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Wills & Probate

Probate Solicitors

When someone dies, sorting out their estate can be confusing and intimidating, adding an extra source of stress at an already difficult time. Having the right legal support and advice can take the hard work out of dealing with a loved one’s estate, making things a little bit easier and allowing you to focus on dealing with the emotional impact of the situation.

Our South Wales probate lawyers have been helping individuals and families with all aspects of probate and inheritance law for more than 35 years. With our friendly, practical approach, we can make the probate process as fast, simple and stress-free as possible.

Whether you have been named as the Executor of a Will, need to get control of the estate of a loved one who did not leave a Will, or have concerns about how a loved one’s estate is being dealt with, our highly experienced probate solicitors can provide the expert advice and support you need.

Our probate team can help you obtain a grant of representation or letters of administration, close the deceased’s accounts, pay off any debts, transfer property, ensure all the appropriate taxes are paid and handle the distribution of the estate to all named beneficiaries. We can offer as little or as much support as you need, from advising you on your responsibilities to acting as professional Executors and handling the entire probate process from start to finish.

Speak to one of our expert probate solicitors in Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff by calling 01443 755189 or use the contact form at the top of the page to ask a question.

Our probate law services

Our probate solicitors can help you with all aspects of probate law and the probate process, including:

  • Obtaining grant of probate
  • Securing letters of administration
  • Disposal of property and other assets
  • Ensuring all debts are paid and accounts closed
  • Making sure inheritance tax and any other taxes are paid
  • Distribution of inheritances to beneficiaries
  • Acting as professional Executors
  • Dealing with inheritance disputes

Common questions about probate

How long does probate take?

How long probate takes will depend on various issues, including the complexity of the estate in question. However, typically probate for most estates will take around 6-9 months.

Is probate required if there is a Will?

You will almost always need to go through probate when someone dies whether they left a Will or not. Probate is required to ensure all debts owed by the deceased are paid, that their assets are correctly transferred to the right people and that any other legal or administrative issues are dealt with.

What happens if there is no Will?

If there is no Will, the deceased’s estate will usually be divided according to the rules of intestacy. You (or your solicitor) will need to apply for Letters of Administration, rather than a Grant of Probate to get control of the estate. This will then give you the legal right and responsibility for all aspects of administering the deceased’s estate.

How to apply for probate

If you are named as the Executor of a Will, you will need to apply for a grant of representation. If there is more than one named Executor (as is common) you will need to discuss who wishes to act as an Executor, which can either be one of you or there can be several Executors. If there is more than one Executor you will need to agree how to proceed.

How much does probate cost in UK?

This will depend on the value and complexity of the deceased’s estate and is something we can advise you about when you first contact our estate administration team. In some cases, we may be able to offer a fixed fee service, while in others we will agree a transparent fee structure so you are clear about the costs at all times

How much is inheritance tax in the UK?

In the UK, you will normally only pay inheritance tax on an estate worth over £325,000. However, there is normally no inheritance tax if you leave everything to your spouse or civil partner, a charity or an amateur community sports club.

If you pass your home to your children or grandchildren, your inheritance tax threshold will increase to £425,000. For those who are married or in a civil partnership, your inheritance tax exemption allowance can pass to your partner upon your death. This means the effective threshold for a surviving spouse or civil partner can be as high as £850,000.

Standard inheritance tax on any part of your estate in excess of the exemption threshold is 40%.

What assets are subject to probate?

All of the deceased’s assets will normally be subject to probate, including their home and any other properties they own, savings and investments, cars and other vehicles and personal belongings. Their pension and any insurance policies they hold will also need to be accounted for.

Is probate required between spouses?

If all of the deceased’s assets are jointly held with their spouse, then those assets will automatically pass to the surviving spouse and a grant of probate will likely not be required. However, if the deceased has assets that are solely in their name, probate will usually be required.

What happens if a beneficiary of a Will has died?

This will depend on who the beneficiary was and how the Will was written. If the intended beneficiary was a child or grandchild or the deceased, their inheritance can pass to any surviving child they had.

If the intended beneficiary was anyone other than a child or grandchild of the deceased, their entitlement cannot be passed to their children. Any gifts intended for them will remain part of the estate and be distributed with the other assets included in the Will.

However, if the Will specifies what should happen in the event that one of the beneficiaries dies, those instructions will take precedence.

What happens if there is a dispute over the inheritance?

Inheritance disputes can be time-consuming and expensive, as well as often being highly emotive. Wherever possible, we find it is best to resolve them without resorting to court action, through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) including negotiation and mediation.

In this way it is usually possible to quickly and cost-effectively resolve most inheritance disputes while ensuring everyone’s interests are protected.

Why choose Devonalds probate solicitors?

Our probate solicitors have been supporting people throughout the Rhondda Cynon Taff area and across South Wales with all aspects of inheritance for many years. We understand that this can be a difficult and confusing time, so aim to make the process of administering a loved one’s estate as simple and stress-free as possible.

Whether you are creating a Will and want the reassurance of naming professional Executors to ensure everything is handled correctly, or have been named as the Executor of a Will and need support with the probate process, we have the expertise and friendly, compassionate approach you need.

Our probate solicitors are accredited by the Law Society for Wills & Inheritance Quality in recognition of the high standards of our legal practice in this area and Devonalds is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) providing assurance that we meet the most rigorous legal and professional standards.

Get in touch with our probate solicitors in Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff and the surrounding area

If you need any help with any part of the probate process, contact your local Devonalds office at Bridgend, Caerphilly, Church VillagePontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy and Tylorstown to talk to one of our expert South Wales probate solicitors today.

You can call us on 01443 755189 or use the contact form at the top of the page to ask a question.