February 10th, 2021

Are you facing the task of dealing with a loved one’s finances (debts and investments), property affairs and possessions after their death?

It is a difficult time, and there can be quite a lot to organise and consider. As a result, this can seem like a very daunting experience.

If you have been appointed executor under a will, or you are the closest family member to deal with the estate under the Intestacy rules then you may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start.  Battrick Clark Solicitors are here to help you, so please do not hesitate to get in touch and we can point you in the right direction and see if you could benefit from some expert help.

A grant of probate is not always required and will depend on the value and nature of the assets.  If the estate is straightforward, you may feel confident enough be able to handle the administration yourself. However, you may feel the estate is complicated, you need someone independent to help with family disagreements or you do not have the time to deal with the estate in a timely way.

Responsibilities and Liabilities as an Executor/Administrator

Anyone dealing with an estate must know their responsibilities and ensure every step of the process is correctly followed, the relevant paperwork dealt with and any taxes due paid within the strict deadlines.

You carry a personal liability for any errors made when identifying, valuing and distributing assets. If for example you miss a payment to a beneficiary or fail to pay debts or taxes, it could cost you personally.  You may decide that you do not know enough about the deceased estate or you do not wish to take on any personal liability.

Before you decide whether to deal with the estate yourself, think:

  • Do you really understand the wording of the will?
  • Do you know which of the assets in the estate are subject to Inheritance Tax? Are you aware how tax relief works to make the most of the assets and do right by the beneficiaries?
  • Do you know how to apply for a Grant of Probate or Administration?
  • What if someone makes a claim against you, or contests the will?

You can resign if you feel you do not wish to act and then there are specific rules on who can step in or you can ask us to support you through the process.

The specialist Probate and Estate Administration team at Battrick Clark Solicitors offers professional, high quality advice in this very specific area of law. We do this flexibly, helping in the way that suits you best:

We can offer general guidance and reassurance.  For example, interpreting the will correctly, understanding the intestacy rules or what to do at various stages.

Where a Grant of Probate or Administration is required, we can make the application to the Court on your behalf.  If you would prefer to hand over responsibility completely, we can deal with all other issues and the distribution.

We can tailor our service to suit your needs.  We will give you a cost estimate at the outset and you’ll be kept fully updated throughout.

Our specialist team of wills and probate solicitors can provide you with comprehensive advice if you are dealing with the estate of a loved one. For more information, call 0117 973 1391 or email [email protected].