We are specialist Estate Planning solicitors within Croydon and Central London and have a strong reputation in assisting clients with Probate. We offer competitive pricing and offer a bespoke Probate service to all our clients.
Providing Clients with a Full Probate Service
Dealing with the loss of a relative or a close friend who appoints you as their executor can be an extremely difficult and stressful time. We work hard to get you through this challenging time by providing practical advice and support, tailored to meet your needs and the needs of the estate.
Whether your loved one had a will or not, our probate solicitors have the expertise to deal with the most complex of cases, sensitively and in a way that enables you to understand the process during a very difficult period in your life.
We can guide you through the entire probate process including:
• Immediate advice and assistance about what to do when someone dies
• Registering the death
• Funeral arrangements and settling the funeral bill
• Advice about the validity or potential problems with the will and codicils
• Advising executors and personal representatives about their legal duties and responsibilities in winding up and estate
• Completing inheritance tax or income tax returns
• Applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration
• What happens if you die intestate – without making a will
• Inheritance tax reliefs and exemptions
• Collecting in the estate including selling property and shares and closing accounts and investments
• Paying the estate’s debts and liabilities
• Dealing with assets abroad
• Preparing a financial account of the administration of the estate showing what money and assets were in the estate, what liabilities have been paid and what share of the estate each beneficiary receives
• Setting up trusts in wills
• Advising beneficiaries who want to make a deed of variation
• Contentious probate, disputes about wills or other claims against the estate
• Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) 1975 Act claims for financial provision
We can Assist with Contentious Probate Matters
This is an umbrella term that refers to a range of disputes and issues that may arise after someone’s death.
The scope of such disputes is extremely wide, but some typical examples are:
If you can show that the deceased lacked the legal capacity to make their will; was unduly influenced into making it or neither knew or approved of its contents, then its validity could be challenged.
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975
Where a will (or intestacy) fails to make reasonable financial provision for a spouse, civil partner, child, cohabitee, relative or someone otherwise financially dependent on the deceased, then a claim could be made against the deceased’s estate.
Estate administration disputes
The executors of an estate have various duties – the most important one of which is to ensure the estate is properly administered. Is the executor wasting assets? If you are a residuary beneficiary is the executor failing to provide you with information despite repeated requests to do so? Are you concerned that the executor has a conflict of interests because they are both executor and beneficiary? Is you co-executor making decisions that you should be making jointly? Is the administration of the estate taking too long? There are many ways in which we can help you whether it is to remind executors or their duties or invite to court to remove or replace them.
Are the terms of the trust ambiguous? Is there disagreement over who the beneficiaries should be, or the type of trust involved? Are the trustees in breach of their legal duties? Have they failed to take proper investment advice? Do their duties conflict with their own personal interests? Alternatively, are you a trustee concerned about being exposed to a claim because of a decision you have made?
Whatever your contentious probate dispute, we will actively encourage you to resolve it without recourse to the courts. Alternative Dispute Resolution is an important process that could avoid unecessary litigation costs and we will aim to resolve your matter by this route, in all cases.
How Barnes Harrild & Dyer Solicitors can help
We offer fixed-fee packages with simple undisputed Probate instructions and other pricing options to suit your needs.
For further information and a free telephone consultation, call our Central London or Croydon offices today on 0344 444 8216. Alternatively, reach out to us via the blue contact boxes at the top of this page, and speak to a senior lawyer.