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0800 988 7756
When somebody close to us dies it can be a very stressful time. Our probate specialists work with you to ease the burden and provide expert guidance.
For a free initial discussion with our probate solicitors in Leeds or London, call us on 0800 988 7756 or book an appointment below.
How can we help?
Complete our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.
How can our Probate solicitors help you?
We offer an entirely bespoke service and can provide as much advice and assistance as you would like. In some cases, you may like us to apply for the grant of probate only, which we will do for a fixed fee. We can also help in cases where there is no will. In other cases, however, you may require more assistance. We can help with matters including:
- Registering the death
- Explaining the will or advising on intestacy if the deceased did not leave a will
- Assisting the executors in establishing the value of the estate
- Calculating the Inheritance Tax
- Applying for the grant of probate at the Probate Registry
- Collecting the estate’s assets and paying any debts
- Distributing the estate to beneficiaries
- Carrying out missing asset searches
- Placing notices that can protect you against unknown creditors
- Obtaining insurance to cover you against any errors made when distributing the estate
- Checking to ensure that the beneficiaries are not bankrupt.
Dealing with an estate where there is no will
When someone dies without leaving a valid will (known as intestate), there can be confusion as to what happens next and how the estate should be dealt with. In these cases, the Intestacy Rules apply, which set out how the estate should be split. We will guide you through the process, working out exactly who will inherit what. Our services include:
- Obtaining letters of administration
- Dealing with any Inheritance Tax liability
- Distributing any assets
- Family tree verification and insurance.
- Find out what would happen if you died without a will by taking our quick quiz.
Why choose our probate solicitors?
Our team is made up of specialist probate solicitors with many years of experience. The department is headed by Andrew Milburn who is a member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly. Additionally, all of our solicitors are Dementia Friends.
Our Wills, Probate and Estate Planning team have been recognised nationally as experts in their field. We were awarded Highly Commended in the Private Client Team of the Year – Wills and Probate in the Modern Law Private Client Awards 2023. And we were delighted to have won the prestigious Private Client Team of the Year – Boutique at the British Wills and Probate Awards 2023.
Our probate lawyers are knowledgeable, experienced, and sympathetic. We will work to take the burden and stress off the family. When providing advice on probate our solicitors will remain sensitive and sympathetic, whilst tailoring our support to your needs and preferences as far as possible.
Here for you, wherever you are
We have offices in Leeds, Leeds North (Moortown) and London. However, we can assist you with probate and administering estates wherever you are. We can have meetings with you by telephone or video call.
We understand that you will want to know how much everything will cost. We are proud to offer transparent and fair pricing and will offer a fixed fee for our estate administration where possible.
Weekend and Evening appointments
We know life is busy, so to make life easier for you, we offer out of hours appointments to our probate clients. You can meet with us until 8pm on a Wednesday.
Book an appointment online or call us today on 0800 988 7756 for a FREE initial discussion with our specialist probate and estates administration team. Our telephone lines are open 8.30am – 9pm, seven days a week.
It is normal to have lots of questions about probate and estate administration. We have answered some Frequently Asked Questions to help get you started.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process of dealing with (administering) the estate of someone who has died. This commonly means obtaining a grant of representation (grant of probate when there is a will or letters of administration when there isn’t).
The probate process involves collecting in any assets (for example, property and bank accounts); paying any debts; distributing the assets in accordance with the will or intestacy rules and paying any Inheritance Tax.
Who deals with probate?
The process of probate is typically dealt with by a legal professional commonly known as a probate solicitor. Probate solicitors have expertise in estate administration and possess the skills and experience needed to help guide their clients through the complexities of the probate process.
Probate lawyers provide many services. For example, helping the executor or administrator of the estate to fulfil their legal responsibilities, including valuing assets, paying off any outstanding debts, distributing inheritance to the beneficiaries as well as handling any tax obligations.
With an extensive wealth of knowledge and experience, our solicitors are here to give you peace of mind during what is likely a relatively distressing time, allowing you to focus on paying your respects and spending time with your loved ones.
Does every will have to go to probate?
Typically, the probate process is necessary when the estate includes larger assets such as property, significant financial accounts, or shares. Every bank and financial institution will have their own limit and their own approach towards the probate process.
Some financial institutions have a threshold for probate of £5,000, while others have raised it to £50,000. If the estate is relatively small or consists of mainly jointly owned assets that should pass to the surviving owner automatically, probate may not be needed.
