Wills, Trusts & Probate

Probate & Estate Administration

Has a loved one recently pass away and you are the estate Executor? 

Understanding the legal process and your responsibilities can be stressful and time consuming. We can guide you through the maze of forms, advise you on the process or handle it all for you.

What is an Estate?

When a person passes away they leave an ‘Estate’, which includes any property, money or belongings that the person owned.

What is an Executor?

A person appointed in a will to carry out the wishes of the deceased. This can be anybody aged 18 or over. And you can appoint up to four executors. If there was no will, someone will need to be appointed by the next of kin, and the distribution rules are very complicated. For example: unmarried partners get nothing, assets go to the crown if there is no married partner or surviving family, married partners do not necessarily get everything if there are children with rights to the estate.

What are the Estate Administration responsibilities of an Executor?

  1. Organise the funeral and any funeral related wishes of the deceased
  2. In some cases, apply for the Grant of Probate, this legally allows them to deal with the estate, especially with data protection sensitive organisations like banks.
  3. Find out who will inherit from the estate
  4. Make an inventory of the estate, including each item’s value
  5. Contact organisations that hold any assets such as banks, pensions, shares, etc…
  6. Complete Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax forms & pay the taxes that are due
  7. Pay any debts
  8. Distribute what remains of the estate to the beneficiaries

How Hopkins can help you

At this difficult time we aim to take the responsibility and pressure off your shoulders. Our experienced Probate Solicitors can provide as much, or little advice and help as you need.

If the Executor named in the Will can’t, or doesn’t want to, deal with the Estate for whatever reason, our Probate Solicitors can take on the full role of Executor, for no extra charge.

There are many Probate  tasks we can help you with, including:
  • Interpreting the Will and helping you understand anything that isn’t clear
  • Calculating the value of the Estate and of any Inheritance Tax which needs to be paid
  • Help with any issues regarding overseas property and assets
  • Completing Inheritance Tax forms and preparing the Oath to make an Application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
  • Paying any debts due and reimbursing any Beneficiaries
  • Preparing Estate Accounts for approval and paying the final balance to the Beneficiaries.

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