Many people prefer penning their own will rather than hiring an attorney to do it for them. The person who creates his/her will is called the testator, and the person responsible for the completion of the will is the executor. Once the testator dies, the court typically probates their will. It means reviewing the document to check if it is legally valid. If you’re an executor, you can opt to probate the will without hiring a solicitor. However, if the estate is of a high value or makes complex arrangements, consulting Stourbridge probate solicitors would be in your best interests.
How Does Probate Work?
Though most people approach probate in terms of a prewritten will, probate can also apply when the dead person did not leave a will. In such scenarios, the court will assess the estate (money and possessions) then distribute them to beneficiaries/heirs accordingly.
But if there is a will at hand, the executor needs to apply for a legal document-Grant of Probate. It authorizes them to probate the will. Otherwise, they can use a probate solicitor to handle the work proficiently. After a person has filed for the Grant, they have to ensure no pending taxes (such as the inheritance tax) are levied on the testator’s estate. The attorneys at Giles & Robinson, P.A. can help with a broad range of areas like estate planning, trust administration and more.
The court will subsequently approve the Grant, and the person-in-charge will have to repay all pending debts and notify the creditors before they can distribute the property. With the court’s approval, they may sell the testator’s assets to repay debts, make mortgage payments, or tend to the pending bills.
Who Needs a Probate Solicitor?
Though any person dealing with a will can benefit from a probate attorney, there are some situations in which hiring a solicitor is crucial.
- If someone in your family died without leaving a will, you could hire a probate solicitor to assist you.
- It is an equally good idea to get legal counsel if there are issues with an existing will.
- Sometimes, the estate regularly earns income from some sources, or an inheritance tax is levied on the property. In the year 2020-21, the threshold is £325,000. So, if your estate is worth more than this, you will undoubtedly benefit from a probate solicitor.
- There may be assets that the testator did not assign to anyone in the will. If so, a solicitor can argue on behalf of the beneficiaries.
- Likewise, when the estate includes property located outside the UK or when the assets are bankrupt, a probate solicitor can save the day in the court.
What Can a Probate Solicitor Do for You?
Hiring a probate attorney is an excellent way of ensuring that the estate’s distribution is according to the will. As an executor, you can divide the tasks with your solicitor. These comprise ordering death certificates and applying for appraisals of valuable property. They can also include filing a Grant with the court and working on the testator’s income tax return.
The attorney will negotiate to strike the best deal with the creditors on your behalf. They will also discuss the tactics with the beneficiaries and take their preferences under consideration.