PERSONAL ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES

Probate Specialists

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70% of all probate is provided by high street solicitors or banks who will typically charge on average, between 3% – 5% of the estate value, plus hourly fees.

As an Executor, one of the many duties you will have to attend to is applying for Probate. This is a time-consuming process and often very complex at a time when you will probably least feel able to deal with it emotionally.

Michaels & Company are probate specialists and work in association with a dedicated team, available to deal with all aspects of the probate process. We have a patient and sympathetic approach when dealing with relatives in bereavement and can provide an initial meeting free of charge, in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Unlike many Solicitors and other legal companies who charge an hourly rate, our Fixed Fee Probate Service is based on the value of the estate and is quoted in advance of any engagement (typically 1.5%-1.75% – or less for high-value estates). This means a significant saving on the fees you would normally need to pay a bank high street Solicitor.

“Our specialist Probate Team has a patient and sympathetic approach when dealing with bereavement and unlike many solicitors quote a fixed fee in advance with an initial meeting free of charge.”

Find out more about our estate planning services, call 0800 240 4587 or complete the form below.

FAQs – Probate 

What does an Executor need to do when somebody dies?
  • Make an exhaustive list of all the assets and debts including utility bills.
  • Settle all the deceased’s debts and pay any inheritance tax necessary.
  • Payment of tax becomes your personal responsibility and may leave you open to personal liability or penalties.
  • Arrange for the care of any minor children and pets.
  • Locate all the heirs and distribute the estate according to the instructions of the Will.
Who do I notify first?

In the first days you will need to:

  • Deal with the family doctor and the deceased’s doctor
  • Make funeral arrangements
  • Check any Will for any special funeral requests or
  • Ascertain whether there is a pre-paid funeral plan
  • Register the death at The Registry Office
  • Notify all financial institutions or departments who may have been made payments to the deceased, such as Tax Credits, benefits, pensions etc
  • You will also need to contact relatives and people close to the deceased.
  • Contact appointed Executors who will have to commence the process of obtaining Probate.
  • If the deceased is Intestate, then you will need to decide who is going to apply wind up the deceased’s affairs and apply for Letters of Administration.
What do I do if the deceased leaves a Will?

In this case one or more ‘executors’ may be named in the Will to deal with the person’s affairs after their death. The executor applies for a ‘grant of probate’ from a section of the court known as the probate registry.

The grant is a legal document that confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets (property, money and possessions). They can use it to show they have the right to access funds, sort out finances, and collect and share out the deceased person’s assets as set out in the will

When is a grant is needed?

A grant is almost always needed when the person who dies leaves one or more of the following:

  • £5,000
  • Stocks or shares
  • Certain insurance policies
  • Property or land held in their own name or as ‘tenants in common’

In most cases above, the bank or relevant institution will need to see the grant before transferring control of the assets. However, if the estate is small some organisations may release the money to you at their discretion.

To establish whether the assets can be obtained without a grant, the executor or administrator would need to write to each institution informing them of the death and enclosing a photocopy of the death certificate (and Will if there is one). The personal representative won’t be granted probate until some or all of any Inheritance Tax that is due on the estate has been paid.

Applies to England and Wales. If the person who died lived in Scotland, you must apply for a ‘grant of confirmation’.

What do I do if the person who has died hasn’t left a Will – Intestacy?
If there is no will, a close relative of the deceased can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case they apply for a ‘grant of letters of administration’. If the grant is given, they are known as ‘administrators’ of the estate.

Like the grant of probate, the grant of letters of administration is a legal document which confirms the administrator’s authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets. When someone dies without leaving a will, dealing with his/her estate can be complicated. It can also take a long time – months or even years in some very complex cases.

“I was really dreading the trauma of wading through reams of legal paperwork, especially now that my Parkinson’s disease is particularly troublesome. However, your understanding of our situation and your sympathetic approach made everything so much easier for us to grasp.”

Let's talk about protecting your home, your business, your nest egg.

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