When someone dies, it is usually necessary, whether they have made a will or not, to obtain a Court Order to deal with their financial affairs. If they have left a will, the Court Order is called a Grant of Probate and if they have died without a will, a Grant of Letters of Administration is required.
At Shulmans, we can help the executors appointed in the will, or family members entitled to inherit, to deal with the often complicated paperwork in an efficient and cost-effective way, at a time when stress and emotion leave you with little enthusiasm to deal with these important matters yourself. We can also help you with tax and other complications that may arise as a consequence of a death.
A Grant of Probate and a Grant of Letters of Administration essentially operate in the same way. It is a document that gives the executors/administrators authority to distribute the estate, either in accordance with the wishes specified within the will or in accordance with the Laws of Intestacy.
Administering an estate involves:
- Identifying all the assets and liabilities;
- Filing a final tax return;
- Completing the Inheritance Tax requirements;
- Dealing with the legal ownership of the assets;
- Identifying all potential beneficiaries; and
- Distributing the assets in accordance with the will.
If someone dies without making a will, their assets will be distributed in accordance with the Laws of Intestacy.
Administering an estate requires knowledge of the laws of Property, Succession and Trusts, as well as the implications of Inheritance and Capital Gains Taxes. Our experience enables us to administer the estate quickly, efficiently and without complication.
If disputes over inheritance occur – which they are likely to do, this being times of emotional vulnerability and distress – we provide early expert advice and strive to achieve effective dispute resolution at an early stage; where this is not successful, we endeavour to engage in and manage litigation as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.