• Emma Moffat

Why Use a Probate Solicitor?



Probate is the legal term used for dealing with an estate of someone who has died. Being an executor of an estate can be a time consuming and confusing process, especially when it is accompanied with the grief of losing a loved one. There is a lot of free information on-line that can help you to administer an estate correctly yourself and it is possible for you to do this. However, if you do not have the time, the estate isn’t straightforward or you have any concerns, you can instruct a solicitor to help with the administration.


If the following situations arise, it is strongly advisable that you consult a solicitor:


1. If someone is disputing the Will or people have been left out of the Will who are likely to query it.

2. No Will has been found or the validity of the Will is in question.

3. The inheritance tax calculations are complicated or on the boundary of the threshold.

4. The terms of the Will are not clear.

5. The estate involves assets outside the UK.

6. There is a business or agricultural property.

7. If the estate is insolvent (when the value of the debts is greater than the value of the assets).

8. The estate is large or complex, such as the estate includes a trust.


At Garden House Solicitors we can help to:

  • Tell you if you need to apply for probate.

  • Register the death with all financial organizations and creditors.

  • Value the estate.

  • Advise whether the Will can be varied after death. For example, in some circumstances, it is possible to change a Will to reduce the tax payable, provide for someone who has been left out of the Will, move assets into a trust and clear up any uncertainty.

  • Identify and apply any relevant reliefs and allowances to minimize any inheritance tax due.

  • Submit inheritance tax forms to HMRC.

  • Apply for a grant of representation for you.

  • Collect the assets of the estate.

  • Consider the Income Tax and any Capital Gains Tax position and file Tax Returns if appropriate.

  • Make sure the estate is distributed correctly.


If you are uncertain at any stage of your duties and responsibilities as an executor, you should be aware that you are personally liable if you do not fulfil them. For example, you may be personally responsible for compensating any beneficiary who has lost out. By consulting a probate solicitor you can avoid such mistakes and this gives you protection.


At Garden House Solicitors, our solicitors have extensive experience in handling all aspects of administering an estate. In addition, our systems are set up to deal with the whole process as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you would like any advice or assistance in respect of your duties and responsibilities as an executor, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01992 422128 and we will be happy to assist you.