What we own at the date of our death is called our “estate”. This includes personal belongings such as jewellery, cars, furniture, as well as any money, financial investments and property.
Probate and Administration of Estates are terms used by lawyers to describe the work undertaken in passing an estate to those who are entitled to it. They are called the “beneficiaries”.
On death, those appointed as Executors in the Will of the deceased person, or where no Will exists, the next of kin, generally seek the assistance of a Probate lawyer.
Probate lawyers advise who is entitled to receive the estate, and how this can be achieved.
Our Probate lawyers will guide the Personal Representatives of the deceased on the administration process and wider issues including:-
How the estate can best be administered
Establishing and discharging liabilities of the estate
How to discharge and minimise tax liabilities
Defending challenges to the estate from disappointed beneficiaries
Tracing lost beneficiaries
The Personal Representative has a very responsible role to play, and can be sued if an estate is not properly administered, hence he or she should engage experienced and knowledgeable lawyers in the field.