Personal Legal Services | Probate and Deputyships
If a loved one dies, or is incapacitated due to accident or illness, certain legal steps need to be taken. We are here to support you during this difficult time, whether you need assistance administering an estate after a death or need the ability to make decisions on behalf of a friend or family member if they are unable to do so themselves.
Probate and Estate Administration
The death of a loved one is a stressful experience in itself before you have even thought about dealing with all of the paperwork and administering their estate. We are here to help you through this difficult process – whether the deceased left a will or died without making one (intestate), if there is an Inheritance Tax liability or if you need to obtain a Grant of Probate.
We are able to help you to obtain values of the deceased’s assets and liabilities, complete the necessary probate papers and apply to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Probate, arrange payment of Inheritance Tax as necessary, collect in assets, pay any debts and finally, distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.
Our experts can also help you to mitigate an Inheritance Tax liability or redistribute the estate by way of a Deed of Variation.
If you are concerned about how an estate is being administered by someone else, we can also provide independent legal advice to you and, if required, take the appropriate Court action to protect your interests.
A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for someone who is unable to do so on their own. The deputy is given legal authority to manage the incapacitated person’s affairs, which can include accessing funds to pay for care, selling and buying property, managing investments, etc.
A Deputyship application can be complicated and time consuming. We take the burden off your shoulders at this difficult time, helping put in place the legal framework that allows you to look after your loved one. Our experienced solicitors will guide you through the daunting process helping you to complete the forms and apply to the Court for the appropriate deputyship order whether it is for property and finances or, in more limited circumstances, personal health and welfare.
Minor inheriting estate from Mother who died without making a will
It took three years to complete the administration of this estate due to problems relating to the deceased property. Fortunately Amanda Oakes was able to provide her expertise in managing both the probate and property side of things simultaneously to provide a seamless service to the client.
The deceased had lived with her partner for 18 years and together they had a 13 year old daughter. There was no will so under intestacy rules the estate passed to the daughter, who as a minor was unable to manage any of the paperwork to transfer the property to her Father. The property was also part-owned by the housing association.
The daughter was represented by her Grandparents and her Father applied for a parental Responsibility Order until the child was 18 years old.
In order to complete the administration of the estate we had to go through various steps, which included:
Stage 1 – Apply for an Order pursuant to Rule 32(2) of the Non Contentious Probate Rules 1987
Stage 2 – Apply for Grant of Letters of Administration
Stage 3 – Transfer of the family home from the deceased’s name to the Partner whilst protecting their daughter’s interests.
The whole process was slow, but due to the experience of Amanda in both property and probate matters, she was able to provide reassurances throughout to her clients that she was doing everything she could to resolve this highly complex and unusual matter as quickly as possible, which they greatly appreciated.
Providing an “all round” service
Having initially been instructed by our client to deal with the administration of her late uncle’s estate, we were then also instructed to apply for a Deputyship Order for his wife and sole beneficiary of his Will who was suffering with dementia.
Having obtained the uncle’s Will, we found that his wife was appointed to act as the sole executor but was clearly unable to do this due to her incapacity. However, the Will included substitutional provisions appointing our client. We were able to liaise with the Probate Registry and obtain a Grant of Probate appointing our client as the sole executor without the additional complication or expense to the estate of a Court application to remove her aunt.
We had to obtain a medical assessment (Form COP3) as part of the Deputyship application and this proved challenging as the social worker who initially prepared the capacity assessment had since moved jobs, the remaining social workers in the department were unable to complete the COP3. Her GP was also unwilling as he had not seen her for several months. We were however able to obtain a completed COP3 medical assessment from the nursing home manager who was a registered nurse/registered care manager and was able to complete the form. This prevented significant delays and additional costs which would have been incurred had we needed to obtain a COP3 medical assessment from a qualified psychiatrist.
In addition to dealing with the Probate and Deputyship matters simultaneously, we were also able to deal with the sale of the property once the Grant of Probate had been obtained. This provided our client with continuity and an “all round” service as all matters were efficiently dealt with by the private client department for which she was extremely grateful.
Meet our Probate and Deputyship Team
Christine McConalogue – Solicitor
Nicola Thomas – Solicitor
Amanda Oakes – Solicitor