It is never easy when a loved one passes away, but there are financial and legal matters that have to be addressed.
At S+P Lawyers we try to make this process as stress-free and easy as possible. It is often (but not always) necessary to obtain a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court to allow the executor to deal with assets of a deceased person.
In simple terms, a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration protect an executor in dealing with the estate assets and third parties who may be holding assets on behalf of the deceased. The grant establishes that the Will attached to the grant is the last valid Will of the deceased and that the executor is the person legally entitled to deal with the assets and then distribute them to the beneficiaries named in the will.
Once a grant has been obtained, anyone dealing with the executor and releasing assets to them is protected from any claim that they should not have allowed the executor to deal with the assets of the deceased. Our fees for obtaining a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are charged in accordance with scale published by the Supreme Court. All solicitors have to charge in accordance with this scale. See the current scale for more information.
In addition to assisting in obtaining a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, we can assist in the collection and distribution of the assets of the estate. This can involve the transfer of property to beneficiaries, closing and collecting money from bank accounts, organising tax returns, settling debts, transferring or selling shares, and obtaining refunds from nursing homes. This work is charged at an hourly rate. See our current hourly rates and estimates for this type of work.
Unfortunately, sometimes disputes arise in relation to the distribution of the assets of an estate. We can also provide assistance in managing and resolving these disputes.