Probate and Administration of Estates
Losing a loved one is a very difficult time for anyone, but what if you have been entrusted as a personal representative and tasked with resolving their financial affairs? The legalities involved can often be overwhelming – where do I begin? Begin with Boyd Rice Solicitors. We can guide you through the process and ensure everything is dealt with correctly and efficiently.
If the deceased made a will then those named as executors will be required to obtain a Grant of Representation from the court. If the deceased died without making a will then the Intestacy Rules determine who can be appointed administrators. They will be required to obtain Letters of Administration before carrying out their duties. This highlights the importance of making a will, if you do not then someone you don’t trust or want may end up being in charge of your estate.
What We Do
As well as obtaining the grant of probate or the letters of administration we will, on your behalf, collect the assets of the estate and settle the liabilities. We can deal with the distribution of the estates, i.e.: making the gifts to the relevant beneficiaries. If the estate is valued above the inheritance tax threshold then we will also advise on how to raise the funds to pay the inheritance tax that is due. We can liaise with HMRC to negotiate the valuation of the deceased’s assets so that you obtain the most tax efficient result as possible.
Another scenario in which we can help is when there has been a drafting error in the will which needs to be varied. We can also advise you where the Rules of Intestacy can be varied. Valuable tax planning measures can be achieved by varying the terms of a will, using a Deed of Variation, or a beneficiary can disclaim their gift if they so wish. Our team can guide you through the options.
A very important consideration is that, whether you are an executor or an administrator, as a personal representative of the deceased you are personally liable for administering the estate correctly. If you distribute the assets in a particular manner and an unknown beneficiary later makes themselves known you can be sued for the gift that they should have received. It is therefore absolutely vital that you instruct a solicitor to assist you. We can advise on how to protect yourself against this eventuality.
We have over 30 years of experience advising clients in Newtownards and the wider Ards Peninsula on how best to draft their wills.
As with all our services, initial enquiries are completely free of charge. You will be under no obligation to instruct us and we will be delighted to advise in any way that we can. We will provide you at the outset with estimates of all our fees and charges. We are strongly of the opinion that transparency is important in developing a strong relationship with our clients.