When someone close to you dies, it can be a difficult time.
People who find themselves appointed as executors of the estate, or responsible under the laws of intestacy if there is no will, have the further pressure of legal responsibility for dealing with the affairs of the deceased and ensuring that their wishes are carried out. This all happens at a time of loss and grief when the last thing you may want is a ‘to do’ list and a set of legal requirements.
We can help you with these pressures by assisting you in any aspect of the estate administration with which you need support. We can advise whether a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration (also known as a Grant of Representation) is needed and help with getting one. A grant is a legal document that confirms who can stand in the shoes of the deceased to deal with their affairs, making sure their assets are collected, and their debts are paid. On death, Inheritance Tax has to be considered and may have to be paid. We will support you with the inheritance tax return, liaising with HM Revenue and Customs and we will identify whether or not any inheritance tax is payable. We’ll also help you work out how best to meet any tax that is payable.
We will also work to ensure that post in the name of the deceased doesn’t keep being received to their address, which can be enormously distressing, that companies and individuals are aware of the death and that all protections are put in place to maintain the value of the estate – from appropriate insurances to advertising for creditors.
Identifying and gathering in all of the assets and making sure there is a clear record of these can be time-consuming and distressing but you can hand over some or all of this job safe in the knowledge that everything that needs to be done will be done for you. We can also help to deal with assets or wealth that the person may have overseas. Working closely with you, we will help you to understand and achieve your role and responsibilities as executor or administrator. Even if we deliver the management of the estate, you are still in charge, and we work in partnership with you to make decisions and to help you achieve what you need to.
Our team is experienced in dealing with a wide variety of estates – from small estates with just a bank account right through to very large estates with multiple properties and investments. Whether your need is for help with selling a house, closing a bank account, or running and selling a business after the owner has died, we can help you to deal with the deceased’s estate and their assets – whatever they are and wherever in the world they may be.
Deeds of Variation
When someone dies, whether they have left you a gift in their will or you inherit under the intestacy rules, you may decide you would like for someone else to have that gift instead – maybe your children, for example.
Deeds of Variation redirect an inheritance to different beneficiaries and can give away inheritances as direct gifts or can create trusts – which can benefit you and others. By making a Deed of Variation, you can benefit others without there being any tax cost or consequence for you. We can help with the necessary documentation as well as explain the options available and support you to make the best choice for yourself.
We can help you with relieving the pressures probate brings, by assisting you in any aspect of the estate administration with which you need support.
We have been recognised for the work we do
We are delighted to announce that our private wealth law department has continued to maintain its Band 2 position in the latest edition of Chambers and Partners High Net Worth.
For part 1 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews solicitor Puja Desai on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
We are delighted to announce that our private wealth law department has maintained its position in Band 2 in the Birmingham and surrounds area in the latest edition of Chambers and Partners High Net Worth.
Making an application to the Court of Protection to make or change a Will for someone who is not able to do this themselves due to lacking mental capacity.
Let’s face it, Wills are underappreciated and often overlooked. In fact, around 54% of the British public do not have one!
Although the exact date of the change is presently unknown, it is likely to be in or around April 2019 and will have a significant impact on estate administration and the costs of dying.
One significant difference between someone managing the financial affairs of another (often called “P”) under a power of attorney as opposed to a deputyship, is the degree of supervision.
Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.
Thinking about the legal status of being a cohabitant probably isn’t at the top of the ‘to do’ list.
When an individual is thinking about making a gift to another individual, consideration needs to be given to the Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) trap.