How to use an executor lawyer

 

When someone dies they usually leave a will which gives details of how they would like their possessions disposed of. Probate is a term that is used to describe the process that must be completed to deal with the deceased person’s estate.

Usually one or more people are named as executors, ensuring that the wishes of the deceased person are carried out.

Dealing with an estate

When someone dies and leaves substantial amounts of money, possession or property, the estate that they left must be dealt with in accordance with probate laws. Probate is the process that must be completed in order to dispose of the assets that the deceased person’s estate contains.

If the deceased person left a will, they will usually have named one or more people to act as executors for their estate. However, even if no-one was named in the will, or a will was not made, probate must still take place.

If you are named as the executor of a will, you need to apply for what is called a ‘grant of probate’. This is a legally binding document that gives you the legal right to act on behalf of the person that has died.

If you are unsure about how to apply for this grant, or there are circumstances that could prevent the court from giving you the grant of probate, using a solicitor as executor can be very helpful. They understand this complex area of law and can advise you on your best course of action. Dealing with probate can involve a highly complex set of tasks to complete, including:

  • Accessing the bank accounts of the deceased person
  • Calculating and paying any inheritance tax that might be due

Using a solicitor

An executor lawyer can also be very useful if you have been appointed as executor, but the members of the deceased family either disagree with your appointment, or are going to contest some elements of the will and estate you are looking after.

Family law in the area of probate can be highly complex. An executor lawyer can help you navigate the law to ensure you always act lawfully. And if you have to go before a court, your executor lawyer can represent you, and clarify any area of probate law that might impact on your case.

Your lawyer can also be useful if the estate you are looking after will need to pay inheritance tax. Your powers of probate won’t normally be granted until you have paid some of any inheritance tax that is due. Your executor lawyer can help you navigate what can be a highly complex area of the UK’s tax laws.

The court will often have to rule on highly complex areas of the law that you alone are unlikely to be experienced to handle. Having a solicitor as executor to advise and support you can make the whole probate process much easier to complete. It is important to understand the costs of using an executor as solicitor and you can speak to your solicitor about this before using their services.

For more information on your responsibilities as an executor, see our page on executor’s duties.

Have you been left to deal with a loved one’s estate? Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist wills and probate solicitor who can assist you in the process of distributing assets. Please call us on 0808 129 5761 or complete the web-form above.

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