Even if probate is not required, it is always recommended to seek expert legal advice to make sure that all the legal requirements have been met and that any potential pitfalls can be mitigated.
If you have any questions about the probate processes, our probate lawyers will be happy to address these promptly.
Where can I find a copy of the will?
The first place to look would be with the deceased’s belongings (e.g. in a drawer with other paperwork, or a filing cabinet). Alternatively, their solicitor, bank or will storage company may have a copy.
If a will can’t be found, we can arrange for searches to be carried out of local firms of solicitors and obtain insurance quotes to protect you in case a will turns up at a later date.
What happens if the person has not made a will?
When someone dies without leaving a valid will (known as intestate), there can be confusion as to what happens next and how the estate should be dealt with.
In these cases, the Intestacy Rules apply, which set out how the estate should be split. If your loved one has died without leaving a will, our solicitors can provide guidance on how these rules work, along with any legal support you may require.
What is the process for administering an estate?
The process that you will need to go through to obtain probate and administer the estate will depend on whether there is a will, and how complicated the estate is.
We recommend that you instruct a probate specialist if are responsible for administering someone’s estate. The general process of estate administration covers the following steps:
- Determining who is responsible for administering the estate – the executor where there is a will, or an appropriate next of kin where there is no will
- The administrator or executor has the task of valuing the estate, including all of the assets and debts
- The administrator or executor will need to apply for Letters of Administration or a Grant of Probate, providing them with the legal power to begin estate administration
- Next, they will need to pay any outstanding Inheritance Tax on the estate, and distribute the estate between the beneficiaries as well as settling any debts with creditors.
Do I need a solicitor to obtain probate?
The short answer is no, when obtaining probate, you do not necessarily need a solicitor. Many people deal with probate for smaller, straightforward estates without instructing a solicitor.
However, a solicitor will be able to guide you through the process and take some of the stress off your shoulders. At Levi Solicitors, our probate solicitors will deal with as much or as little of the process as you would like. From obtaining the grant only, to arranging valuations, collecting in and distributing the assets.
The will names me as an executor. What do I need to do?
Firstly, you will need to decide whether you want to act as executor or not. Once you start to act as an executor, you usually can’t go back on this decision. So making the right choice at the outset is vital. We would advise seeking some legal advice as early as possible.
If you choose to act as an executor you will need to apply for a Grant of Probate, and administer the person’s estate as per the instructions in their will. Our solicitors can guide you through this process – we have much experience assisting executors who are dealing with probate.
What Our Clients Say
Mrs B, Leeds
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you wholeheartedly for everything you have done for us as a family to conclude this case in such sad circumstances. You have been an utter professional to deal with and wouldn't hesitate to recommend you to anyone! A big thank you also to Julie and your team, as they are the ones who support you daily in doing such an amazing job!"
Mr I, Leeds
"Following the usual experiences moving home where we were helped enormously by Nicola at Levis we decided our Wills needed rewriting and contacted Andrew. Again the service provided was very comfortable and efficient and very quickly the whole process was completed very much to our satisfaction. Thank you both for all your help."
Mr G, Leeds
"We had instructed Andrew Milburn to help us to sort out two new Wills as well as taking over our Will from another firm of Solicitors. Andrew also helped us to sort out a Power of Attorney. We found his attention to detail very comprehensive and he was approachable at all times to discuss anything we needed clarification on. His secretary Julie was also extremely approachable. His fees were very reasonable and in all honesty, we would definitely instruct Andrew again and would not hesitate to recommend him to others."
Mrs H, Leeds
"I have really appreciated the excellent level of service. Andrew was highly professional but at the same time helpful and friendly. I felt he was good at balancing a personal approach with the need to get matters completed in a reasonable time."
Mr & Mrs B, Bradford
"Brilliant service! My wife and I were keen to update/re do our wills, having spoken to Andrew Milburn with our ideas he came up with additional ideas that we could incorporate for complete peace of mind. The costings were clear, fair and in my opinion reasonable for the quality of will construction that we received. We were updated regularly on progress right through to completion. I would certainly recommend Levi Solicitors based on our experiences."
Mr H, Leeds
"Very professional with a great team always available to run through questions and very good service."
Mr R, Leeds
"Throughout the process their communication was excellent and were very proactive with the objective to complete the documents."