Probate and estate administration

When someone dies, the sad duty of dealing with probate and the administration of their estate often falls to the next of kin or a close relative.

At such a stressful and emotional time, sorting out probate may seem too heavy a burden to deal with alone.

We are able to arrange the Grant of Probate or, where there is no Will, Letters of Administration.

We can handle as much or as little of the administration process as you wish and our involvement can reduce the distress and delay in dealing with probate.

  • Probate is the process of proving that a Will is valid and that the executors are the persons entitled to deal with the assets of the deceased.
  • A Grant of Probate is only issued to the executor(s) named in the Will and is usually required where the deceased had assets in their sole name of over £5,000.

Some high street banks will now release funds of up to £50,000 without a Grant but this is discretionary and each bank has its own threshold before requiring a Grant.

  • Probate – where there is no Will

Unfortunately it is still a  common occurrence for people to die without having made a valid Will.

When someone dies without leaving a Will (known as dying ‘intestate’), a document, known as ‘Letters of Administration’ will usually be required.

  • Letters of Administration are similar to a Grant of Probate, but are issued to the next of kin of an individual who dies without a Will.

It is important to be aware that if you were in a long-term relationship with the person, but never married or entered a civil partnership, you will be unable to apply for Letters of Administration.

When there is no valid Will, the estate will be subject to the laws of intestacy, which will mean that a strict legal procedure will determine how a person’s assets are distributed.

Estate administration involves the entire process of dealing with an estate. It involves gathering information about the estate, submitting the relevant application, paying any debts or taxes owed by the deceased and his estate and then distributing any remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will. Where a person has died intestate (no valid Will can be located) any assets will be distributed according to the laws of Intestacy and this may involve holding assets in trust for children under 18.

Although the duties of administering an estate typically fall to an executor, many people choose to place estate administration – which can be a complex and sometimes upsetting task – into the hands of a solicitor.

We are able to offer a complete probate and estate administration service on your behalf.

To ensure your estate can be administered as efficiently as possible you should make a Will.

To find out more about our probate and estate administration service, please contact us for help and advice.

Details of the firm’s probate registration can be viewed at icaew.com/probate, under the firm’s reference number which begins C001309729.