When a person dies their affairs will need to be finalised. If they left a Will appointing Executors then the Executors will administer the estate. Probate is the legal authority that enables the Executor in a Will to deal with the deceased’s affairs. Probate is usually required when the person who died left more than £5,000, stocks or shares, a house or land or some insurance policies. Until a Grant of Probate has been obtained the Executor cannot sell or deal with any of the deceased’s assets.
If no Will was made then the deceased is said to have died Intestate. An Administrator will need to undertake this role who will often be a close relative, although the right to apply is determined by a set order of priority. A Grant of Letters of Administration provides the Administrator with the legal authority to deal with the intestate estate.
Applying for a Grant does not have to be done through a solicitor but it is usually quicker and does not involve a Court interview. Often it is the person who is bereaved who is named as Executor or Administrator and at such a time dealing with the Deceased’s affairs can be extremely stressful. It is also helpful if an objective professional deals with the administration of the estate especially when bereaved family members do not get on.
The role of the Executor or Administrator can be an onerous one. It is their responsibility to take charge of all the assets of the Deceased on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate. They are fully accountable to the beneficiaries for their actions and can be held personally and financially responsible for loss suffered to the estate. Many people name a firm of solicitors as Executor and at Couchman Hanson we are experts in dealing with estates and understand the processes and paperwork involved. Alternatively, we can provide Executors and Administrators with the necessary guidance to perform this role.
Contact us today on 01428 722189 for a sympathetic and professional approach.