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Administration of Estates

 

Our estate administration service is founded on the principles of sensitivity and care, delivering practical and straightforward advice when you need it most.

In addition to Wills and probate services, our estate administration lawyers also provide legal advice in all aspects of inheritance planning.

We have considerable experience in estate administration when:

  • There is a Will
  • There isn't a Will (intestate estates)
  • There are business assets
  • There are agricultural assets
  • There are overseas assets
  • Taxable and non-taxable estate

We also provide a service to assist personal representatives in simply obtaining the Grant of Representation.

Estate Administration

When a person dies, all of their assets, including any land, property, money, investments, personal belongings etc, become a part of their estate.

The process of identifying, collecting and valuing all of the assets, paying any debts and taxes and distributing the remainder to the beneficiaries of the estate, is known as ‘estate administration’.

If there is a Will, the person named as executor in the Will becomes responsible for administering the estate according to the wishes set out in the Will.

The beneficiaries of an estate, the people who will inherit the assets, are determined in the Will. 

If there isn't a Will, the laws of intestacy dictate who will inherit the assets in a defined order of priority.

The same rules will determine who has the right to apply to be appointed as an administrator of the estate- ie:  take on a role similar to that of the executor of a Will.

What Does an Administrator of an Estate Do?

The administrator of an estate is the person who has been appointed to handle the distribution of the estate of a deceased person who has not left a Will. In this case, the court will confirm who should make all the necessary arrangements for the estate. This person is known as an administrator, and has many of the same responsibilities as the executor of a Will.

What is a Personal Representative?

A personal representative is either an executor or an administrator.

Acting as a personal representative in administering an estate after a death can be one of the hardest things to be involved with - particularly when it involves a member of the family or a friend.

As well as having to come to terms with the emotional aspect of the loss, there is the added difficulty of being in unfamiliar territory. The personal representative is suddenly immersed in a situation they know little or nothing about and faced with complex issues they are expected to deal with.

What Does a Personal Representative Have to Do?

The whole process can be a trying and lengthy experience which will involve negotiating several stages, any one of which could worsen an already difficult situation and create further problems between grieving relatives.

These stages include:

  • Registering the death and organising the funeral
  • Obtaining a Grant of Representation (probate)
  • Calculating and paying the right amount of Inheritance Tax
  • Distributing the estate of the deceased to the beneficiaries
  • Preparing estate accounts

Trying to cope alone at such a difficult time can prove too much and be an extremely stressful experience. By seeking help from professionals who deal with these matters on a daily basis, you will have the benefit of knowing that things will be handled correctly and with the wishes of the deceased always the top priority.>

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of preparing for the management and distribution of your estate after your death. Estate planning involves employing various legal and financial tools to arrange a person's financial affairs in a tax-efficient manner so that they are able to enjoy their hard earned wealth into retirement and provide a meaningful inheritance for their family.

We’ll help you plan for the best protection of your assets and business interests, and use our best endeavours to see to it that  that the effect of tax on your beneficiaries’ entitlement is mitigated as far as possible.

Estate planning also includes making arrangements should you become unable to make decisions for yourself. This is done through a Lasting Power of Attorney, which is a document to appoint one or more people to handle your affairs on your behalf, should you lose the capacity to do so yourself through old age or injury.

The ultimate goal of estate planning is to provide control, peace of mind and efficiency for you and your heirs by eliminating uncertainties and, where possible, reducing taxes and other expenses.

Who Do We Help?

  • Executors and administrators
  • Beneficiaries
  • Individuals
  • Business and landowners
  • Families
  • Charities

Write a Will

Dying without a Will could create a series of problems for those left behind. Many people assume that their closest family and/or loved ones will automatically inherit their estate, but if you die without a Will (known as ‘dying intestate’), that may not necessarily be the case. Once the rules of intestacy take over, your assets may not be divided in the way you would have wanted, or your wealth could be reduced through inheritance tax.

The only way you can ensure your estate is distributed properly, is to plan ahead during your lifetime.

It’s easy to put off, but writing a Will it’s one of the most important things you can do.

Create a Trust

When you put assets in a trust, they are held under the control of appointed people called ‘trustees’. The trustees then manage the trust according to your instructions, even after your death.

There are many reasons why you might use a trust and our experienced team will help put the right structure in place for your circumstances. You might want to support someone who is unable to manage their money themselves due to a brain injury, a mental health condition or a learning disability.

Some other ways a trust can be used include:

  • To pass assets on to the next generation safely and tax efficiently
  • To fund education for your children in certain circumstances
  • To fund education for your grandchildren
  • To provide for children and partners from different relationships
  • To manage personal injury compensation

Inheritance Tax Planning

Put simply, tax planning means arranging your legal affairs in the most efficient way to minimise the tax burden which fall on your family when the time comes.

It is a very specialised area and can be a daunting prospect, which is why it’s vital to have a team of experienced professionals on your side.

Our friendly and approachable inheritance tax planning lawyers can advise you in all areas of financial planning, including the use of trusts, which can help lower the burden of inheritance tax and capital gains tax.

