Wills and Probate

Probate is the legal process whereby a Will is proved in a court

This is accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, with the support of our dedicated team at Wainwright & Cummins LLP will try and make this process as smooth and simple as possible. We plan aim to use plan and simple English to get the best result for you, or a family member through what can be seen as a difficult yet necessary process.

How We Can Help You

We can explain the Probate and Estate Administration processes to you and provide free initial advice and guidance, which will help you to make important decisions about what to do next. We can take care of all the legal, tax (excluding VAT) and estate administration processes on your behalf, when you choose our Probate Complete Service. Our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.

Probate is required in England and Wales when:

  • Property (houses, buildings or land) is owned by the deceased.

  • A Grant of Representation is required by a bank or other financial institution with which the deceased held assets (This is normally if the amount in the account is over the specific threshold set by that institution).

  • Banks & other financial institutions set their own limit above which Probate will be required, so it's worth checking with the individual organisation as to whether or not they require a Grant of Representation.

  • Probate involves a lot of complicated legal and financial work, and can be broken down into different sections.

  • Identifying all of the deceased’s assets, for example: Property, Investments and possessions. At this stage we will also identify their liabilities, such as debts ranging from loans to utility bills, in order to determine the over all value of their Estate.

  • While simultaneously verifying entitlement to the Estate under the terms of the deceased’s last willing testament, or in accordance with the law governing Intestacy if they died without a Will, and obtaining the necessary identification documents for those beneficiaries.

  • Making Payment of Inheritance Tax to HMRC where applicable, also submitting the correct Inheritance Tax return, applying to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation, being a document confirming the legal authority to administer the estate.

  • Liquidating (selling) the deceased’s assets, settling their liabilities, paying the final estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any further Inheritance Tax, any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the estate.

  • Preparing estate accounts documenting all payments into and out of the Estate, and showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries. Sending the estate accounts to the Personal Representatives (such as the Executor in the Will) for approval.

  • Providing there are no challenges to the estate or other complicating factors preventing distribution at this stage, the final phase will involve transferring any assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain, and distributing the balance of the estate funds.

Dealing with Probate where there is No Will

If the deceased has passed without creating a will, we will still be able to assist you. When an adult person has died in England or Wales, their assets must be liquidated, this is known as Administering the Estate. However if someone dies without having a valid Will, this is known as dying Intestate. In this situation, and also if there are no beneficiaries stated in a valid Will, the people who benefit from the estate are determined by laws commonly referred to as the Rules of Intestacy.

Put simply, this means that if you die without a valid Will, the law will determine who should receive everything you own, from your bank accounts to your pets.

These rules can be harsh, as they often don’t allow for modern family relationships. They only recognise the “next-of-kin” as those people entitled to administer and receive the estate, so in many no Will Probate cases unmarried couples, unregistered partners, step children, step brothers and sisters will not inherit anything at all.

Being the Executor of a Will is a great responsibility. We can help!

We can tailor our services to suit your requirements, from advice on administering an estate, to helping with some of the practicalities, for example, obtaining the Grant of Probate, or acting as your Executors and dealing with the entire administration.

Please call 020 7095 5700 or email probate@wainwrightcummins.co.uk and let us know how we can help.


For further information or to speak to one of our experts please contact us.