Lawrence Stephens

Estate Administration and Probate

Dealing with an estate can be complicated.

In providing advice and representation to personal representatives, we manage all aspects of the winding-up process, dealing with complex, high-value estates as well as overseas and cross-border assets, trust creation and tax issues.

Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration

The usual process requires obtaining a Grant of Probate or, where no Will exists, Letters of Administration: the legal document that gives authority to the executors or administrators to deal with the estate administration.

Before making an application, it is necessary to value the entire estate, calculate how much Inheritance Tax may be payable and account for this to HM Revenue and Customs.  Calculating Inheritance Tax is not always straightforward: for example, any gifts of value given by the deceased in the seven years preceding their death must be accounted for with tax payable on a sliding scale.

We deal with the valuation of estates, calculate the Inheritance Tax payable and make applications for a Grant on behalf of estate representatives.

Estate Administration

Once a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are received, the estate can be wound up.  This may be lengthy.  Estate executors and administrators can face personal liability for any mistakes that cause a loss to the estate.  We represent clients in estate administration to ensure that the proper process is followed, arranging for the payment of debts, including outstanding tax liabilities, preparing accounts and distributing the net estate to the beneficiaries.