Legal help during the Coronavirus (COVID19) disruption
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Probate & Administration of Estate
We can relieve you of the stress and burden of ensuring your loved one’s last wishes are carried out.
Where there is a Will, Thorne Segar’s expert team will formulate a plan to resolve every aspect from notifying all involved parties, to gathering in assets and obtaining Grant of Probate, producing estate accounts and ensuring distribution of the estate.
If you wish to administer the Estate or distribute legacies yourself, Thorne Segar can identify any risks and help formulate a plan to ensure everything is done appropriately.
In the event of the absence of a Will we can help you apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration which, if granted, would allow you to handle the affairs of the deceased.
Typical steps in administering an Estate include:
- Initial meeting to review the Will and address any worries you may have
- Identify any potential pitfalls and risks
- Formulate a plan for administering the Estate from start to finish
- Inform all bodies of your loved one’s death; Banks, Local Authority, Utilities, etc
- Valuation of all assets and identification of liabilities
- Organise house clearance, sale etc.
- Advise on Inheritance Tax AND capital Gains Tax and prepare Return to HMRC
- Ensure Estate is administered correctly to protect Executors from personal risk
- Manage communication where relations are strained
- Liaise with Beneficiaries, including Charities, and distribute Legacies
Thorne Segar’s lawyers and support staff have undergone CRUSE Bereavement Care training, and we approach every aspect of estate administration with the greatest sensitivity.
Thorne Segar holds the Law Society’s coveted Will Inheritance Quality Scheme accreditation and Rebecca Padgett is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Please get in touch for a free initial consultation.
Meeting for advice – for instance where you wish to administer the Estate yourself – £200+VAT
Obtain Grant of Probate – Typically £1,000 – £1,500+VAT
Complete Administration of Estate: Simple Estate starts at £3,000+VAT
Large or complex Estates are often charged on a fixed fee basis which could range from £6,000 – £20,000+VAT
Fees are quoted in advance and are fixed – with no hidden extras
How long does it take?
To obtain Grant of Probate typically takes two to three months.
To finalise the Administration of Estate can take from three to nine months or longer. Executors often wish to wait for the six month claim period to elapse before distributing Legacies.
Someone has just died – what do I do now?
The first job is to organise the funeral then register the death and use the Tell Us Once Service.
Inform the property insurers that the property is unoccupied as the insurers will impose strict requirements for you to comply with.
Gather together the deceased’s financial papers and make an appointment to see Rebecca Padgett who will do everything for you. Alternatively if you intend to administer the Estate yourself, notify all companies of the death and they will tell you if they require Probate. If so, look on-line for guidance as to how to make a personal application.
Can I start dealing with the deceased’s personal effects?
If there are any works of art or antiques, jewelry etc. it is advisable to obtain a professional valuation.
If the Estate is going to be subject to inheritance tax, obtain a professional valuation of all personal effects.
If the Estate is left to various beneficiaries then provided that you are all in agreement with who is having what, then the personal effects can be distributed. Are there any wishes in the Will about who has what? These wishes must be implemented.
Most disputes and tension we deal with concern personal effects and often someone thinks someone else has taken something without asking or has overstepped the mark with distributing or helping themselves to personal effects so we always obtain a valuation, ask who wants what, make sure it’s all agreed and then distribute the personal effects.
You do not need to wait for Probate, authority comes from the Will.
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Challenges of administering an Estate yourself:
Administering an Estate yourself can seem daunting – there is a lot of work involved in finalising a lifetime of paperwork, especially at a time of loss and stress. Many people prefer to leave it to a team of experienced professionals and absolve themselves of the work and possible personal risk.
There are lots of pitfalls with Estate administration – potential claims and personal liability, IHT penalties, lack of awareness of reliefs, exemptions and interaction of taxes – so there is a possibility of paying more tax than you need to.
If you are the Executor of an Estate you have a personal liability attached to your responsibility to administer the Estate correctly. Mixing the Estate’s money with your own, for example, is a breach of your duty as Executor.