It’s a difficult time when a loved one passes away, and it’s hard to know who to turn to for help in managing their will. On some occasions, there may not even be a will, and this can cause additional conflict for your family and friends at an already tense time.

To make the process as smooth and painless as possible, it is best to gain advice from an expert probate lawyer and have the management of legalities pasted over to a professional. Here’s how find a probate lawyer, and why you might need one…

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process that takes place as a solicitor carries out the last wishes of someone who is deceased, by following the decisions laid out in their will. It describes both the legal and financial actions required to manage any property, assets and their overall money in the person’s estate.

The probate process usually needs to be applied before the next of kin or executor can claim or sell any assets they have received. Once they are accepted a grant of probate will be released. This is the legal document that allows the executors to administer any remaining property.

Who Is Involved In The Process?

There are three significant people within the process of probate: your lawyer, the next of kin, and the executor.

The next of kin is an important person who is kept informed about an individual’s health and any treatment they may need if they cannot make the decision themselves. The executor is a person with the legal authority to help manage the affairs of the deceased, while your solicitor manages the whole will process and can advise you on any queries you have. As experts, they will be able to provide guidance on issues you may not understand yourself. These may include income tax or inheritance tax.

What To Do If There’s No Will…

If a family member has passed away and they left no will, it is called dying intestate and is often more complicated. You will need to apply for a grant of letters of administration, which is a legal document that will allow you to administer the estate.

When this is the case, it is best to gain advice from your solicitor, as they can support you with any queries you have and help you with all legal aspects you need to understand. Your solicitor can also advise the executor on how to prioritise the affairs of the deceased.

Why Do I Need A Solicitor?

If you have any doubts about processing a will, the best option is to always hire a solicitor. If you’re not sure if the will is valid, there isn’t a will at all, or if the idea of managing it simply seems daunting, a finding a probate lawyer is a very good idea.

Your solicitor will help you to organise all the aspects of the will, and in complicated situations (such as if the estate is bankrupt, or if the deceased lived outside of the UK for tax purposes), they can resolve any issues for you.  

Whatever struggle you may have with understanding your loved ones will, family complications that may arise, or the distribution of assets, it is important to hire a professional probate lawyer.

How Do I Choose The Right Solicitor To Handle Probate?

Picking the right solicitor to administer your loved ones will can be a challenging task. Making sure that your solicitor is a WIQS practise will ensure you choose the perfect professional. WIQS practises are registered and authorised by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, meaning they provide the best procedures to create the highest standard of service.

The Law Society also provides a directory of solicitors and law firms so you can also use this as a tool to find a suitable local branch. Credited practises like Beeston Shenton provide wills and probate service tailored to your personal needs, and will always keep you up-to-date with any timescales, costs and each step of the process. We provide a patient and professional service for sensitive areas of law.  Get in touch today if you need any support or legal advice about our wills and probate service…