Probate

Our probate and estate administration team advise on the administration of estates and are particularly experienced with complex estates or where there are cross-border issues. 

This includes advice on business/agricultural/heritage property reliefs from inheritance tax and post-death variations, as well as preparing inheritance tax returns, obtaining grants of probate and negotiating valuations with HMRC. We have considerable experience in dealing with cross-border succession issues, obtaining grants for UK assets where a person died resident and domiciled abroad, re-sealing Commonwealth grants and re-sealing English grants overseas.

When someone has died, the people responsible for dealing with the estate are called Personal Representatives. They will be either the executors appointed by the Will or the next of kin if there is no Will. If there is a Will, the executors first need to see if the Will contains any funeral instructions.

The Executors' duty is then to wind up the estate, including the following:-

  • Find out what assets there are in the estate
  • Value the assets and debts
  • Give details of the assets and debts to the Inland Revenue, by completing an Inland Revenue Account
  • Pay any inheritance tax that is due
  • Apply for a Grant of Probate
  • Collect in the assets
  • Pay debts, legacies and expenses
  • Complete tax returns for the estate
  • Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.

Essentially, the nearest relatives - spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters, or a combination of them - are usually the personal representatives entitled to adminster the estate. Where there is no Will, the personal representatives are called "Administrators" and their duty is to administer the estate and take the same steps as for executors above.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact a member of our Tax & Estate Planning team.

Additional information