What happens when you or a member of your family dies?

This will depend on whether they made a valid Will.

If they have made a Will they will have appointed an Executor, and this is the person who must obtain a valuation of the assets and liabilities of the Estate.

They must calculate any Inheritance tax that will need to be paid.

They will need to prepare papers to be sent to the Inland Revenue and Probate office, and then obtain a Grant of Probate.

It is then their duty to collect in the assets, ensure all tax has been paid and then distribute the Estate in accordance with the Will.

If there is no Will, it is more complicated and depends which relatives have survived the person who has died. There is a strict order in which relations are entitled to share in the Estate starting of course with the surviving spouse, then children and then remoter issue. As there is no Will, no Executor has been named. Therefore a person is appointed as Administrator to deal with the Estate, and again there is a strict order laid down as to who is entitled to do this.

Our Private Client department is very experienced in dealing with both these circumstances, and in assisting relatives at what is a very difficult time.