Private Wealth Inheritance Tax Planning

The Estate Administration Lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler regularly act for clients with business interests at home and abroad, including agricultural land owners, family businesses, entrepreneurs and estates, devising unique solutions to suit individual needs with the focus always on delivering the best service available.

We assist with a wide range of tax, asset protection and succession issues as well as anticipating and preventing family disputes, including:

  • Estate planning
  • Tax and legal issues on creating, implementing, overseeing and termination of trusts
  • Transfer of trusts and wealth businesses
  • Inheritance tax and procedures
  • Legal and tax implications for clients involved in commercial and residential real estate

Over many years, Lanyon Bowdler has built up a proud reputation of providing a service our clients can trust, and our firm is home to legal professionals in all areas of law.

LPA

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which appoints a person of trust to make decisions on your behalf, regarding property, financial or health affairs, at a time in the future when you may no longer be able to make those decisions yourself.

The specialist lawyers here at Lanyon Bowdler have a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding Lasting Power of Attorney law, and will be able to guide you through the process in a sensitive, caring manner.

Business LPA

An LPA for your business will ensure the people you have chosen to do so, can step in to deal with your affairs in the short or long term if you are suddenly and without warning struck down by something like a stroke, brain injury, Alzheimer’s, dementia or Parkinson’s.

There may be other occasions where an LPA will be of benefit - a short-term illness or injury where you may be physically incapable of attending an appointment or are abroad on holiday or business.

The specialist team at Lanyon Bowdler is ready to help and advise you on all aspects of drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney which will ensure the day-to-day business of your company can continue efficiently without you, should the worst happen

Court of Protection

If a relative or loved-one is no longer able to manage their affairs, and a power of attorney was not put in place beforehand, we can help you to make an application to the Court of Protection to obtain the permissions you need.

The Court of Protection can make decisions, and can appoint other people to make decisions, for those who lack the mental capacity to do so themselves. Principally these decisions involve health, financial affairs, property and personal welfare.

We pride ourselves on being one of the very few firms in the area with a department dedicated exclusively to working on Court of Protection cases for people with a degenerative condition, such as Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia, and those with a brain injury (acquired or not).

Our Court of Protection department manages approximately 55 deputyships and trusts with assets of approximately £100 million, putting it on a par with other nationally recognised Court of Protection practices.

Probate

Probate is just one part of the wider estate administration process.

Probate is the process of executing the Will according to those wishes. Probate involves organising the distribution of assets after paying debts and inheritance tax where necessary.

Understandably, the last thing people want to face at a time of bereavement is the complex and often frustrating matter of sorting out finances, property and possessions. 

This is why we offer a dedicated service to deal with the administration of the estate on your behalf undertaken by our experienced probate lawyers.

How Can Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors Help?

Personal, family and business affairs can be very complicated and challenging on a number of levels, so it’s important to seek advice from someone you can trust to ensure the best decisions and correct procedures are carried out at every step.

The dedicated Estate Administration team at Lanyon Bowdler has many years experience in this area of the law and can complete all relevant documents on your behalf, along with guiding you through what can be one of the most traumatic times in your life.

This can involve obtaining probate, collecting and encashing assets and paying liabilities, such as tax, allowing you time to devote to the people who really matter in these circumstances - family and close friends.

Get in Touch With Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors

Our team will be able to answer all your questions and guide you through what needs doing and when.

We will talk you through the process at each stage, in uncomplicated and jargon-free language, enabling you to reach the right conclusions and know that all aspects have been dealt with in the right way.

Please call or use the online contact form and a member of the team will get in touch directly.

Lanyon Bowdler have offices with expert teams of solicitors in Hereford, BromyardShrewsburyLudlowOswestryTelford, and Conwy in North Wales.

We are one of the most recognised law firms in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Mid and North Wales, Birmingham and the Midlands. We are able to offer a wide range of pricing options including fixed fees and service level guarantees.

As a leading national law firm, we regularly act for clients all over the UK on a wide range of estate administration issues. We can represent you wherever you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Testimonials

Despite Covid restrictions the 'can do' attitude of the company got the job done.

- Mr Eric Parry & Mrs Janet Parry, Wrexham

 Have always provided a very professional service. 

- Mr Richard Hartland Pinchin & Mrs Margaret Rose Pinchin, Ludlow

Helpful and courteous. Took time to explain complex issues.

- Mr J Barrett & Mrs W Barrett, Oswestry

The one to one connection with Mrs Julie Langford. Always very professional whilst extremely friendly, putting us at ease. 

- Mrs Maureen Angela Thomas, Telford

Sound advice, assuring responses, easy access to solicitor in charge.

- Mr Alan Brett, Hampshire

Prompt response, clear advice.

- Dr A Geeson & Dr N Geeson, Hereford

The team were easy to talk to and explained everything clearly

- Mr Price, Hereford

The advice given was thoughtful, detailed and very relevant to our personal circumstances. Simple and clear explanations of legal terms and language.

- Mr John Stuart Heighway & Mrs Karin Elisabeth Heighway, Shrewsbury