What is probate and what does it mean

If the unfortunate happens and somebody dies, it is the task of the Executors (whoever they may be) to obtain what is called a Grant of Probate.

Very often people are now choosing relatives to be their Executors rather than solicitors. However, it is not always easy to obtain a Grant of Probate or to act as an Executor and it is for that reason the James Legal Probate team are here to help.

Find out more...

Chris Hutchinson

Senior Solicitor

I think it is important to treat all clients with respect and I do my utmost to guide them through, what are sometimes difficult times, with sensitivity. I also do my best to explain the legal procedures to them in a way they can understand.

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Being an Executor is easy. Really!

If it is your responsibility to deal with an estate and the deceased person has left you with up to date details of their property, where all their money is held, details of any debts as well as beneficiaries who are happy to wait in the background until they receive their money then fantastic, you are part of a very rare club and would suggest that you deal with the matter yourself!

However, the usual reality is when a person dies they leave random pieces of paper relating to various accounts with numerous banks, they have debts no one in the family were aware of, they have been claiming benefits which they weren’t entitled to as they didn’t fully understand the process and beneficiaries want their money straight away.

Ease the stress

If it makes it easier for you, gather together every item of post, scrap of paper and bank statement relating to the deceased person and put them in a box or carrier bag and drop them off for us to sort out. We shall contact banks, building societies, benefit agencies and any other relevant organisations to work out exactly how much the deceased person’s estate is worth. Then we will arrange for the debts to be cleared. At this point we shall prepare full estate accounts and the beneficiaries will be paid their share of the estate. You will have the reassurance that all your Executors duties are being carried out correctly in accordance with the law.

We don’t know the beneficiaries and so, although we are happy to speak to them daily, we will not feel pressured into giving them their money before the matter has been dealt with properly. If they have any questions about their share of the estate, let them hassle us and not you!

It does not have to cost the earth

With some banks charging  a significant percentage of the estate, probate costs can be high even for  an estate of modest value.

We individually assess the nature and extent of each estate and produce an estimate based on the hourly rate for  the actual work we consider we are likely to have to carry out. Our costs will not usually exceed 1.5% of the estate,  where an estate is  worth over £500,000, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Why not take advantage of our free client introduction consultation and free initial advice meeting.

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If you would like us to call you back to arrange a meeting or discuss how we may help you, whether this be business or personal, simply complete the below form and we will be in touch.

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