Probate and the Administration of estates
One of the most important gifts you can leave after you die is the gift of clear instructions.
Clear instructions on who is to be appointed as Executor to administer your estate. That includes putting a value on any assets, including bank accounts, in the name of the deceased at the date of death. It includes applying to the High Court with an account of the Deceased’s assets and liabilities and obtaining permission to affect the wishes of the deceased, such as transferring the family home to a nominated beneficiary.
Clear instructions on who will be appointed as Testamentary Guardian to look after any dependent children until they reach 18 years of age.
Clear instructions on how any assets belonging to the deceased are to be distributed. Are they to be put in a Trust to be held until your minor children turn 18 years, or are they to be given to a spouse if held in one name only?
We can advise on all aspects of making a Will. We will advise on the current taxation regime and possible Inheritance tax implications in place at the time of making the Will. We will advise clients to be aware of possible future changes to the Inheritance tax rates and to come back to update their will as necessary.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA):
Have you ever considered what would happen to your assets if you no longer had full control of your mind and were unable to look after your own affairs?
Have you ever considered how any monies held in an account in your sole name could be trapped if you could not access them personally?
Have you ever considered how you would make financial and personal care decisions if you were suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s?
These are all daunting prospects and the reality is, if you and your family ever find yourself in this position, you will want to focus on your loved ones health and well-being and not get caught up in bureaucratic red tape.
That is where an Enduring Power of Attorney can provide solace. By considering the unlikely future event of a decline into Dementia or Alzheimers, you can put in place a document now in which you appoint someone known as your Attorney (s) who will become legally responsible, upon registration in the High Court, for your financial and personal care decisions at a future date if and only if you are no longer able to manage your own affairs.
The Attorney can only act following the registration of the EPA in the High Court and if you never lose your ability to manage your own affairs, the document stays in your Solicitors safe unregistered.
We can advise on all aspects from the creation of an Enduring Power of Attorney, to the very stringent High Court requirements on an application for registration.
If you are interested in discussing the creation of an Enduring Power of attorney please contact the office.
Administration of estates:
The Administration of an estate is the legal process of dealing with the estate of a deceased person, ensuring that all assets are identified and distributed according to the terms of the deceased’s Last Will and Testament, or according to the rules set out in the Succession Act 1965.
Often you hear of people disheartened by the length of time it takes a Solicitor or Executor to deal with the estate of a deceased loved one. Or you hear stories where Executors and beneficiaries have no idea what is involved in the extraction of a Grant of Probate. Oonagh is keen to ensure all parties are advised of the reasonable time frame to extract the appropriate Grant from the Probate office of the High Court, whilst at all times ensuring that all assets of the Deceased are identified and distributed following the issue of the Grant from the High Court office.
The most common forms of grants are as follows:
- A Grant of Probate where a deceased has made a will and appointed Executors. The estate is distributed according to the directions in the Will.
- A Grant of Administration where a deceased did not make a will prior to death. We will advise the family of which member(s) of the deceased’s family are entitled to apply for a Grant of administration.
We will also advise who will inherit the estate of the deceased according to the rules set down in the Succession Act 1965.
The fees payable on the Administration of estates fall into two distinct categories.
The first is the Solicitors fee for all work involved in the administration of the estate, including helping the Executor locate all property and bank accounts etc. The solicitor will advise on the need to obtain independent auctioneers’ valuation for any property held. Once all of the assets have been identified the Solicitor will provide detailed guidance to the Executor of their rights and responsibilities in acting as Executor. The Solicitor will assist in the preparation of the application form and all associated documentation to apply for a Grant of Probate/ Administration to the High Court. The solicitor will deal with all queries raised by the Probate Office with the assistance of the Executor. Following the issue of the Grant of Probate/ Administration, the Solicitor will collect in all liquid assets into their office and prepare a Statement of Account detailing all assets held. The solicitor will then distribute the estate in accordance with the Will/ Rules of Succession. The Solicitor will assist in vesting any property held into the legal ownership of the relevant beneficiary. Finally, the Solicitor will prepare an Estate account showing the distribution of all assets and close their file and account.
The second fees payable are Third Party outlay and include, but not limited to,:
- Stamp Duty on the application to the High Court. The amount of Stamp Duty payable is dependent on the value of the estate.
- Commissioners fees payable on the swearing of the application documentation.
- Valuation fees payable on the valuation of property.
Moylan and Co will provide an estimate of the Solicitors professional fees and third party outlay at the outset of each transaction where possible. In the most unusual situation where it is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of the Solicitors professional fee and third-party outlay, Moylan and Co will provide information on how the fee will be calculated and regular Interim Billing.