It is an unfortunate fact that very cold snaps in winter increase death rates. The recent cold spell will mean that many people will have taken on the responsibility of dealing with a loved one or friend’s estate and may be thinking of saving money by taking out a Grant of Probate and administering the estate without instructing a solicitor.
If you are in this position you should think twice;
1. You are personally liable to beneficiaries and creditors if you fail to carry out your duties. It is important that you understand the statutory powers of an executor. For example, if a beneficiary is under the age of 18 your duties and responsibilities towards that beneficiary have are different to those for adults.
2. If the relationships between you and beneficiaries are not good, the administration of the estate may be extremely difficult.
3. Then there is the tax man. Do you understand the inheritance tax position? This isn’t just a question of how much the estate is worth on death but also gifts of property and money made before death. There is the income tax to sort out both before death and during the period you are dealing with the estate. There may be capital gains tax to deal with as well.
Some estates are relatively small and uncomplicated. Many are not. It is usually cheaper in the long run to instruct an expert in the beginning than to start the process yourself, get into difficulties and then pay an expert to sort things out.
Instructing Ridley & Hall need not be expensive. You will be offered a range of options regarding costs which will be explained clearly. We have a friendly, approachable team. Please contact Jill Waddington (solicitor accredited by Solicitors for the Elderly) or our experienced paralegal Hilary Sisson for more information on 01484 538421.