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How Probate Solicitors Can Help When Applying For Probate

Dec 3, 2011
If you have been assigned the duty of probate, you are not under a legal obligation to use legal assistance. However there are some definite benefits to using a solicitor to help you through what can be a fairly complex process.

An official grant of probate is essentially the legal ability of the executor to distribute assets according to a will. The executor has the role of collecting in all monies which belong to the deceased and then distributing these out amongst all the beneficiaries under the will. Even if named as a beneficiary, this person can act as an executor. Where more than one beneficiary is named, up to four can apply for a grant. This will enable them to deal with the matter collectively.

If no probate solicitors are used the executor will have to apply for the grant through the Probate Service. Letters of Administration are applied for if no will was left by the deceased, or the named administrators are unwilling to undertake the task.

When applying for the grant it is important the probate office sees a copy of it. Wills are often left with probate solicitors, and they will be able to give expert probate legal advice.

If HMRC claim inheritance tax from the estate, the a part of this must be paid over before the grant is made. It might be completed prior to the inheritance tax authorities making a decision of how much the final amount will be. Anyone whom finds themselves feeling non-confident about this process should talk to a solicitor and get the right sort of legal advice. Even though solicitors are not accountant or tax advisors, good probate solicitors will have a real awareness of the law governing such matters.

Because the executor may have to deal with several banks and building societies he will require multiple copies of the sealed grant. Normally they will not accept non-sealed copies or photocopies. So when applying for the grant the executor will have to decide how many copies he requires. The correct fee will have to be enclosed with the grant application.

As can be seen this can be a complicated and time consuming process, so there are advantages in the using the services of probate solicitors. The solicitor will make sure the process moves a lot quicker. He will also be able to help you deal out any property which forms part of the deceased's estate.

Probate solicitors may also be able to assist in the reduction of inheritance tax, such as through a deed of variation and their advice will almost certainly be essential if the will is to be contested anyway.
About the Author
Bonallack & Bishop are solicitors providing probate legal advice. If you need advice then contact one of their UK Probate Solicitors today. Senior Partner Tim Bishop is responsible for all major strategic decisions.
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