Dealing with the death of a friend or family member can be a very emotional time, we are happy to help in any way we can. Firstly, the death needs to be registered, and then you would need to find out if the deceased left a valid Will. If so, the executor(s) of the Will would need to determine if a grant of probate is required and when doing so, determine if any tax is due. The executor then collects the estate, clears any debts and distributes the estate in accordance with the Will. If the deceased did not leave a Will, then a personal representative (usually the next of kin) would need to apply for letters of administration and follow the rules of intestacy.
We offer fixed fee services for probate. Download our full pricing list here.
What is an estate?
An estate is made up of all the assets you own at the time of your death. This includes property, bank accounts, personal belongings, shares, life insurance policies, business assets, land and interests in other estates.
What is an estate debt?
An estate debt is a debt the deceased had during their lifetime. This could be a mortgage, credit cards or loans, utility bills, inheritance tax or capital gains tax. There are also debts to consider after death such as funeral expenses or legal expenses. There are also disbursement fees to pay for the grant of probate or letters of administration. The estate is liable for these, but it may be that the executor has to pay then initially and claim them back from the estate.
What is an executor/administrator?
An executor is somebody you appoint to call in the estate, pay out the estate debts and distribute the remaining monies to the beneficiaries named in the Will. An administrator is someone who is appointed to deal with an estate when the deceased did not leave a Will. They would call in the estate, pay out the estate debts and distribute the estate in accordance with the rules of intestacy.
What happens if my beneficiaries are minors when I pass away?
The executors/administrators would act then also as Trustees, they have the power to invest monies under the beneficiaries come of age. The usual age for minors to inherit is 18, but you can state in your Will what age your beneficiaries should inherit.
What is a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration?
A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is a document issued and sealed by the Probate Registry. This document gives you the legal right to administrate the estate.
Do I need a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration?
You may not need to apply for a grant if the estate is passing between spouses and the assets held are in joint names, or if the estate does not include land property or shares. If you are unsure you can contact the banks/building societies, they may just require proof of death.
Do I get paid to be an executor?
Unfortunately not unless the deceased specifically left you a gift in the Will. You can claim back expenses from the estate, but not for your time.
SSB Law Probate Solicitors Sheffield - we offer a range of fixed fee services to assist you as an executor or to take over your responsibilities.