Dealing with the administration of an estate can be a daunting process, and a number of factors will impact on what you need to do.
Following a death we can give advice and assistance at this difficult time and ensure that the correct procedures are followed to prevent further concerns for those acting as executors or representatives.
It is important in any estate to ensure that everything is done correctly, whether that be making sure everyone receives what they are supposed to under a Will or rules of intestacy (if someone dies without a Will), administering trusts created or paying tax that is due.
If it is a taxable estate, it is the duty of the legal representatives to report details of the estate to Revenue and pay any Inheritance Tax due within a set timeframe. If this is not done, even if by innocent mistake or misunderstanding, interest will become due on any unpaid Inheritance Tax and penalties may be applied. Further accounts may also be required if the estate increases in value and tax may be reclaimed if they fall in value.
If the person died without a Will, their wishes do not determine how things should be dealt with, who has to deal with them, or who gets their assets, but it is determined by the intestacy rules, which must be followed by administrators appointed under those rules.
Trusts may also arise which can be misinterpreted resulting in assets being given away when they should be held. Trusts have to be dealt with correctly from the first day until the last.
We deal with all aspects of estate administration, providing a full administration service or simply obtaining of the Grant, and act for executors and personal representatives as well as acting in those capacities ourselves as professional executors and trustees.
Using professionals to assist in the administration of an estate can speed up the process, as well as reduce the potential for mistake, but it also ensures consideration of other factors, such as any reliefs/exemptions that may be applied to reduce the Inheritance Tax bill, or the option of implementing a Deed of Variation to effectively re-write all or part of the Will to adjust things as may be more appropriate in all the circumstances.
There is a lot of publicity about fees and how they operate when using a solicitor. At MacLachlan we do not charge a value element, but charge only for the work we do. We give a full and detailed explanation of what will be required and an estimate of our fees from the outset. We keep our clients informed of progress and involve them in the process. We are also able to offer fixed fee to obtain Grant in certain instances.
For clients that are not local to any of our four offices in Sherborne, Gillingham and Shaftesbury, we are pleased to offer face-to-face consultations via Skype.
If you are a legal representative of an estate and need guidance please contact us on 01935 817736 for a free no obligation discussion about your requirements and to obtain a quote