Probate

Cognitive Law is able to assist clients in estate administration, whether the deceased person left a will or died intestate.

‘Probate’ is one of the types of ‘grants of representation’, which are orders from a Probate Registry confirming the identities of the persons lawfully able to administer the estate in question. Unless the estate concerned is small, a grant is usually required to release funds for eventual distribution to the beneficiaries of the estate.

With much better quality information being available online, many people feel confident in administering estates themselves, or at least doing part of the ‘leg-work’. That said, being an executor or administrator is an extremely important and time-consuming job. It is also not without pitfalls, and the duties on personal representatives can be daunting.

Whichever approach you would like to take, Richard Bates will be very happy to take you through the work that needs to be undertaken, so you can decide what help you need.

Cognitive Law offers three services:-

  1. Premier Service – This is the full administration of an estate. As such, we will liaise with all companies to establish the net and gross values of the estate; preparation of the inheritance tax account and application for a grant, collect assets of the estate and discharging liabilities; distribute the estate, seek tax clearance; prepare estate accounts and advise the personal representative how to best protect him or herself from any future claims. This service is most suitable for those who don’t feel sufficiently confident or don’t wish to wind up an estate, so as to leave it in our hands. Fees guidelines are carefully calculated based on what work is required to complete the matter.
  2. Standard Service – This service is best suited to those with some experience in estate administration, straightforward estates or those who are more cost-conscious. We will let you know precisely what information we require and, once received, we will prepare the inheritance tax account and application for the grant of representation. Once the grant is received, we will pass this to you to continue with the estate administration. Fees for this service can generally be fixed.
  3.  Advice Service – For those who are generally confident, but might require ad hoc advice, this service might be the most useful to you. Fees for this service are typically based upon the solicitor’s hourly rate, although fixed where possible.

Richard is also happy to discuss associated issues, such as inheritance tax and capital gains tax mitigation, deeds of variation the administration of will trusts.

Richard is mindful that as well as being emotionally hard, estates can, on occasion, give rise to tensions. However, he is extremely experienced and is known for his empathetic, pragmatic and discreet approach to estates. If you would like to discuss and estate administration further, please contact Richard on 01273 284012 or email richard.bates@cognitivelaw.co.uk