Wills & Probate Solicitors

When it comes to dealing with wills, probate and estate administration there are a range of complex issues to address. While it is possible to deal with issues like probate on your own, it can be a daunting task that is worth delegating to a professional estate manager or Probate Lawyer.

Our team of solicitors in Ilford can help you with all aspects of making a Will and the administration of your estate as well as connected issues including the necessary steps regarding probate and tax.
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Specialists in estate administration

With more than 60% of the population in the UK dying intestate (without having made a Will) it is now more than ever necessary for you to protect family wealth and limit adverse tax implications both in the UK and elsewhere.

Important things to note when making a will include...

  • A surviving spouse will not necessarily inherit everything
  • An unmarried partner has no automatic entitlement
  • The family home may have to be sold
  • Children may be unintentionally disinherited

Our specialist team of lawyers can help you protect your interests and give you the peace of mind knowing your estate is taken care of when you pass away.

Wills & Islamic Wills

Having a will in place is tremendously important and should not be taken lightly. A will is a legal document in which your expressed wishes can be implemented as to how you want your assets to be distributed upon death.

By instructing a professional to draft your will, you can have a peace of mind that it will be free from any errors so as to avoid any challenges in the future due to invalidity which may go as far as lengthy litigation. We also have experience in preparing Islamic wills that are Shariah compliant, should the Muslim community require it.

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The Probate and Administration of Estate

When someone dies there are a number of important tasks that need to be completed.

If the person died leaving a valid will, then the named executors take on this responsibility. In the absence of a valid will, the person is said to have died "Intestate" and the Intestacy Rules determine who can be appointed as the Administrators of the estate.

The role of executor or administrator can be a tedious one. The deceased's estate may involve valuable or complex matters and an executor or administrator is personally liable for administering the estate correctly.

An executor or administrator can instruct a solicitor of their choice to assist them with the administration of the deceased's estate and the legal fees are settled by the estat

There are various procedural stages that need to be carried out after identifying all of the deceased's assets (property, investments and possessions) and all of their liabilities (debts ranging from loans to utility bills), in order to determine the value of their estate before the distribution of the deceased's estate.

  • Paying Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) where applicable, and submitting the correct Inheritance Tax return (required whether or not there is tax due), and applying to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation, being a document confirming the legal authority to administer the estate.
  • After the Grant of Representation has been issued by the Probate Registry, liquidating (selling) the deceased's assets, settling their liabilities, paying the final estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any further Inheritance Tax, any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the estate.
  • Preparing estate accounts documenting all payments into and out of the Estate, and showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries. Sending the estate accounts to the Personal Representatives (such as the Executor in the Will) for approval.
  • Providing there are no challenges to the estate or other complicating factors preventing distribution at this stage, the final phase will involve transferring any assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain, and distributing the balance of the estate funds.

Our solicitors will ensure that your will...

  • gives you peace of mind by putting your affairs in order
  • avoids unnecessary distress for your family and friends
  • ensures your dependants are properly provided for
  • ensures only your chosen family or friends benefit from your estate
  • avoids unnecessary tax being paid
  • maximises financial benefits from your income and savings
  • preserves your wealth

Powers of Attorney and the Court of Protection

Our team can draft powers of attorney whether they relate to health related issues or finances. We can register the power of attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian. We also make applications to the Court of Protection in order to protect and safeguard vulnerable people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. These decisions may relate to the person's finances or their health and welfare.

Only a lasting power of attorney (LPA) will remain valid if your loved one becomes incapacitated. The lasting power of attorney will allow your older family member to appoint you or another trusted person to make decisions on his or her behalf such as health care decisions, paying bills and managing assets.

Powers of attorney can also designate power generally, if the older person would like someone to take over all aspects of his or her financial affairs while he or she has capacity.

Estate administration solicitors here for you

Orchid Solicitors aim to make the legal process clear and straight forward by providing high quality advice and representation in matters involving estate administration. If you would like more advice or to book a consultation please contact our team at our office in Ilford at the details below.

The National Free Wills Network comprises charities ranging from household names to those with a strong regional or local focus. The purpose of the Network is to offer free Will writing services to the charities’ known supporters.