Probate is simply the legal term given to the process of administering a deceased person’s estate.
There are many ways in which Darlingtons can assist with the probate process ranging from limited fixed fee guidance on certain aspects such as assistance with form filling and procedure, through to dealing with the entire estate administration process where the assets and liabilities are complex, inheritance tax may be payable, there may be missing beneficiaries or trusts involved. Our approach is entirely flexible ensuring that you have the level of help and support you need rather than a "traditional" approach of only offering to deal with the whole matter at a percentage cost of the value of the estate.
Executors are the persons named in a will by the deceased as individuals the deceased chose to deal with the administration of his or her estate and who will make the application for probate. the basic role is to collect in assets, pay off liabilities including any inheritance tax and then to distribute assets according to the will. Some probate matters are straightforward, others involve significant legal and practical challenges.
There are also situations where a will is not made, in which case the rules governing administration of the estate and distribution of assets are contained in statutory rules known as the Intestacy rules.
Executors are not legally required to accept their appointment and can renounce their role. Commonly executors are family members of the deceased who may also be beneficiaries under the will. Due to the technicalities of probate law or, all too commonly, family disagreements or disputes, executors may instruct probate solicitors and lawyers to assist with the administration and help with applying for probate.
When somebody dies, there is a period, pending probate, when nobody has the right or obligation to represent the deceased legally. Assets (including property) in an estate will remain frozen until the Probate Registry gives legal authority (via a document know as a Grant of Representation) to the individual(s) nominated in the Will as executors, to deal with the deceased's legal matters.
If there is a Will, the estate will pass to the people named in the Will. If there is no Will certain rules known as the Rules of Intestacy will apply.
The probate process, depending on many factors but not least the type and number of assets and availability of information and supporting documents, can take from months to years.
An executor’s duties include drawing up accounts providing all the details of assets and liabilities and possibly to enable any necessary tax return to be completed. The executor must also:
There are circumstances in which a formal grant may not be required, notwithstanding that it is always a safer to obtain one. Generally, if a deceased had very limited assets, it is possible that a Grant may not be needed, and the below factors may help in determining whether one is needed:
We can asssist in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
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