Probate is the legal term for the process of handling a person's estate after their death. It can be a complex area and there are many legal processes to go through.
Whether you need assistance applying for grant of probate (or letters of administration when there is no Will) so you can begin sorting out the belongings and assets of a deseased person, or if there are more complex issues such as a contested Will or Inheritance Tax to pay, Oratto member probate solicitors can provide all the help with probate that you will ever need.
While some estates will be fairly straightforward to handle, there is the potential for problems at every stage of the probate process and there are some which occur more frequently than others. These include:
The original Will has been lost
To make an application for probate, you must produce the original Will. If for some reason you can't, then under certain circumstances it's possible to submit a copy. This is where legal advice is invaluable because it's is a much more complex and involved issue.
Problems with executors
Being an executor can be a demanding role. Sometimes people have agreed to be an executor long before they were needed and when the time comes they are not willing to carry out their duty.
On occasion, the executor cannot be tracked down. Should either of these scenarios be the case, Oratto member probate solicitors are able to help and advise you. It's possible to remove someone as an executor, but you will need expert legal advice because it's a complicated procedure.
Oratto can quickly connect you with a lawyer who has the knowledge and experience you need to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Our member probate solicitors are fully trained and highly skilled in their specialist areas and will be ready to provide you with accurate advice whenever it's needed.
Disagreements over the Will
Sometimes, it doesn't matter how carefully a person has planned to dispose of their estate, if the Will does not say what relatives are expecting it to say, it can cause problems. This could be the case if the document was a made a long time ago, if there was a sudden death, if there were any last minute changes, or unexpected beneficiaries have been included.
Whilst it is possible to make adjustments to a Will, the person must be of sound mind and carry out the changes correctly or they won't be held to be valid. All changes to an existing Will, or codicils, must be signed, dated and witnessed.
If you suspect that improper changes have been made, you should seek advice from Oratto member probate solicitors. They will be able to spot any problems quickly, before any repercussions are felt.
Probably everyone's least favourite tax, inheritance tax has to be deal with promptly and with exacting accuracy. If it is due to be paid then it must be paid within six months of the death of the testator. If this doesn't happen then there are penalties that apply.
Probate solicitors from Oratto can ensure that the estate administration is seen to swiftly and accurately to avoid costly delays. Understandably, dealing with someone's Will can be a distressing time and our member lawyers will act sensitively and discreetly to help you through the process. Probate solicitors are familiar with the whole process, beginning to end, including which forms need to be completed, and how and when this should be done.
Who can I talk to about probate?
If you have agreed to be an executor, you may not want to act as one when the time comes. By making a declaration of renunciation, this allows you to give up the role entirely, pass it over to probate solicitors or you can oversee an application so that another executor to be appointed.
Most importantly, if you wish to challenge a Will, then time is of the essence. Different time limits exist for different situations. The only exception is if the Will is contested on grounds of fraud, in which case there is no time limit.
Oratto member probate lawyers are here to guide and support you every step of the way. Probate can be confusing and upsetting and having an expert on hand can relieve much of the stress for you and give peace of mind.
Call us today, have an online chat or fill in an Oratto Match form so that we can call you back at a time to suit you.
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