Probate Solicitors in Chichester

Dealing with the estate of someone who has died can be a very daunting prospect. As such, our probate solicitors in Chichester can provide practical guidance to support you with the often-difficult process of administering an estate.

Dealing with probate and estate administration will typically involve verifying the validity of a Will, settling any debts that are due and accurately dividing the estate among the named beneficiaries.

The majority of assets in an estate cannot be distributed until the Probate Registry gives authority, either through a Grant of Probate where there is a Will or a Grant of Letters of Administration where there is no Will.

Whether you have been named as an executor in a Will or are acting as an administrator for someone who has died intestate (without a Will), our experienced probate solicitors will be on hand to lend their expertise and carefully tailored probate advice.

We can work alongside you to make various arrangements for the administration of someone else’s estate, including preparing an application for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, determining the size of an estate for Probate and Inheritance Tax purposes and helping you to lodge the necessary forms to deal with money due on the estate.

Our team will also work closely with our residential property team to arrange the transfer or sale of any shares, as well as handle the sale of any property or land owned by the deceased.

Speak to our probate solicitors in Chichester

To discuss your requirements and learn more about how we can help, please get in touch to speak to one of our probate solicitors in Chichester.

Our probate solicitors’ fees

We want to ensure that our probate pricing is transparent and competitive for all clients. From the outset of your case, we can provide you with a realistic estimate of the work involved, including third-party costs such as Probate Registry fees.

For straightforward probate and estate administration work, we offer fixed fees. This means that you will be aware of the costs in advance, and these will only change in accordance with any additional requirements you may need.

For more complicated cases, we will agree an hourly rate based on the level of probate advice and expertise required.

If you would like to fees with our solicitors dealing with probate in Chichester any further, please get in touch.

Our probate services in Chichester

Our solicitors for probate in Chichester have a wide range of expertise, including but not limited to:

  • Applying for Grant of Probate/Grant of Letters of Administration
  • Estimating an estate’s value
  • Dealing with Inheritance Tax
  • Handling the estate administration process
  • Settling debts
  • Sale of property
  • Distributing assets
  • Probate disputes

We also have specialist expertise in additional lifetime planning matters, including Wills and Probate and Power of Attorney.

Probate and estate administration in Chichester explained

What is probate?

‘Probate’ is typically used when referring to the general process of winding up someone’s estate after they have died. More specifically, the Grant of Probate is the legal document which gives an executor of a Will the authority to finalise the deceased’s affairs. Grant of Probate can only be obtained via an application to the Probate Registry.

Once granted, the named executors are permitted to administer the estate according to the terms set out in the Will. Depending on the circumstances, this is likely to include distributing the deceased’s assets to beneficiaries, selling property, paying Inheritance Tax, and preparing detailed estate accounts.

When is probate required?

In most cases, probate will be essential. However, where an estate is considered ‘small’ or where most assets are jointly owned with a spouse who has been left everything, it may not be required.

There is no exact definition of what a ‘small’ estate is, but it is usually considered to be under £10,000. It is also important to note that each bank has its own limit above which they will ask for a Grant of Probate before closing an account, which can vary from £5,000 to £50,000.

If an estate includes a property, then a Grant of Probate will usually be needed. This is unless it was held jointly with someone else as joint tenants, in which case the surviving owner automatically owns the property on the death of the other.

How long does probate take?

Under normal circumstances, the Probate Registry will generally take between one and three months to issue the Grant of Probate. Beyond this, administering an estate could take up to a year or more. As you might expect, the exact time it takes will depend on the complexity of the estate and whether any property needs to be sold.

Our solicitors dealing with probate in Chichester can advise you on how long probate is likely to take in your case, keeping you informed at each stage of the process.

Do you need a solicitor for probate?

While it is technically possible to deal with probate without a probate solicitor, it is by no means a simple task. You should be aware that the job can be very complex and time-consuming, especially if you are dealing with an estate that involves a large number of high-value assets.

Matters such as Inheritance Tax and maintaining accurate estate accounts can also be incredibly difficult, which demonstrates how important it is to seek the advice of specialist solicitors for probate in Chichester.

At SMR Solicitors, our probate solicitors can assist as required with all of the various aspects of estate administration, ensuring you have all the support you need to carry out your duties effectively.

If someone dies without a Will, who deals with their estate?

Where someone dies without a Will, their estate is distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy.

Generally, one of the people who is entitled to inherit from the estate under the Rules of intestacy will deal with the estate. They can do this by applying for a Grant of Letters of Administration, which appoints them as the estate administrator (rather than executor).

Speak to our probate solicitors in Chichester

To discuss your requirements and learn more about how we can help, please get in touch to speak to one of our probate solicitors in Chichester.