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Stewarts Solicitors

Expert solicitors throughout Northern Ireland

Probate & Estates

When someone dies there are a number of important tasks that need to be completed. This can be very stressful for the family members or friends that are involved at this difficult time. Probate is the legal term given to the process of dealing with a person’s estate after they have died.

If the person died leaving a valid Will, then the named Executors take on this responsibility. In the absence of a valid Will, the person is said to have died “Intestate” and the Intestacy Rules determine who can be appointed as the Administrators of the estate.

The role of Executor or Administrator can be an onerous one. The deceased’s estate may involve valuable or complex matters and an Executor or Administrator is personally liable for administering the estate correctly. Every Executor or Administrator can instruct a Solicitor of their choice to assist them with the Estate Administration and the legal fees are settled by the deceased’s Estate.

The procedure of obtaining a Grant of Probate allows the Personal Representatives to gather in the assets of the deceased and distribute them in line with the terms of the Will, or the Intestacy Rules where there is no Will.

Probate is not required in all instances. For example, where the deceased has left a minimal amount of funds (a few thousand pounds or less) and personal possessions it is unlikely that a Grant of Representation will be required. However where more significant assets are left, or in more complex situations, a Grant is likely to be needed to administer the estate effectively.

Such situations include:

  • Where the deceased has left significant funds in a bank account or building society (usually over £10,000)
  • Where the deceased owned property that needs to be sold
  • Where the deceased had an interest in a Trust
  • The person owned a business or farm land
  • The person owned assets abroad

Probate is a daunting task which can often involve exhaustive enquiries into debts, assets, pensions, lifetime gifts or planning for care home fees.

With our considerable experience in this area, you can be sure that we will handle this area sensitively and efficiently to ensure that all elements of the estate are tied up quickly.

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