Barrett and Co again. Justin was very professional and knowledgable enabling me to achieve my desired outcome and cannot thank him enough. N