Wills & Probate
Preparing our will
It is important to have a Will in place so that on death your estate passes to beneficiaries of your choice and, in the case of children, at a suitable age rather than according to the laws of intestacy.
A Will may save your heirs considerable time, trouble and expense. It can also save significant amounts in inheritance tax and may assist in asset protection. It can include the appointment of a guardian for young children and for unmarried couples, a Will is vital if a couple intend that the survivor of them should inherit on the other’s death.
Wills should be reviewed periodically but in particular on or after any major life change, including:
- Getting married or divorced, or becoming separated;
- Having children;
- The death of a spouse, civil partner or close relative;
- Any significant change in financial circumstances.
Elthorne Solicitors offer a fixed fee Wills service in straightforward cases and are happy to discuss fees in more complex cases.
Probate and Administering an Estate
Following death, an individual’s assets and liabilities have to be collected, debts and Inheritance tax paid and the balance distributed to those entitled to inherit. This process is referred to as Probate.
In many cases, it will be necessary to obtain a grant of Probate to be able to collect or sell a deceased’s assets and/or to transfer such assets directly into the names of beneficiaries. When an individual dies with a Will, the Executors will apply for a grant of Probate. Where there is no Will a grant of Letters of Administration is applied for by the surviving spouse, partner, or sometimes by children of the deceased.
Inheritance tax has to be paid before a grant or Probate is issued. In some cases, a variation to the entitlements arising under the deceased’s Will or on intestacy can be made with a view to reducing an Inheritance tax liability or with other important benefits in mind. Elthorne will advise Executors or prospective Administrators on the Probate process, in relation to Inheritance tax filings and tax calculations, and in relation to possible variations