Anyone that has been named as an administrator at a will could do him or herself a big favor by searching for probate legal counsel from specialist probate attorneys.
The role of the administrator is, among other things, to pay bills and taxes due from the deceased’s estate, as well as share out the balance between those named in the will. To do all this the person acting as administrator will need to obtain probate. None of this is anywhere near as easy as it might seem and there are significant risks for the unwary -not that anyone administering of an estate is liable for any mistakes made – failure to distribute the estate probably or to pay the correct level of inheritance tax.
Probate gives the executor the authority to access the estate of the deceased and then deal with its financial affairs. Permission is given formally by the courts which issue what is called “Grant of Probate.” If no will was ever made then, the executor would most likely be a close relative of the deceased. The courts then grant the legal authority to perform the responsibilities of administrator through “Letters of Administration.”
The matter is routinely dealt with by the Probate Service which has offices around the nation. In more contentious cases, like if the validity of the will itself is being contested, then the High Court will deal with the case.
There’s not any obligation for probate lawyers to become when involved when dealing with probate. But as has been outlined, it will have a legal component, including the swearing of an oath and the filling in of legal documents, so some executors may prefer to find probate legal counsel.
If the instance is contentious, then it is absolute common-sense to seek the help of probate solicitors. Contested probate cases are an absolute minefield – quite apart from the fact that there are legally complex, there are often real problems with evidence and conflicts of interest – not to mention the damage they can do to family relationships if not handled carefully. In such cases, the help and guidance of a solicitor will be invaluable.
Even if the will is not contentious, the executor will often still decide to seek legal counsel or decide that he wants the solicitor to deal with the entire matter of probate. There are sound reasons for this. Dealing with probate is very time-consuming as well as complex. By receiving probate legal advice and hiring a solicitor, the executor will protect himself as well as spare himself the task of having to conduct the entire process of Probate himself.