Probate/Letters of Administration/Administration of Estates
The process of administering your Will and distributing your estate is known as "Probate". Obtaining probate is normally the responsibility of the Executors of your Will and the person who applies for Probate is then legally required to ensure that your estate is dealt with correctly and lawfully.
There are generally three stages to the probate procedure:
- Obtaining the ‘Grant’ from the probate registry;
- Dealing with the assets and property of the Estate – The Administration;
- Settling the inheritance tax, if any is due.
It is becoming increasingly common for a Will to be challenged and in this case a Probate Court may be called upon to decide the legal position. Having a professionally written and valid Will makes Probate more straightforward and easier for the Executor(s) to defend any challenges to the Will.
Letters of Administration
If you die without making a Will it is called dying “intestate”. Dying intestate usually makes the process of sorting your affairs more complicated and costly for the loved ones you have left behind. It may also mean that your estate may not be disposed of as you would have wished. In some cases it could mean that all of your estate ends up going to the Government.
Your next of kin can apply for a grant of letters of administration which gives them the legal power to deal with your assets as an "Administrator" much in the same way as an Executor would.
Letters of Administration are the equivalent of a Grant of Probate, the difference being Probate is required where there is a Will and Letters of Administration where there is no Will. For all intents & purposes, however, both are the same.
Administration of Estates
On death, we provide sensitive and pragmatic advice and to help administer your estate efficiently and speedily to ensure your wishes are carried into effect as soon as possible. We will obtain a grant of representation, deal with tax affairs, distribution of the estate, advise on the preparation of estate accounts, tax mitigation, and on deeds of variation.