Home Family Law Property Wills & Trusts Disputes Business Commercial Property Criminal Defence Probate Contact Us
Wills & Estates   Inheritance
Divorce & separation   Death Duty
Children Issues    
Buying/selling property   Remortgaging
Landlord/Tenant issues    
Tax & money
Inheritance planning   Contractual claims
Dealing with an Estate   Wills & Estates
Bankruptcy & insolvency    
Neighbour disputes   Family disputes
General Civil Litigation   Criminal defence
Professional misconduct    
Commercial property   Debt recovery
Bankruptcy/Insolvency   Licensing
Employment disputes    
Motoring offences   Enquiry form

Dealing with bereavement

When someone dies, a large number of official bodies and companies such as the DWP, pension providers, banks and building societies, financial institutions and life insurance companies have to be informed. The deceased person’s assets in most cases cannot be accessed until a “Grant of Representation” (either Probate of the Will or Letters of Adminstration) has been obtained. If a Will has been left, the estate needs to be distributed in accordance with its provisions or, if the deceased has died intestate (without a Will), the surviving relatives need to be identified and consideration given as to how the estate should be distributed under the intestacy rules. The procedures needed to be carried out are time consuming and complicated and we can deal with these thus relieving you from these tasks at an unhappy time when you may not feel up to coping with them yourself.

Even when no Inheritance Tax is payable in respect of the estate, a “return of estate information form” for HM Revenue and Customs has to be completed and sent with the application for the grant of representation setting out details of the deceased’s assets and liabilities. The form needs to be completed accurately – if mistakes are made which come to light later, HM Revenue and Customs has power to charge fines for any non-disclosure of assets or gifts made prior to death which may mean the estate was liable to Inheritance Tax after all. Even this so called “simple” form is not easy to complete without professional help.

If Inheritance Tax is payable in respect of the estate, then the formalities for obtaining Probate or Letters of Administration are complicated and a detailed Inland Revenue account of many pages has to be submitted to HM Revenue and Customs before the grant of representation can issue. There are time limits to be observed and the matter cannot be left as otherwise interest or penalties may be payable to the Revenue. We recommend that the bereaved do not attempt to deal with this themselves. It is far better to entrust the matter to professionals such as us. There will, of course, be fees to pay to us but we feel that the benefits of not having to worry about the formalities and the relief of knowing that the estate will be properly administered according to the law should outweigh considerations of expense.

The partners of the firm can be appointed as the executors of your Will if you do not feel able to nominate anybody else.

We offer a full estate administration service whether or not the partners of the firm are appointed as executors of the will. Our work can include:

  • Investigation and information gathering in respect of the assets and liabilities

  • Preparation of the documents needed for the application for the grant of representation

  • Making the application for the Grant and checking the Grant after issue from the Probate Registry

  • Registering the grant with the asset holding institutions and collecting in the assets

  • Paying debts and liabilities

  • Paying legacies (if any) bequeathed by the Will

  • Dealing with taxation issues as appropriate, including inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains

  • The sale or transfer of  shares and securities incidental to the rest of the work

  • The preparation of the estate accounts and the final distribution of the estate to those persons entitled under the Will or the intestacy rules

We are happy to discuss our fees for these services and to give you an indication of the likely costs before commencing any work.


Previous Hot Topics

An up-to-date Will
Buying or selling property
Dealing with bereavement
Protecting your children's inheritance

Dollman & Pritchard Solicitors, 8 The Square, Caterham, Surrey, CR3 6XS   Tel: 01883 347823  Fax: 01883 340628     © Dollman & Pritchard 2005 - 2012
Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – Firm Number 48857