Have you recently suffered a bereavement?

Dealing with someone’s affairs when they die can be complicated and confusing, especially at a difficult and emotional time. We can help support you and provide direction to administer your friend or loved one’s estate.

Whether you need some advice on what steps you need to take in order in dealing with someone’s affairs, help with the estate of a loved one or you are looking for someone to carry out services on your behalf, whatever your circumstances we have the right answers and solutions for you. At a time of loss, financial matters are extremely sensitive so be reassured that Stanford Legal Services offer Fixed Fee Probate Services. This means we will agree the cost upfront and there will be no hidden surprises.

Our trusted Partners Premier Solicitors who we work closely with will manage all the legal aspects of the estate of administration as this is their area of expertise thus easing the burden on you.

The Firm is Lexcel accredited, a Law Society nationally recognised quality mark for law firms.

For an informal discussion about our probate services, contact us today.


What is an estate?

Someone’s estate is everything that they own; all of their assets (whether real property or personal property) and their liabilities.

Who are Executors and what are their responsibilities?

An Executor is a person who is appointed in the deceased’s Will to deal with the administration of their estate after their death. It is an Executor’s responsibility to:

  • Determine what property and other assets the deceased owned, as well as their liabilities.
  • Arrange for current valuations of personal possessions, property, investments, any pension or insurance entitlements due and also any debts and bills
  • Arrange for the payment of the funeral
  • Establish Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax liabilities and complete the necessary tax returns to submit to the Revenue
  • Complete and submit the necessary Probate Registry forms
  • Arrange the clearance and sale of any property
  • Collect assets and pay any debts
  • Arrange for the distribution of legacies and gifts to the beneficiaries
  • Compile detailed accounts to give to the main beneficiaries
  • In the case of minor children being beneficiaries, then the Executor may act as Trustee for ongoing trusts, to hold their monies until they reach 18.

What is the difference between an Administrator and Executor?

There are different ways of dealing with someone’s affairs. A general term for somebody entitled to deal with the Estate Administration is a Personal representative. When a person dies without making a Will, the closest next of kin would be an Administrator who would be entitled to extract the Grant of Letters of Administration. An Executor is someone who has been appointed under a Will to deal with the estate administration.

It is the duty of the personal representative to pay off all debts of the deceased and if this is not done then they may be personally liable to pay money back into the estate.

What is probate?

Probate is the court’s authority, given to a person or persons, to administer a deceased estate and the document issued by the Probate Registry is called a Grant of Probate. This document is usually required by the asset holders (such as banks) as proof to show the correct person or persons have the Registry’s authority to administer a deceased person’s estate.


Do I need a Grant of Probate - everything was held jointly?

The Probate process is needed when investments (typically over £5,000) were held in the deceased’s sole name and the banks, building societies and other organisations request for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration in order to release the funds held.

A Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration is also required where one had held the property in their sole name in order to sell or transfer the property.

How soon can a Grant of Probate / Grant of Letters of Administration be obtained?

Dealing with someone’s affairs can take many forms and this can affect timescales. In straightforward estates we can prepare all the necessary papers within 7 working days of receiving full financial information about the estate from the Executor/ Administrator or from the various financial institutions, and we can then obtain the Grant within 10 working days of the Executor/Administrator signing and returning the duly signed papers to us.

Am I liable for my loved one’s debts?

No, this vests in the deceased person’s estate. It is a common misconception amongst people that when a person dies their debts disappear but this is not the case unless otherwise stated. When a person dies their debts are paid for from their assets at the time of death. If their debt exceeds their available assets then the estate will be insolvent. Sometimes it is not known if an estate is insolvent until the grant of probate has been received. When the estate of the deceased is insolvent, gifts and legacies cannot be distributed to the beneficiaries under the Will. This part of the law is governed by Administration of Insolvent Estates of Deceased Persons Order 1986 (DPO 1986).

I only need a Grant of Probate - what can you offer me?

Through our trusted Partners Premier Solicitors, we can offer two services:

“Grant only” – You provide the valuations and details about the estate and they will prepare the necessary legal documentation and tax returns and apply for the Grant at the Probate Registry, leaving you thereafter to deal with the rest of the estate administration.

Full Estate Administration – We will take full responsibility for dealing with the estate administration from start to finish.

Contact Stanford Legal Services to make an appointment to discuss your probate requirements.