Wills, Trusts & Probate
Probate & Estates
The death of a loved one is a traumatic time and dealing with their estate can be difficult. Here at W Davies our Wills, Trusts & Probate Department has a number of compassionate, efficient, professional and friendly solicitors who are able to deal with all aspects on a person’s death.
What does the administration of an estate entail?
ExecutorsIf a person prepared a Will, they will have appointed “Executors” who are the people responsible for dealing with the estate and distributing any assets in accordance with the wishes expressed in the Will. If there was no Will (known as an intestacy), these duties fall to the Administrators of the estate. Administrators are individuals, who have an entitlement under the estate, and have applied to be responsible for dealing with the administration.
Grant of Probate/Letters of AdministrationIf the deceased person held any assets in their sole name then a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration may be required in order for the assets to be released. The Grant is issued by the Probate Registry and confirms the legal authority of an Executor or Administrator. A Grant will usually be required if the deceased owned property, stocks and shares or bank accounts in their sole name. Any bank accounts which are owned jointly will pass automatically to the survivor, though some paperwork may still be required.
Inheritance TaxThere may also be Inheritance Tax (IHT) to pay. On death, each person has a Nil Rate Band (NRB). This is a figure that is allowed to pass without being subject to IHT from one’s estate. Any assets over the value of the available NRB are subject to IHT at a rate of 40%. For married couples, it is possible that the NRB of the first spouse to die may be transferred to the surviving spouse’s estate (this will depend on specific circumstances which we can advise upon).
DistributionOnce all assets of the estate have been collected and all debts and liabilities paid, the Executors or Administrators will need to distribute the estate in accordance with the Will or, in the case of an intestacy, the law.
Claims against an Estate
You may wish to make a claim against an estate, or a third party may make a claim against an estate that you are dealing with. The sorts of claims that commonly arise include:
- A beneficiary under the estate feels they have not been adequately provided for.
- An individual may not have been provided for at all and feel they have an entitlement under the estate.
- A beneficiary or individual may feel that the Will is not valid, or that the deceased was under undue influence or lacked capacity at the time of making the Will.
We can offer specialist advice in determining the validity of a claim on your behalf and assist you in pursuing or defending a claim against the estate.
At W Davies we will endeavour to ensure that you will always deal with the same solicitor (holidays, aside) to ensure that you receive the personal service needed at such a difficult time.
Our solicitors can handle the winding-up of an estate with great sensitivity and understanding to help family and friends through what can be a confusing and upsetting time.