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Probate Services

Probate or the administration of a loved one’s estate can be both stressful and complicated. Our expert probate solicitors know you want the probate process to be sorted out quickly and efficiently but with a personal approach.

Probate the process

Every probate is different but follows the same probate process. At Evolve, probate solicitors, Chris Strogen and Judith Chesters, understand how emotional the probate journey may be to you and combines efficient expert legal advice with empathy for your situation.

Reducing the stress

Whatever the size or complexity of the estate, dealing with probate can be stressful. If you are named as an executor in a will, it doesn’t mean that you have to take on the burden of sorting out probate as you can ask a probate solicitor to do it on your behalf whilst you remain in overall charge as the executor of the estate. At Evolve, our objective is to take the stress out of the process for you by handling all the legal aspects of probate whilst keeping you informed so you have a clear idea about timescales and what is happening in the probate process.

Who do we help?

Chris Strogen and Judith Chesters are specialist probate solicitors who advises on estates and trusts of all sizes. From the straightforward to the complex to where there is an inheritance dispute or a claim is made against the estate, in all situations, Chris and Judith provide calm unflappable expert advice ensuring that probate and the distribution of the estate are achieved as quickly as possible.

Why choose the probate solicitors at Evolve Family Law?

Probate can be daunting if you aren’t an expert. You don’t want to face personal liability for your actions as an executor or criticisms from beneficiaries of the will or from those receiving the estate under intestacy rules because they don’t understand the timescales or the legal complexities of probate. That’s why it’s important to have an expert probate solicitor handling probate for you. Probate solicitors, Chris Strogen and Judith Chesters, simplify the complex into easy-to-understand specialist advice taking a personal approach to each probate so you get both an efficient and empathetic service to achieve the accessing of funds and the distribution of inheritances and the estate as quickly and as stress-free as possible. Chris and Judith work together closely as a team, supervised by one of the firm’s Directors.

Probate  – Your Questions Answered

What is probate?

When someone dies their assets and property (known as their estate) are left in limbo until someone gets the legal right to deal with their property and possessions by applying for a grant of representation (if the deceased made a will) or letters of administration (if the deceased died without leaving a will).

How do you apply for probate?

Generally, the probate process is as follows:

  • Check and see if the deceased made a will – the will may be kept with other important papers, at the bank or at a solicitor’s office. If there is a will the people authorised to sort out the deceased’s financial affairs (known as executors) can apply for probate. If there is no will then family members of the deceased can apply for the grant
  • Estimate the value of the estate – this is necessary so the Inland Revenue can check if inheritance tax will be payable
  • Arrange for the payment of inheritance tax due prior to the probate application
  • Complete a probate application form and an inheritance tax form
  • Submit the application.

What happens after probate is granted?

The executors, as part of the probate process, will need to:

  • Pay any remaining inheritance tax that is payable
  • Pay any debts
  • Collect any property, for example, to sell a share portfolio or a family home or investments
  • Distribute the estate, either under the terms of the will or, if there is no will, under the intestacy rules.

Do you have to apply for probate?

Sometimes it is possible to sort out a deceased’s financial affairs without applying for probate. For example:

  • The deceased person doesn’t own any property or property is jointly held and passes automatically to the survivor
  • The deceased held a joint bank account with a husband, wife or partner so the savings or bank account pass automatically to the joint account holder
  • The deceased`s bank may consider the amount in question small enough to release without the formality of probate (typically less than £5,000).

Is getting probate straightforward?

The complexity of the probate process depends on how complex the deceased’s estate, family and will is. Sometimes getting probate is straight forward but there are often things to sort out or check, such as:

  • Whether it is in the family best interests to change a will after death (known as a deed of variation). A deed of variation can result in inheritance tax savings
  • Resolve any inheritance claims by family or dependants who want to challenge the will or make a claim against the estate because they don’t think they will receive reasonable financial provision under the will or under intestacy rules
  • Obtaining a presumption of the death certificate
  • Sorting out life insurance and pension claims. These types of benefits may or may not pass under the terms of the deceased’s will
  • Sorting out the creation and administration of any trusts created by the will
  • Changing the appointment of executors. 

How much does probate cost?

Some people have complex finances and businesses and there is, therefore, a lot of legal work to do to get probate. However, even if the deceased’s estate is not complex, it often pays for executors to take expert probate legal advice to make sure that the estate does not pay more than it needs to in inheritance tax, that the estate is distributed correctly and the executors aren’t held personally liable for any actions, such as not paying enough tax or not paying all the debts or distributing the estate incorrectly. For details of our typical fees and expenses, see our prices page.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you.