When a loved one passes away, it is often up to a family member to deal with their estate. This can be a daunting task which can often turn into a far more complicated process than you might expect it to be – particularly if there isn’t a valid Will in place.
We know that this will already be an upsetting time for you and, as the executor or administrator of an estate, you may be unsure about what you need to do next and who you can turn to for some clarity, guidance and support. That’s where we can help.
If you are acting as the executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate, or are next of kin, we can help you deal with everything correctly and efficiently, whether there is a Will in place or not, taking the pressure off you during this difficult time in your life.
Our specialist probate solicitors in Ossett and Wakefield, West Yorkshire, have extensive experience in all aspects of probate law, having helped many individuals and families with the swift and effective administration of a deceased person’s estate.
We will be on hand, when you need us most, to guide you through every step of the estate administration process, either providing advice or acting on your behalf, taking care of everything from start to finish and lifting the burden off you.
Our expert team of probate solicitors at Thornton Jones can help you with a full range of probate law services that can be tailored to match your particular needs and circumstances. The types of issues we can help you with include:
- Grant of probate
- Estate administration
- Interpreting a Will
- Challenging a Will
- Defending a Will
- Letters of administration
- Tax planning including inheritance tax and capital gains tax
- Claims under the Inheritance ( Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- Contentious probate
The Probate Process
Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate which is made up of the money, property and any possessions they had at the time of their death.
Our dedicated team of probate solicitors will be on hand to guide you seamlessly through the probate process, ensuring that all the required tasks are completed efficiently and correctly, helping you to avoid any claims being made on the estate or any potential disputes arising.
Assets in an estate remain frozen until the Probate Registry gives the authority to the executor nominated in the Will with a document known as a Grant of Probate.We will help you with the process of probate which involves:
- Applying for grant of probate
- Collecting any money that is owed
- Selling estate property and assets
- Settling any debts due (including any outstanding taxes)
- Closing bank accounts
- Dividing the estate between the beneficiaries
Where there is a Will, the estate will pass to those named in the Will. Where there isn’t a Will, a suitable family member could apply to be an administrator and can, therefore, act on behalf of the estate where the Rules of Intestacy will apply.
Whatever your circumstances, our expert probate solicitors will be there to advise you at each and every stage of the probate and estate administration process, through whatever issues that might arise, and will be on ready to help you with matters such as:
- Interpreting a Will.
- Establishing the size of an estate for probate and inheritance tax purposes.
- Preparing an application for the Grant of Representation or Grant of Probate.
- Lodging the required forms with the relevant organisations to collect monies due to the estate and settle any outstanding debts.
- Arranging the transfer or sale of shares.
- Handling the sale of property or land.
- Preparing interest and inheritance tax returns.
- Preparing estate accounts.
- Advice on post death tax planning to reduce capital gains and inheritance tax liabilities.
When dealing with the death of a loved one, it is easy for emotions to run high causing disagreements to escalate into bitter disputes and lengthy, costly legal battles.
By using our expert probate solicitors at Thornton Jones, you will be giving yourself a level of separation, and the space needed, to help you stay as neutral as possible during an emotionally charged time where families can often fall out over the Will and the distribution of assets.
Contentious probate can often arise when:
- A Will is challenged
- There is no Will
- The Will does not make reasonable provision for a family member or other person maintained by the deceased
- There is a disagreement over the value of assets
- There is a disagreement over how the Will is interpreted
- There are disputes between executors
- There are disputes between beneficiaries
- Claims are made by or against the estate
If you are an executor or a beneficiary caught in a dispute over a deceased person’s estate, our expert team of contentious probate solicitors can help you resolve your disagreements and reach amicable, agreeable terms quickly and cost-effectively.
Challenging a Will
It is upsetting enough when dealing with the loss of a loved one, but when a dispute occurs over a Will, it can make the grieving process even tougher to deal with.
If you are thinking of challenging a Will, you need to have good reasons for doing so. Grounds for challenging a Will could include, for example, a belief that the person who was making the Will:
- Did not know the Will was written
- Did not have mental capacity at the time they made the Will
- Was placed under pressure
- Did not know the contents of the Will
- Did not have the Will witnessed properly
Whether you feel you have been unfairly treated, wrongfully left out of a Will, or are an executor for an estate where someone else is contesting a Will, our specialist Will dispute and contentious probate solicitors in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, can help you with either challenging or defending a Will.
Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
When dealing with the death of a loved one, it can often come as a surprise that they have not made a Will, or that any Will which has been made may be out of date. Sometimes the Will does not provide for those who expect to have been provided for, or the provision made is not sufficient to meet the needs of those who relied on the deceased.
Non-married couples often do not realise that unless they make a Will, they may not be entitled to anything if their partner passes away.
If you feel that a Will does not make reasonable financial provision for you, or if you are an executor facing a claim under these rules, our specialist contentious probate solicitors are here to offer expert advice and assistance in bringing or defending a claim against an estate.
Disputes between executors and administrators can occur when there is a disagreement over issues such as the value of assets, the suitability of an executor, how an executor has behaved - including any unreasonable behaviour or excessive costs and charges.
Our specialist contentious probate solicitors are experienced in all aspects of executor disputes and can help you achieve a swift and satisfactory resolution.
If you are a beneficiary of a Will and are caught in a feud with other beneficiaries, we can help you resolve matters efficiently and effectively.
Our expert contentious probate lawyers have significant experience and a proven track record of success in helping beneficiaries overcome a dispute to reach sensible solutions and agreeable terms.
Claims by or Against an Estate
You may be an executor wishing to bring a claim that is in the best interest of an estate and its beneficiaries. Alternatively, you may be an executor wishing to defend a claim made against you and the estate you represent. Either way, we can help you to negotiate and achieve sensible solutions that resolve matters, quickly.
Our specialist team of contentious probate solicitors have wide experience in dealing with all kinds of claims and threats that can be made against an estate which enables us to help you reach swift and positive solutions, enabling you to move forward and complete your duties.
By instructing our specialist team of probate solicitors, you will not only have the confidence and peace of mind that everything is being handled correctly, you will also speed up the process to reach a quick, cost effective outcome that benefits all parties involved.
If you would like to make an appointment or find out more about how our Probate solicitors in Ossett and Wakefield, West Yorkshire, can help you with a probate or estate matter, either contact us on 01924 290029, complete our quick online enquiry form or request a call back, and we will get in touch with you, shortly.