If you do, then you need look no further than the probate team here at local solicitors Bonallack & Bishop, at our new Fordingbridge office [following our 2017 merger with Jacksons, the long established Fordingbridge Law Firm].
As specialist Probate Solicitors we regularly act for Executors, Trustees and family members. Contact us today for expert legal advice on this complex issue to help preserve the value of the deceased’s Estate and respect their wishes.
Need help with probate? Call our experienced team on (01425) 652110 for no strings attached FREE initial phone advice.
Click here to read about what our clients say about us – our Wills and Probate Lawyers Reviews
What is probate?
Probate is administration of a deceased person’s estate – the legal authority to administer the estate of someone who has died by collecting in any money, paying all outstanding debts and distributing the deceased person’s property to the beneficiaries under a will – in effect giving one or more people the right to deal with a deceased person’s property and possessions.
Grant of Probate is the court’s authority for an Executor to administer the deceased’s Estate, i.e. legally collect money from banks, building societies and other organisations that hold assets belonging to the deceased person, known as Asset Holders.
Click here to find out more about the Grant Of Representation
An Executor is the person nominated by the deceased to follow any directions as provided in the will. An executor may be a trusted friend or member of the family. However solicitors are also often appointed as professional executors to handle the process of probate.
Click here to find out more about the Executor’s Role in Probate
Do I need probate solicitors?
No, there is no legal requirement to appoint solicitors to deal with probate for you. You can, for example, make a personal application for a grant of probate and court staff will guide you concerning the completion of the necessary forms.
However life nowadays is complex, both in terms of the nature of people’s investments and their family lives. This means that many people are nervous about dealing with the administration of an estate themselves because of the risk of failing to identify or deal with investments appropriately, of inadvertently acquiring personal liability for failing to carry out a step they did not know about, or because there are difficulties within a family which mean the role is particularly challenging.
What’s more, many more people find that at a time when they are struggling to come to terms with the death of a loved one, they simply cannot cope with the time consuming and precise process of obtaining probate. That’s where our solicitors come in.
Click here to read more about the risks of DIY Probate
Handling probate yourself – the risks and disadvantages
The whole process of collecting and distributing your estate can be very time consuming, and can incur liability to the beneficiaries if not handled correctly. and what’s more, over the years there has been a steady but growing number of disputed wills and contested probate – which can both add stress and complexity to the role of an executor, and put them risk for liability of any mistake.
As a result, probate solicitors are often named as executors in the will, or are appointed by any non professional executors to advise on or alternatively to conduct the whole process of probate. The solicitor will also be able give assistance where the deceased’s affairs are not in order.
Click here to read about 16 Key Reasons To Use Solicitors for Probate
How long does probate take?
There are no hard and fast rules – it very much depends on the nature of the assets, the complexity of the will, the size of the estate, and whether any claims are made.
In the case of an estate where inheritance tax is payable, for example, detailed information must be given to the Capital Taxes Office and it can take time to collect this and to report it.
Missing beneficiaries – beneficiaries under either a will or the intestacy rules who cannot be traced – are an increasingly common problem and there are many unforeseen things that can crop up during the administration. For example, HMRC can now be very slow indeed to process income tax returns to the date of death – 3 to 6 month delays are typical – and we do not recommend to personal representatives that they make distributions until HMRC confirm that they are happy with the tax position and are closing their files.
As a very general estimate, it takes between 6 months and a year to complete a routine administration. However rest assured that our team will deal with your case as swiftly and simply as possible. And as part of our probate service, we keep you informed of what is happening and give you an estimate of the likely time it will take to finalise matters.
Our Probate Solicitors
We are a modern and progressive firm of solicitors with 4 offices across Wiltshire and Hampshire. Our 12 strong private client team deal with nothing but drafting both wills and lasting powers of attorney, probate administration, trust creation and administration – and, in particular, have many years’ experience of probate work between them.
We can handle as much or as little as much or as little of the probate process as you wish. For some clients, we deal with all aspects of estate administration. For others they are happy to keep costs down by taking on responsibility themselves for many areas – and leaving some of the most complex areas to us. Either way, we have huge experience in handling estate administration for thousands of local people over many decades, all at value for money prices.
Want to know more about probate and how our team can help you – click here.
Looking for the Will
When someone dies, one of the very first things that an executor has to do is to find the Will. With luck, the person making the Will told you where they kept it or has stored it in an obvious place with other valuables.
However if you simply cannot find the will then you might make the following enquiries:
- The solicitor
If a solicitor actually drafted the original Will, the original, or at least a copy, is likely to be held in solicitor’s strongroom or other safe storage.
- The bank
Sometimes people leave their Will at their bank, although unlike solicitors, banks usually make an annual storage charge.
- The Principal Registry
Sometimes Wills are deposited at the Safe Custody Department of the Principal Registry. You can write by post directly to the York Probate Sub-Registry asking for a copy of any Will, providing the first name or names, the surname, date of death and last known address of the deceased, along with the fee of £5 by crossed cheque or postal order made payable to Her Majesty’s Court Service.
The Probate Sub-Registry will forward any requests to whichever probate registry has kept the Will and grant of probate, which will send copies directly to you.
For deaths in England and Wales, write to: The York Probate Sub-Registry, 1st Floor, Castle Chambers, Clifford Street, York YO1 9RG (Tel: 01904 666777)
Still can’t find the Will?
Don’t panic. Fortunately a photocopy of any signed and witnessed Will is acceptable as proof of that Will in England and Wales – although be aware that sometimes the Probate Registry will require evidence that the original wasn’t destroyed intentionally to revoke the Will, for example, if the Will was burnt in a house fire, the Registry may require evidence of that fire.
Live in Verwood? Looking for Specialist Probate Solicitors? Get in touch with us today
Whether you need help with just one aspect of estate administration, or whether you would like our team to deal with the entire estate, contact our expert probate lawyers today for a FREE no obligation initial phone chat.
- Call one of our probate team on (01425) 652110 OR
- E-mail us using the contact form below
5, Provost Street,