When is a probate solicitor required?

It is important to first understand what probate in the UK means and the laws surrounding probate. In England and Wales probate refers to the procedures required when dealing with the estate of a deceased person. On the death of a person and prior to an executor or a next of kin being able to sell, transfer or claim rights to any of the deceased’s property or assets, a grant of probate may be required. There is a whole range of obligations that have to be fulfilled before an estate can be divided and allocated in the case of a will or if there is no will. A probate solicitor Emsworth is best suited to handle the complicated procedures to ensure that no problems occur at a later stage.

Complications of probate law

When someone dies it is necessary to carefully and correctly wind up their estate, which requires ensuring that all the individual’s liabilities are settled to enable an accurate value of the estate to be determined. Identifying all the assets and liabilities of an individual who has passed away is not always a straightforward procedure and may require some in depth searches being conducted. All sorts of debts need to be established, things like outstanding debts, credit card balances, utility bills and loans are but a few. Determining if any inheritance tax needs to be paid or if there is any income tax or capital gains tax outstanding is also crucial. A grant of registration has to be applied for to confirm the administrator of the estate. Selling off any assets that may be required to settle all outstanding debts must be done before the remaining value of the estate can be confirmed.

Beneficiaries of an estate

A probate solicitor will undertake the legally required course of action that will ultimately determine which beneficiaries are entitled to a portion of a deceased’s estate. If someone has died without having made a prior will this is referred to as dying intestate and who may benefit from such an estate is decided by the rules of the intestacy. These rules more often than not only recognise the next-of-kin and not relationships. An estate administrator can be held personally liable, regardless of whether a genuine mistake has been made or not, should an error have occurred while handling this type of estate. Intestate estates can be extremely complex and will require the knowledge and skills of a qualified solicitor to ensure that future problems do not occur.

Documents required to wind up an estate

A solicitor when handling an estate has to identify all beneficiaries and is required to obtain identity documents of each beneficiary. In addition he must prepare accounts which reflect each and every ‘in and out’ transaction undertaken. Once prepared the accounts must be sent to the estate’s personal representative for approval before moving on to the final stages of the procedure.

Final distribution of assets

As long as there are no complications or outstanding challenges from creditors or beneficiaries the transfer can finally proceed and the distribution of the relevant assets to the beneficiaries can be carried out by the solicitor.

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