Most people understand that making a will is the right thing to do when considering the safety and wellbeing of your family and loved ones in the event of your death. A will ensures that their interests are looked after and your estate will be distributed as you wish it to be, and the will also removes a lot of stress and hassle at a time when they are grieving your loss.
But making a will in the first place is only part of the process, and if you have been named as an executor of a will, when that person dies a lot of responsibilities fall on you. People do try to save money by attempting to administer the distribution of an estate themselves, and when it is particularly straightforward, that might be possible if not necessarily advisable. However, there are a number of situations where you should definitely enlist the services of a wills and probate solicitor, and we have outlined three essential examples here:
When there are potential family disputes
Even the simplest estate can be difficult to administer and distribute if a family member opts to contest it and there is a dispute relating to the will. As the executor you are most likely aware of the potential for this kind of eventuality; maybe a split in the family has been evident for a number of years, or maybe a family member has verbally laid claim to something included in the estate in the past, unaware as to whether or not this is reflected in the actual will. It is also possible that a will includes instructions to a non-family member which a family member disputes, unaware of the strength of relationship the deceased had with this person. The structure and history of families can be troubled and complex and there are all manner of scenarios which can develop when the estate of a deceased is distributed. Hence, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a wills and probate solicitor in situations where you feel this might develop, because they will be able to advise on the correct and legal process to follow in each case, and also bring some professional authority to clear up these disputes.
When there is a complex estate
It is true that a relatively simple estate with only a couple of beneficiaries can be dealt with by most people who are organised, honest and thorough, but it is often the case that a will and an estate are knotty and complicated. If there are outstanding tax affairs to deal with, if there are debts to be repaid and if there is a long and convoluted string of assets involved, then a professional wills and probate solicitor will be better placed to decipher all this. You need to deal with much of this before even applying for probate, and then you may be faced with overseas assets, different investments and properties, as well as various bank accounts and personal belongings. Leaving this to an expert to deal with is far easier and will potentially save you a lot of money and distress.
When you are stressed and upset
People deal with grief in different ways and some may use the work involved in dealing with an estate as a welcome distraction in times of grief. In other cases it might be the very last thing you want to deal with. If you are upset and feeling the stress of the situation, then you need to delegate the wills and probate work to a specialist solicitor. This will ease the burden for you and lighten your workload in a time of great sadness, but it will also provide reassurance that you won’t miss anything important, that you will avoid problems with the estate in the future and that you might actually save a lot of money on inheritance tax and various fees. Having an expert administer the estate for you means the right calculations are made and all records are maintained in a full and accurate fashion.
Contact Ison Harrison – expert wills and probate solicitors
Ison Harrison have been entrusted with over 50,000 wills on behalf of our clients, and have advised countless clients on the administering of wills and probate, while carrying out the process itself with many others. Our specialist wills and probate solicitors are here to help, so contact our team today.