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When someone dies and you are responsible for managing their estate there can be a large amount of probate matters to deal with which can be overwhelming, especially when you are also dealing with your own personal grief.

   

Whether or not you require a solicitor to help, will depend on both the circumstances of yourself and the deceased.

   

Some questions to help get you thinking might include:

   
  • How large is the estate you are dealing with?
  • Will there be Inheritance Tax to pay?
  • Did they own their own property?
  • Did they hold any assets overseas?
  • Did the deceased own their own business?
  • How many bank accounts, insurance policies or pensions need to be managed?
  • Is there likely to be any family disputes with their estate?
  • Did they have a valid will in place, or did they die intestate?
  • Did they have any large debts?
  • Did they die abroad?
  • Did they die due to a personal injury or medical negligence?
  • How cooperative will any other executors be?
  • Are all the executors or beneficiaries easy to contact and living in the same country?
  • Are you in good health and fit to deal with the administration of the estate?
  • Do you have the time and capacity to deal with the estate?
 

Essentially you need to determine whether the probate process will be simple and straightforward and whether you are able to manage it yourself or not.

   

Sometimes the estate is modest and straightforward, however the executor opts to appoint a solicitor to help with the probate as they may be busy with their career and family or might live far away and find it less stressful to have professionals involved.

   

Others may feel confident taking on the task of administering the estate of a loved one. They may have sadly already had the experience in the past.

   

Know Your Duties

 

Whichever you decide, it is important, however, to understand your legal obligations and responsibilities as an executor. There will be certain deadlines to meet and processes to adhere to. There is also an obligation to be able to clearly show the path of any monies exchanged and ensure assets get to the right beneficiaries.

   

Many people are named as executors without truly appreciating the onus on them to deal with the winding up of the estate. For further details of the duties, please see our previous article “I’m an Executor of a Will, What Do I Need to Do?

   

Probate solicitor bereaved man looking for legal advice

Getting Support

 

As well as legal assistance with the probate application and winding up of an estate, it is also important to take care of yourself as an executor. Make sure that the stress of managing grief and executor duties is not taking its toll on your mental health or ability to look after your other commitments in life.

   

If you feel overwhelmed, it is important to seek guidance from your support network, which can be difficult given current lockdown restrictions. Always speak to your GP if you are struggling to cope.

   

Contact Us Today

 

For assistance with probate please contact our professional and understanding team of solicitors. You can call the office on 01256 844888, email us at enquiries@lambbrooks.com or speak to our online chat assistant, who is a real person online 24 hours a day.

   

We have adapted our practices over the challenging months and will ensure that we can support you in the best way that suits you. We can work virtually or over the phone, communicate by email for speed and we can still offer home visits or meetings at our office if it is absolutely necessary.

     

Other Articles You May Be Interested in Reading:

Dealing With Death During Lockdown

Difficulty Finding a Will When Someone Dies

I’m An Executor of a Will, What Do I Need to Do?

How to Start Writing a Will: 8 Simple Steps

 

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.