Do you need help with regards to Probate?

By definition, probate is a word used to describe the legal and financial processes of dealing with the property, money and possessions (commonly known as assets) of a person who has passed away. A probate solicitor supports people in organising their finances. For those who have lost family members or friends, this is undoubtedly a highly stressful and emotional time. In addition, they will also be tending to the various types of taxation that need to be dealt with when someone dies.This includes income tax, capital gains, and inheritance tax.

In various scenarios, it’s common practise to handle the probate yourself, making yourself the executor of the will. However, the most common course of action many people choose to take is employing the assistance of a will and probate solicitor during this process. Naturally, experiencing the loss of a loved one can be a highly emotionally charged time for any person to go through, so hiring a probate solicitor can provide you with some much-needed guidance during what is undoubtedly a difficult time.

Legal processes can be complex with a great deal of jargon involved, and many people find understanding the procedure of wills and probate pretty intricate. A probate solicitor will not only deal with the legalities and process, they also have the bonus of being an independent body with zero links to the individual or the case. They are dealing with cases of this nature all the time. They will be able to deal with the legal implications with a clear, unbiased perspective.

This guide will talk you through what probate is and how a probate solicitor can be beneficial to you.

What is probate?

In the simplest terms, probate is the process of administering the estate of a person who has passed away. This would consist of coordinating the money and possessions of this individual and then distributing them out as inheritance. In turn, it’s predicted around 31 million adults in the UK don’t have a will. In a survey coordinated by , the number of people passing away without a will was at its highest in 2018 – the greatest peak since the last peak in numbers in 2011. Passing away without a will in place is referred to as ‘intestate’. When this happens, inheritance law is put in place to decipher who gets what. This is also known as the Rules of Intestacy. If the deceased person has left a will, it will specify in this who they have chosen to leave the estate to; this person is then known as the executor of the will.

The importance of making a will

It is crucial for you to make a will whether or not you consider you have many possessions or much money. The reason for this being:

●If you pass away without a will, there are certain rules which determine how the money, property or possessions will be allocated. This may not be the way that you would have wished your money and possessions to be distributed.

●Unmarried partners, or partners who have not registered a civil partnership, are unable to inherit from one another unless there is a will, so the death of one partner may create serious financial problems for the remaining partner.

●If you have kids, you will have to make a will so that arrangements for the children can be made. If either one or both parents die, it may be necessary to reduce the amount of tax payable on the inheritance if advice is taken in advance and a will is made.

●If your circumstances have changed, it is important that you have a will in place to make sure that your money and possessions are distributed according to your demands. For example, if you have separated and your ex-partner now lives with another partner, you may want to alter your will. If you are married or enter into a registered civil partnership, this will make any previous will you have made invalid.

●If you are in doubt as to whether or not you need to make a will, you should consult a solicitor or Citizens Advice local office who can give you lists of solicitors.

Using the services of a solicitor

It isn’t necessary for a will to be drawn up in front of a solicitor as such, if you wish to create a will yourself, you can go ahead and do this on your own terms. However, only do this if the will is going to be straightforward and fairly uncomplicated. It is generally recommended that you use a solicitor or have a solicitor look over the contract and make sure it’s correctly written and that it will have the effect you want. This is due to the fact that it is very easy to make errors when writing a will, which can ultimately cause problems after your death.

Dealing with any issues, misunderstandings and disputes after your death may end in considerable legal costs, which will decrease the amount of money in the estate. Undoubtedly this is the last thing you want. You must consider the fact that a solicitor will charge you for their services which consist of drawing up or checking a will. They will offer you the best possible guidance suited to your individual needs and information regarding the cost of their services. They will generally offer this at the beginning of the process of them working with you.

Some frequent errors people tend to make when writing up a will are:

●Not adhering to formal requirements needed to make a will legally valid

●No considering the full amount of the money and property available

●Not considering the fact that a beneficiary may die before the person making the will

changing the will

●If any alterations are not signed and witnessed appropriately – they are not valid

●Not being aware of the impact of marriage, a registered civil partnership, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership can have on a will

●Not being aware of the implication relating to enable dependants to claim from the estate if they believe they are not adequately provided for. These rules indicate that the provisions in the will could be overturned

Particular circumstances when it is highly recommended to use a solicitor

●You live in a property with someone who is not your husband, wife or civil partner

●You want to make provision for a dependant who is not able to care for themselves

●There are a few family members who may make a claim on the will, an example of this is a second wife or children from a first marriage

●Your permanent residence is not based in the United Kingdom

●You are resident in the UK but there is overseas property involved

●There is a business included in the will

What should you include in a will?

Prior to seeing a solicitor, it’s certainly worth having a think about what you are going to include in your will in order to save time. You should consider factors such as:

●How much money and what property and possessions you have, for example, property, savings, occupational and personal pensions, insurance policies, bank and building society accounts as well as shares

●Who you want to benefit from the will. You’ll want to make a list of all the people to whom you wish to leave money or possessions. These people are known as beneficiaries.

●You also need to consider whether you wish to leave any money to charity

●Who is going to sort out the estate and carry out your wishes as set out in the will, These people are known as the executors

Naughton Solicitors: Making a will? Contact our family solicitors for support and legal guidance

Here at Naughtons Solicitorswe are an experienced law firm who are highly capable of providing you with the necessary legal advice that you need for organising your will as well as a range of legal matters.

We appreciate the importance of hiring a solicitor that is able to provide you with professional legal advice in addition to communicating with you effectively and providing the support you need. Give us a call today for your free initial consultation with our team of solicitors or visit our website.

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