Wills and Probate
A will sets out what you want to happen to your property and possessions after your death. It is not a legal requirement to make a will, but it is highly recommended that you have one. If you do not make a will before you die you are known as dying 'intestate' (i.e. you did not leave a will or testament) which means that your assets will be divided up according to default rules set by the government in law.
So, if you want to ensure that your estate is passed on to family, friends or organisations exactly as you wish, you should put it in a will.
There are also tax advantages to making a will. If you plan early enough, your solicitor may be able to help you find considerable tax savings and plan for this in your will.
If this applies to you, get in touch using the form below and we will help you through the process by putting you in touch with a suitable solicitor near you.
Alternatively, you might be at the stage where a friend or relative has died 'intestate' (without a will) and you need legal advice, things like
- What do I do next?
- Am I entitled to an inheritance?
- How much tax is due?
Although they may have died without a will, you will most likely be entitled to a share of their assets. This area of law can be very complicated, so get in touch and we will point you in the right direction.
What is a 'probate'?
A probate is the term usually applied to the process of applying for the right to administer an estate. If a friend or relative dies, you must get permission to take responsibility for his/her estate. Without 'probate' you will not be allowed, for example, to administer their bank accounts.
If the deceased has left a will, they will have named 'executors', people they wish to administer their estate. But before they can do so, the executor must apply for a 'grant of probate' from the appropriate court.
If the deceased did not leave a will, a close relative can apply to deal with the esate by applying for a 'grant of letters of aministration' from the probate registry.
This can be a complicated business, and is best dealt with by a lawyer.
Call us on 020 3287 4258 or email
We can put you in touch with lawyers near you in London who will take you through this step by step.