Probate & Estates

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Administration of Estates

The loss of a loved one is a truly difficult time. Sometimes those appointed as the Executors of a Will, or those with the responsibility of dealing with the estate where there is no Will, can find this daunting or upsetting. For others, though, dealing with practical matters can actually help them to cope.

We offer different levels of help so that you are covered for whatever you need.

Advice on the Will & the next steps

We can just provide advice on the terms of the Will, your duties, and some guidance as to the next steps.

We talk you through the Will, explaining what each clause means and advise you on the duties and responsibilities that you have as an Executor, explaining how you can ensure that you perform your role correctly.
We provide you with a written summary of our advice for future reference.

We advise which organisations you need to contact in order to deal with the administration and outline the process involved in making an application for the grant if one is required.

This service may be suitable if the deceased had very few assets or a very simple Will.

Application for the Grant

We can assist you to prepare an application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
In addition to talking you through the Will and advising you on your duties and responsibilities that you have as an Executor, we can prepare the application for the grant on your behalf.
Explain the contents of the Will or how the Intestacy rules apply;
Identify the executor or personal representative and explaining what can happen if that person does not wish to act;
Establish the information required to complete the application;
Complete the relevant HMRC and Probate Registry forms;
Submit the application to the Probate Registry;
Check the grant when it is issued and passing it to the Executors so they can administer the estate.
For an example of costs for this service click here or for a bespoke quote based on your individual circumstances, contact Cath Collins at cathcollins@vinelaw.co.uk or telephone 01945 898090.

Administration of the Estate

If you would prefer to leave it all to us, we can deal with all of the administration on behalf of the executors.
This means that in addition to the steps set out for obtaining the grant we would arrange for all of the assets to be sold or transferred as appropriate, ensure that all outstanding debts are paid and then distribute the estate in accordance with the Will.

In addition to the work that we would carry out to obtain a grant we will also:
Close the bank accounts and arrange for the sale and transfer of property, bonds, shares etc;
Pay any outstanding liabilities such as care fees, utility bills, pension overpayments and income tax;
Prepare estate accounts detailing the monies received and how this has been allocated; and
Distribute the estate between the beneficiaries.

And if the estate is more complex we will also

Agree the amount if Inheritance Tax due with HMRC and arrange for this to be paid from the deceased’s accounts as this must be paid before the grant can be issued;
Arrange for the closure of bank/building society accounts and transfer of property, shares, bonds etc and also deal with the marketing (but not the conveyancing) for any properties that are to be sold; and
Prepare and submit tax return for the administration period to HMRC showing the tax due on any income or interest received.

Again, if the estate administration is found to be more complex than initially envisaged we will talk to you about our fees before proceeding any further.

For an example of costs for this service click here or for a bespoke quote based on your individual circumstances, contact Cath Collins at cathcollins@vinelaw.co.uk or telephone 01945 898090.

Advice as and when required

If you choose to administer the estate yourself, we can advise you in the background on an as-needed basis.

It may be, following our initial meeting with  you,  you decide you will administer the estate yourself,  but with the reassurance that you can come to us if you are unsure how to proceed at any stage during the administration.
Our charges for this service are be based on the amount of time that we spend dealing with those queries. We bill you for this work on a timescale agreed with you at the outset of the administration and will give you information about our hourly rate at the outset.
For further details please contact Cath Collins at cathcollins@vinelaw.co.uk or Kieren Cross at kierencross@vinelaw.co.uk or telephone 01945 898090.