When administering the estate of a loved one who has passed away, you need clear, practical legal guidance to make sure everything is handled the right way, but you are also a human being dealing with a difficult situation who needs sympathetic personal support.
Our team of probate specialists provide advice with understanding and sensitivity when winding up and administrating estates. We can establish whether it is necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to allow assets to be collected and distributed in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.
We will take you through every part of the probate and estate administration process, ensuring no detail is missed and that your loved one’s wishes are carried out effectively.
Whatever level of support you need, we can provide. Whether you simply want help with the paperwork or would prefer us to handle the whole business for you, we will be happy to work with you to make administering your loved one’s estate as simple and stress-free as we can.
Why choose Driver Belcher for probate and estate administration?
With many years of experience supporting families at what can be a very difficult time, we have the seasoned legal expertise and empathetic approach you deserve.
Our Head of Private Client Jenny Walker and specialist probate and estate administration solicitor David Watson are both full members of STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners). This reflects their internationally recognised expertise in dealing with inheritance and estates.
With offices in Bishop’s Waltham and Hedge End, we can offer a convenient local service for people in Southampton, as well as working with clients throughout Hampshire and further afield. We are also able to visit you in your home on request, as well as being happy to assist you over the phone and via email.
Speak to our probate and estate administration experts today
Tel: 01489 892101
How we can help you with probate and estate administration
We can provide support in all of the following areas if required:
- Assistance with the funeral arrangements
- Preparing income tax returns
- Arranging valuation of assets in the estate
- Obtaining the grant of probate or letters of administration
- Inheritance tax on assets
- Capital gains tax return for the period when the estate is being administered
- Advising whether any tax savings are possible
- Arranging to sell or auction assets
- Arranging payment of any debts
- Advising on and dealing with the sale of any property
- Collecting and distributing the assets amongst the beneficiaries
- Executor’s income tax returns
Probate and administration matters vary considerably in their complexity. Whatever the size of the estate, from a few hundred pounds to many millions, we can deal with it, and help the Executors comply with their legal obligations.
How long does probate take?
This will depend on the circumstances and there are no strict time limits on how long probate should take, except one – you must pay any Inheritance Tax due on the estate by the end of the sixth month after the deceased’s date of death.
In general, probate on most estates in England and Wales can be completed within around 9-12 months. However, it can take longer if there are any more complex issues to deal with, such as a dispute over the Will.
Is probate always needed?
Probate is usually required for most estates, however, if the total assets within the estate are valued at less than £5,000, then probate may not be needed.
Where the estate is worth less than £5,000, it may be possible to transfer the assets to the named beneficiaries or relevant next of kin (if there is no Will) without going through probate.
It is important to always take legal advice on this to make sure you follow the correct process.
How does probate work if there is no Will?
When someone dies without leaving a valid Will, their estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy. Under intestacy rules, the estate will go to the deceased’s next of kin with exactly who inherits depending on what living relatives the deceased has.
If the deceased is survived by a spouse or civil partner, they will normally inherit all or the majority of the estate.
If there is no living spouse of civil partner and the deceased had children, the estate will be divided evenly amongst them.
If the deceased has a living spouse or civil partner and children, they will inherit everything up to £250,000 as well as half of everything above this limit. The children will inherit the rest.
If there is no spouse, civil partner or children, other close relatives such as grandchildren, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles can potentially inherit the estate.
To see who would inherit where there is no Will, you can use the government’s free intestacy tool.
Our probate and estate administration fees
Our probate fees will vary depending the complexity of the work required and the value of the estate. We offer both fixed fees and hourly charging, depending on what type of support you require.
As a general indication of the likely costs involved with probate, our legal fees will typically range between £3,000 to £20,000 plus VAT and disbursements. Our current hourly rate is £195+VAT.
For more information, please take a look at our probate pricing.
Speak to our probate and estate administration solicitors in Southampton and Hampshire
Jenny Walker or David Watson
Tel: 01489 892101