When you are bereaved, it can be a distressing and emotional time for you and your family. Losing someone you love can be heartbreaking and the thought of dealing with their estate may well be far from your mind. However, if you have been named as a Personal Representative of a person’s estate, there are legal obligations placed upon you and you must fulfil the duties of the role that you have been assigned. Having a probate solicitor Emsworth who can ease the pressure placed upon you from the legal aspect can really help to alleviate the stress that this rather lengthy process can incur.
What does a personal representative do?
When a person dies, there are various affairs that need to be put in order. A Personal Representative is responsible for ensuring that this happens. To do so, you will need to obtain a grant in most cases and a solicitor will be able to advise whether or not you need to get one.
After you have the grant if it was required, you then need to collate the financial documentation for the person who has died. A solicitor will be able to help collect this information. You will also be required to send copies of the death certificate to any organisations who hold money that the person had. Again, a solicitor will be able to do this for you. The solicitor can also help to settle any debts owed by the estate or to the estate and pay any taxes that may be due. They can also organise probate or letters of administration to enable them to collect money owed to the estate from banks, insurance companies, pension funds and so forth. Once the estate has settled such issues as taxes, the remaining money may then be split between people named in the will or by following intestacy rules, where a will wasn’t left. Again, a solicitor will be able to conduct this and take the pressure off you as the Personal Representative.
What happens if there isn’t a will?
Intestacy rules apply to a widow or other close relatives. Partners who were separated informally can still inherit. Cohabiting partners do not have legal rights to inherit a person’s estate. Surviving children, grandchildren or great grandchildren can also inherit. So, if a partner exists alongside children or (great) grandchildren, they will get the first £270,000 of the estate, along with any personal belongings and personal property. They then get half of the remaining estate. After this, the offspring are entitled to have an equal share of what is left. A probate solicitor will be able to explain what will happen under intestacy rules for your specific circumstances.
Making a will
Many people believe that making a will is something that can be done tomorrow, but it is important to make a legally binding will to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you have passed, so that intestacy rules don’t come into force. You then have the ability to divide your estate as you see fit. A probate solicitor can produce a will for you that will be there to help the Personal Representative of your estate.
If you think you may need the support of a probate solicitor in Emsworth, why not find one and let them take the weight off your shoulders?