What if there is not a Will?
If there is not a Will then the Intestacy Rules apply and dictate who inherits.
Please see our earlier section ‘Obtaining Probate/Letters of Administration’ – it is a document called Letters of Administration that is needed for a family member to have formal authority to sort out the Deceased persons financial affairs.
Should I use my bank/funeral directors/financial advisers?
The short answer is no. They are highly likely to charge you a lot of money for assistance – far more than a solicitor will – and your matter will almost certainly not be dealt with by a solicitor, or even a legally trained person.
How long does it take?
As every estate is different, there is no definite answer to this question. But we always make sure that all matters are dealt with as quickly as they possibly can be, and there are no unnecessary delays.
We will also advise you at the first meeting we have with you as to the likely timeframe for dealing with everything, and if we fall behind this estimate for any reason we will explain to you why.
What are your charges?
Our charges for assisting a family with an estate vary depending upon how much work you want us to assist with. If you simply ask us to help with the obtaining of a Grant of Probate then we usually offer this service at a fixed price, which we confirm to you at the very start of the matter.
If, however, you want us to assist in a more hands on role with the estate then obviously the costs will be more. That is why we firmly believe it is crucial that we sit and talk through the work that will need to be done, and agree who is to deal with which areas. But we always make sure our fees are fully discussed and agreed with you at the offset of a matter. We are sometimes able to agree a fixed fee that we will deal with everything for. On other occasions families ask us to put a “costs cap” in place that the fees will not exceed without us discussing it with you and explaining why. This is why we pride ourselves on being clear and transparent when it comes to the costs of assisting with estates – you only pay for the work you ask us to do. You do not get penalised if the person who has died was wealthy, and we always explain our costs to you openly. The last thing you want when a family member has just died is uncertainty, or the threat of an unexpected bill.