Probate

In the event of the loss of a family member or friend, the administration and winding up of their estate needs to be dealt with in an understanding and sensitive manner. This can be a lengthy and involved process and sympathetic and professional assistance is essential.

Our specialist team keep up to date with any changes in the Inheritance Tax rules to ensure that all possible deductions and reliefs are claimed to mitigate any tax that may be payable.

If you have foreign assets, such as a property or investments abroad, the equivalent of a grant of probate will also be required to be obtained in the relevant country. Investments in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man count as foreign assets for these purposes. We are experienced in liaising with local lawyers and dealing with their requirements.

We will take care of all dealings with the HM Revenue & Customs, including negotiations over valuations and Inheritance Tax liabilities. The Income Tax position in the estate will need to be finalised and we will also consider any Capital Gains Tax issues that may arise during the administration of the estate.

In the unfortunate event there is a dispute over an estate, we can advise on all aspects, including making or defending a claim. We work closely with our Litigation Department in connection with such cases.

We work closely with our Residential Property Department in relation to all property matters, including Transfer of Equity.

We can also advise on tax planning. The use of deeds of variation (sometimes called a Deed of Family Arrangement), effectively a posthumous re-arrangement of your finances, can reduce Inheritance Tax liability. Beneficiaries may wish a legacy they have received to pass to someone else, such as their children, which may also be of tax benefit to themselves. A deed of variation can solve such matters.

The death of a loved one is a traumatic experience.  For guidance and some of the practical steps that need to be carried out when someone dies, please see our section on What To Do When Someone Dies.

We have also produced a number of information leaflets to provide guidance for you: