Following the death of a relative or friend it is very often necessary to obtain a grant of probate of their will or letters of administration (if there is no will) to enable the executor or the administrator of the estate to deal with paying bills, legacies and distributing the residue of the estate. This often involves the sale of property and effects and the payment of Inheritance Tax. We have experienced lawyers and a Chartered Accountant who can guide you and help you with any aspect of probate and administration of an estate, however complicated or simple. We can also advise on variations of the deceased's will in order to mitigate any inheritance tax then or in the future.
Very occasionally a dispute arises after someone has died. Beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries can challenge wills that may have been made where the testator lacked proper mental capacity or may have been subject to duress or undue influence. Similarly, beneficiaries adversely affected by the actions of personal representatives of estates in which they have an interest have an avenue for their concerns to be investigated and, where appropriate, a remedy in law.
On occasion a will, or the rules that apply on intestacy - where there is no valid will - can fail to provide reasonable financial provision for a spouse, former spouse, family member or partner. The law permits a claim to be made against the deceased's estate to redress the injustice this causes.
Early, detailed advice is vital in this complex area. A solicitor in our team, David Clegg, is a member of ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists). See disputes.