Probate and Intestacy

Executors appointed under a valid Will are responsible on the death of the testator for ensuring that the terms of the Will are followed in all respects.

Statutory rules set out what must be done in the event that there is no Will. The family may wish to alter the effect of the Will, or of the statutory rules.

The Executors’ duties are to deal with the deceased’s assets (bank accounts, shares and life policies for example) and debts which have to be settled. The Executors must also arrange for the Revenue to be informed of the value of the estate and must pay any assessed Inheritance Tax due on the estate.

We can assist the appointed Executors with the burden of the paper work, we accept appointments as Executors and thereby take on the responsibility. In either role, we are alive to the needs of the recently bereaved and the, sometimes competing, interests of the beneficiaries.

We advise on variations of a Will after death, and post-death tax or estate planning, which may save tax or distribute assets to better effect. In the first instance, please ask for Alexandra Gordon or Sophie Wallace for an interview or advice.


We recognise that some executors will wish to deal with the administration of the estate themselves, but would like help in some of the technical matters. We offer a fixed fee for the work of preparing and making an application for a Grant. If you want us to do more, we shall be happy to do so and will give you an estimate of costs at the time. Please see our rates and a worked example of our fees for “full” administration.

What might make an administration cost more?

Sometimes there are complications. For example, it could be discovered that the deceased had assets overseas, or a disappointed relative wants to challenge their entitlement (or lack of it). Some estates have complex tax issues or debts. Some beneficiaries are hard to find. If anything like this arises, we would discuss it with you and give you the options and the likely costs of each.

What is Probate?

“Probate” is the process of proving that the Will of the deceased is legitimate, and a “Grant” is the Court’s seal of approval.  It acts like the “deeds” to the deceased’s estate, without it, the Executor may have trouble proving that they “own” it. Executors have...

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What are Letters of Administration?

“Letters of Administration” are equivalent to Probate where the deceased left no Will or there is something not quite right about the Will. The application process is similar, the person who would take on the responsibility has to give formal evidence to the Court to...

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What does an Executor do?

An Executor, a person named by the deceased in their Will as “Executor”, is responsible for managing the financial affairs of a deceased, finding out what it is, and carrying out he terms of the Will so far as the Law will allow. The State will intervene to make sure...

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