Enoch Evans LLP
Applications for a Grant of Representation can be made with the help of a specialist solicitor, or directly to the Probate Registry.
Navigating Grants of Representation can be tricky, so what are the benefits of using a specialist solicitor to assist you? Dealing with bereavement can be challenging.
As an Executor you may find yourself with the onerous and stressful task of having to sort out the Estate of a family member or friend while you are grieving.
This can involve arranging the funeral, going through personal papers to notify banks, building societies, utility providers, and ultimately dealing with other family members and beneficiaries.
Much of this has to be dealt with, before you even begin to navigate the forms required to apply for a Grant of Representation.
Inheritance Tax hit a record height of £5.2 billion in 2018 (according to statistics published by HMRC).
The total number of Estates liable for Inheritance Tax has risen every year since 2009/10.
The duty to pay Inheritance Tax can be a complicated process of valuing the assets, applying available exemptions, filling in an Inheritance Tax Account and filing this with HMRC, assessing what tax is due and then arranging payment of the tax.
An error could result in the Executors being personally liable for penalties which could be as much as 100% of the tax due.
It is therefore essential that an accurate Inheritance Tax return is submitted in time and the correct amount of tax paid.
Instructing a solicitor means they can work with you to ensure that all potential reliefs and allowances are claimed to maximise the assets passed on to the beneficiaries, possibly with the benefit of ‘after the event’ planning such as a deed of variation.
Whether an Estate is complex or not, by instructing a solicitor, they can act as an impartial or neutral party.
A solicitor can deal with the matter at a necessary distance from the emotional complications.
A Personal Representative is personally responsible for ensuring that an Estate is administered correctly.
A solicitor will appropriately advise and assist the Personal Representatives throughout the administration of the Estate to ensure that the administration is dealt with accurately and correctly.
A solicitor will also be able to handle issues that may turn out to be more problematic than first thought, for example if a dispute arises, the deceased died without a will, the Estate involves property or assets outside of the UK, or if the Estate is insolvent.
There are many considerations to take into account, and there are many issues which may arise in the process.
A solicitor can provide valuable advice in handling issues, such as advising a surviving spouse or civil partner about lifetime gifting, the benefits of a Lasting Power of Attorney and perhaps reviewing their own Will.
It is helpful to discuss next steps with a professional who understands, which can alleviate some pressure during a very stressful time.
Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are required to maintain professional indemnity insurance cover, giving you comfort should anything ever go wrong.
When choosing a solicitor, it is worth looking out for those who are members of specialist organisations such as Solicitors for the Elderly and accredited by Law Society for membership of the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (‘WIQS’).
Enoch Evans LLP’s Wills, Tax and Probate Department based in the firm’s Walsall and Sutton Coldfield offices is made up of sympathetic, approachable and specialist lawyers who are experts on advising upon on Estate Planning, Probate and Estate Administration.
The Department is member of WIQS and contains a number of advisors who are full members of Solicitors for the Elderly.
If you wish to discuss the above, or any other matter regarding Probate, Estate Planning or Estate Administration then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Team.