Probate

What is involved in winding up someone’s estate?

The responsibilities of a Personal Representative include safeguarding the assets of the Estate; realising funds to pay any liabilities such as funeral expenses, tax, outstanding bills etc; locating the beneficiaries; distributing the Estate in accordance with the Will or, if none, as required by the Rules of Intestacy. Depending on the size of the Estate, the complexity of the Will and the family circumstances, this can take anything from three months to two years or more to complete.

Can’t I do it without a lawyer?

Of course, you can and in some cases you should – we are happy to tell you if you need us or not, and to point you in the right direction. However, in the majority of cases, an experienced Probate Lawyer can guide you through the process to speed matters along, help you to complete all the paper work, calculate any tax liabilities and deal with the Inland Revenue, and safeguard you from the hidden and sometimes unexpected perils of administering an Estate. We can also suggest ways of reducing tax liabilities, for example by varying the terms of the Will or Rules of Intestacy to redirect assets in a tax efficient way.

If I use a lawyer, what will it cost?

As you would expect, the cost depends on the work required and the number and type of assets involved – if all you want is a hand to obtain the Grant of Representation from the Court, a fixed fee of between £200 and £300 plus VAT can be agreed. Otherwise, the cost will depend upon the size and complexity of the Estate and the amount of time it takes to conclude the administration. Our fees are calculated on the basis of an hourly rate and a cost estimate will be given as soon as it becomes clear what will be involved in the administration of the Estate.

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