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Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I die without making a will?
Referred to as intestacy or dying intestate, dying without a valid will can have serious implications for your estate and your loved ones. In this instance, the law will dictate how your estate will be distributed and it should not be assumed that your loved ones will automatically benefit.
It may even mean that your loved ones receive nothing or that your estate incurs higher levels of inheritance tax. If you die without making a will and you have no immediate relatives, the main beneficiaries of your estate will be HMRC and the government.
We cannot stress the importance of making a will. Not only does it save your loved ones from further distress, but it also ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.
For more information on making a will, please contact our probate and estate planning team today.
What is a personal representative?
Responsible for distributing and settling your estate, a personal representative (also referred to as an executor) is named in your will. This can be a family member, a friend, a financial institution or even a professional such as your solicitor or accountant. It is good practice to name two personal representatives in your will, in the event that one is unable to make decisions for the estate.
Why must an estate go through probate?
In England and Wales, probate is a legal process following a death. It involves organising and distributing the deceased’s estate—their property, assets and possessions.
However, probate is not required in all instances. Estates classed as small estates with a value of up to £5,000, can potentially transfer to beneficiaries without probate. If you have any concerns or are unsure as to your financial position, please contact our probate team for more information.
Can I challenge an application for probate?
To challenge or stop an application for probate is referred to as, enter a caveat. The circumstances where this may occur include:
- Disputes surrounding who can apply for probate
- Questions surrounding the validity of the will
Why is it important to plan my estate?
Just as you incorporate financial planning within your lifetime, planning for your estate in death, is a sensible and arguably, an essential task.
At worst, failure to plan your estate can mean that HMRC and the government will become your main beneficiaries. At best, a failure to plan can leave your grieving loved ones in chaos and dispute.
Even if you do not own many valuable assets, estate planning ensures that your possessions will be distributed according to your wishes. Furthermore, you can appoint guardians for your children, set up trusts and leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones. Moreover, estate planning reduces the tax levied on your estate.
Contact us today to learn more about the importance of estate planning, what it involves and how we can help you.
How much do your services cost?
Each case of probate and estate planning is unique. From our initial consultation, we will establish your requirements and the amount of work involved. From here, we will provide you with an estimate.
If you would like more information or an estimate of the costs involved for your probate or estate planning, please contact us to arrange your initial consultation.