Probate and Administration of Estates

Our team of specialist solicitors ensure that the Probate and estate of a deceased person is dealt with correctly and quickly. We understand that this is a sensitive time for a family, so we act with sympathy and understanding to ensure that you get closure in difficult circumstances.

Stirling Ackroyd Legal's expert lawyers will deal with the administration and distribution of an estate for you. Our valuable experience means that however complex an estate is, we will handle it efficiently and in a timely manner. We also provide advice on the tax issues that are relevant when someone passes that maybe relevant to your matter.

Here are just some of the details that we can advise on:

  • Who to notify of the death
  • If there is a Will, whether Probate must be obtained
  • What the executor must do
  • What to do if there is no Will
  • Obtaining details of the assets
  • Dealing with the Inland Revenue
  • Inheritance Tax payment
  • Inheritance Tax reduction
  • Finding and contacting Beneficiaries to an estate
  • Claiming Expenses
  • Distributing the assets to an estate
  • Paying off the Debts and Liabilities of an estate
"The Probate department at Stirling Ackroyd Legal were very sympathetic and helpful during a tough time for our family after my mother's passing. I have no hesitation in recommending Stirling Ackroyd Legal's probate services". – Simon Tanner, Client, July 2017

“The Probate department at Stirling Ackroyd Legal were very sympathetic and helpful during a tough time for our family after my mother’s passing. I have no hesitation in recommending Stirling Ackroyd Legal’s probate services”. – Simon Tanner, Client, July 2017

Estate Planning is not just for the wealthy. Many people equate estate planning with high net-worth tax planning. In fact, there are practical steps anyone can take to reduce their Inheritance Tax Liability using our estate planning, legal advice. Furthermore, Estate Planning encompasses much more than just taxes.

Typical Existing Planning

Where there is no Will, or couples have only a basic Will/Mirror Will in place, your assets are vulnerable to the following risks:

Care Costs

Following first death and the surviving spouse/ partner requiring care, then the whole estate including the family home would be assessed to pay for the cost of that Care.

Creditors

If your children / chosen Beneficiaries are subject to Divorce proceedings, then half of what you intended them to receive is at risk of Divorce settlements.

Marriage After Death

On first death all the assets are solely owned by the surviving spouse/partner. What if the surviving spouse/ partner marries? The inherited estate could be lost to the spouse, disinheriting your children.

Bankruptcy

If the surviving spouse/ partner were to be subject to Creditor Claims/ Bankruptcy, then the inherited estate is fully at risk.

On death of the second partner there are further risks to the estate you wished your love ones to benefit from:

Divorce

If your children/ chosen beneficiaries are subject to Divorce proceedings, then half of what you intended them to receive is at risk of Divorce settlements.

Their own future Care Cost

If the inheritance has been passed to your chosen Beneficiaries, these assets could later be assessed for their own Care Costs.

Generational Inheritance Tax (IHT)

On second death the remaining estate is likely to be directed by the Will to the Beneficiaries. This then adds to the Beneficiaries’ estate and could impact on their own Inheritance Tax.

Creditors or Bankruptcy

Similarly, if any of your Beneficiaries are subject to Creditor Claims/ Bankruptcy then the inherited estate is fully at risk.

Sever the tenancy on the family home to be held as Tenants in Common

On first death, the Deceased’s share of the property is passed into their Discretionary Trust via the Will. The surviving spouse/ partner continues to live in the property and is still able to move home if they choose to do so. If the survivor enters care home, the survivor only owns a half share of a house.

The beneficiaries have access to the trust funds, but we ensure that these assets do not enter their estate and so are protected from attack by the following:

Care

Holding the assets in the trust ensures that they do not add onto the Beneficiaries’ own estate and so cannot be assessed for their Care costs.

Creditors and Bankruptcy

Similarly, if any of your Beneficiaries are subject to Creditor Claims/ Bankruptcy then their inheritance would not be exposed to these claims.

Further or Generational IHT

Holding the assets in the Trust ensures that they do not add to the Beneficiaries’ estate and impact on their own Inheritance Tax.

