Law Solicitors

When a person passes away and leaves any possessions behind, their estate will need to be sorted. probate is the legal process of sorting out any estate, will, or unresolved issues after somebody passes.

Read more about probate

Even though writing a will is a matter avoided by most people, it is an important document that ensures your assets will be divided in the best way you see fit after your passing. Wills & probate solicitors can help you draft a document that is legally valid and that the document will be legally binding and respected.

Sometimes people die without leaving a valid will - legally, that is called dying interstate. This bring extra complications for their families during a period that is already emotionally complicated.

When someone dies interstate, there are statutory rules that determine the division of the estate among a spouse or civil partner, children, and other relatives. In case there are no relatives, their estate goes to the Crown. If you have a relative who has recently passed, you can contact a probate solicitor in order to understand whether you are entitled to any claims against their estate.

A will also ensures that, even if you are unmarried to your long-term partner, your assets will go to them, rather than the Crown. When you have a will and leave all your estate to your surviving spouse, they could be considered exempt beneficiaries and avoid paying inheritance tax.

A well-written will also help solve the potential friction among friends and relatives - the more you have to split, the higher the chances are of ending up with problems among the surviving relatives and friends. A will could also help you to leave something for a charity, especially if you don't have any surviving relatives.

You could also determine who takes care of young surviving children, as well as leave them a trust fund in order for them to receive money after they become adults.

During the act of making a will, it is common that the person appoints the same solicitor to be in charge of the probate after their passing. Wills & probate solicitors ensure and bear witness that the will is properly executed. This is good because these solicitors are already familiar with the terms of the will and the wishes behind the terms.

Also, administering probate is a complex process, and also technically challenging during a rough period of the surviving relatives. An experienced solicitor can lighten this burden and be objective and impartial during the process, especially because the probate laws differ in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

The probate solicitor will first analyze the value of the estate left by the deceased. That will include properties and finances. They will also assess how much inheritance tax will need to be paid. The inheritance tax threshold changes periodically, and there are other elements to take into consideration such as gifts to charities, annual reliefs, small gift allowance, among others. The solicitor will also pay any outstanding debt of the deceased, as well as fees and charges.