Probate Solicitors

Losing a loved one is an extremely upsetting situation to experience. Being appointed as the executor of an estate can be a daunting prospect, with considerable duties to carry out. On top of grief, handling an estate can be challenging. Our probate lawyers can make the process easier.

At Hatten Wyatt, our team advise clients from all backgrounds, including for estates which are of higher net worth. Should your probate matter be more complex than normal, our specialist team have the expertise to lend a helping hand.

Probate matters can be disruptive to your general life, taking your attention away from work, family and more. Our solicitors understand the impact this can have on a person’s life and strive to keep the process as smooth as possible. The team can even handle matters entirely on your behalf.

Our probate solicitor’s aim is to ensure stress levels are kept to a minimum, allowing your family to have adequate time to grieve and focus on moving forward.

Our probate solicitor’s expertise includes the following:

  • Advise you on whether a grant of probate is required
  • Complete and lodge the application on your behalf
  • Deal with any queries that are raised by the Probate Registry
  • Lodge a notice preventing a grant of probate being issued until any disagreements have been resolved
  • Ensure any inheritance tax is paid or deferred
  • Help administer your loved one’s estate after the grant has been made to ensure all liabilities are settled and everyone receives their inheritance 
  • Advise on circumstances where it might be appropriate to vary the Will or the rules of intestacy to make provision for other relatives or to save tax

Our probate expertise

Advice on whether grant of probate/letters of administration is required

Most estates will need a grant of probate (where there is a valid Will) or a grant of letters of administration (where there is no valid Will) from the probate registry, depending on the value. To ensure everything has been done correctly, acquiring the guidance of a solicitor is crucial.

Our team of probate solicitors can determine if probate is required and if so, provide proficient advice and practical guidance to steer you through the application process. Should you require additional assistance, our solicitors can handle it entirely on your behalf.

A solicitor’s assistance makes certain that everything is done correctly, including the right information being provided and helping make sure there are no unnecessary delays in the process.

Estate administration

The process of administrating an estate can be a complicated and daunting task, with many different aspects to consider. Should the administration be incorrectly done, the executor or administrator responsible could be held liable, including financially.

At Hatten Wyatt, our probate solicitors are highly experienced and skilled in all estate administration scenarios and can deliver the proficient advice and assistance needed for a smooth sailing process.

We recognise how hard it can be to carry out probate and estate administration when you have lost a loved one and are suffering from grief. Our solicitors are here to provide close personal support, walking you through each stage, and where is more appropriate, can carry out estate administration on your behalf.

Frequently asked questions about probate

What is probate?

The term ‘Probate’ refers to the legal process of where the executors or administrators have the authority to handle a deceased person’s estate in accordance with their Will or following the rules of intestacy. In most circumstances, those responsible will require a grant of probate/letters of administration to carry out the role. The Probate Registry is responsible for granting this.

Applying for probate

Applying for probate can be done either online or via post. You are able to apply by yourself or through the assistance of a solicitor.

Before applying for the grant of probate/letters of administration, there is certain information that must be acquired and sorted prior, including calculating and paying inheritance tax with HMRC.

Once probate/letters of administration have been applied for, there is often a waiting time of between 4 weeks and three months, but it could take longer if more information is required.

Is it best to use a solicitor for probate?

While it is not necessary to use a solicitor for probate, it would be highly recommended to consider it. If mistakes are made during the process, the executors or administrators could be held personally liable.

A solicitor for probate has been trained and qualified in this area, along with the considerable level of expertise they hold, meaning that delays and problems that could leave you liable will be avoided, reducing stress and speeding up the process.

What does a solicitor do during probate?

During the probate process, there are plenty of duties to undertake. Should a solicitor assist with the process, there is a considerable amount of tasks they will provide advice and assistance with or entirely handle on the executor’s behalf.

Examples of the tasks they can assist with include but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing the deceased person’s entire estate – including information and documentation
  • Calculating and paying inheritance tax
  • Acquiring the deceased person’s death certificate – this will be needed to send a copy to banks and other financial organisations
  • Opening a bank account for the estate
  • Paying of any remaining capital gains tax/income tax
  • Paying off debts
  • Distributing the estate to beneficiaries as set out in the Will or per the rules of intestacy

What is the cost of probate in UK?

How much probate costs will depend entirely on the value of your estate and the circumstances behind it.

For an estate valued under £5,000, there is no probate application fee. But for any estate valued over £5,000, the fee is £273. There are other costs involved, such as legal fees, which will vary depending on the law firm you use. The costs will be covered by the deceased person’s estate.

Do all Wills have to be probated?

Not all Wills need probate. Whether it does entirely depends on the circumstances, including what their estate contains, the value of it and the requirements of their bank.

Usually, any estate that is valued below £5,000 will not require probate in England and Wales, but this value can sometimes increase to £50,000 depending on the bank the deceased held their assets with.

Probate funding

An initial appointment to discuss your requirements can be arranged from £150 plus VAT. After that, we can agree on a funding arrangement to suit your budget. 

Speak to us about probate matters in Gravesend, Kent and beyond

Get in touch with our probate solicitors by calling 01474 351199 or filling in our online enquiry form for a quick response.

We have offices in MaidstoneGravesendTonbridgeChatham and Tenterden where we can meet you to discuss your requirements.

We can also offer meetings at your place of business or at home if the need arises, as well as conference calls via skype for clients who frequently need to travel abroad.