Marriage After Death

Placing half of the family home and other assets into a Trust on first death ensures that, should the surviving spouse/ partner marry in the future, those assets cannot be taken into the marriage and removes the threat of your own children being disinherited. The survivor is still able to use the assets in the Trust.

Divorce

Placing the assets into Trust ensures that, if your children/ chosen Beneficiaries are subject to Divorce proceedings then what you intended them to receive is protected from any Divorce settlements.

Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB)

Our trust ensures that if there are lineal descendants as beneficiaries, the trust will still qualify for the RNRB.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to use multiple trusts, as there are various options open to trustees following the death of a settlor to try and reduce the occurrence of periodic and exit charges in some cases. Multiple trusts can also increase flexibility and autonomy, as it enables the beneficiaries to have and be in control of their ‘own trusts’.

Proper estate planning can protect your children from creditors and litigation. If your children inherit your property through intestacy or if you leave property to them outright, that property is vulnerable to their creditors. It’s treated just like your children’s other property and earnings, and it can be lost to creditors, litigation, and divorce. The solution is to leave assets to them in a trust, giving them protection over the assets.

Death Planning Solutions for:

  • Married Couples/Civil Partners
  • Where the Estate is valued at more than the Nil Rate Band (NRB)

Where there is no Will, or couples have only a basic Will/Mirror Will in place, your assets are exposed to the following risks:

Care Costs

Following the death of the first partner, should the surviving spouse need Care then the whole estate including the family home would be assessed to pay for the cost of that Care.

Creditors or Bankruptcy

If the surviving spouse were to be subject to Creditor Claims/ Bankruptcy, then the inherited estate is fully at risk.

Marriage after Death

On first death all the assets are then solely owned by the surviving spouse. What if the surviving spouse re-marries? The inherited estate could be lost to the new spouse, disinheriting your children.

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

Inheritance Tax would be payable on any amount in excess of the couple’s Nil Rate Bands (NRB).

Divorce

Inheritance Tax would be payable on any amount more than the couple’s Nil Rate Bands (NRB).

Creditors or Bankruptcy

Similarly, if any of your Beneficiaries are subject to Creditor Claims/ Bankruptcy then the inherited estate is fully at risk.

Their own future Care Costs

If the Inheritance has been passed to your chosen Beneficiaries, these assets could later be assessed for their own Care Costs.

Generational IHT

On the death of the second partner, the remaining estate is likely to be directed by the Will to the Beneficiaries. This adds to the Beneficiaries’ estate and could impact their own inheritance Tax.

Sever the tenancy of the family home to be held as 'Tenants in Common'

On death, the deceased’s assets, including their share of the property, is passed into their Discretionary Trust and Interest in Possession (IPP) Trust via the Will. On the death of the first partner, the surviving spouse continues to live in the property and is able to move if they wish. In the event the surviving spouse or partner should enter care, they only own half a house.

The beneficiaries have access to the trust fund but we ensure that these assets do no enter their estate and are protected from the following:

Care

Holding the assets in a Trust ensures that they do not add onto the Beneficiaries’ own estate and so cannot be assessed for their Care costs.

Creditors or Bankruptcy

If any of your beneficiaries are subject to Creditor Claims/ Bankruptcy then their inheritance would not be exposed to these claims.

Further or Generational IHT

Holding the assets in the Trust ensures that they do not add to the Beneficiaries’ estate and impact on their own Inheritance Tax.

Marriage after Death

Placing half of the family home and other assets into a Trust on the death of the first spouse will mean that should the surviving partner marry in the future, then those assets cannot be taken into the marriage and removes the threat of your own children being disinherited. The survivor is still able to use the assets in the Trust.

Divorce

Placing the asserts into a Trust ensures that, if your children/ chosen Beneficiaries are subject to Divorce proceedings then what you intended them to receive is protected from any Divorce settlements.

Residence Nil Rate Band

Our trust ensures that if there are lineal descendants as beneficiaries, the trust will still qualify for the RNRB.

Sooner is better when it comes to estate planning. No matter what your stage of life, the time to create an estate plan is now. Making a plan when you’re healthy and without an emergency looming, gives you time to explore all your options and make calm, rational choices. Plus, if you wait too long, you might miss the opportunity to plan at all.