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Probate Solicitors

Probate Solicitors in Essex

At F Barnes, we understand that losing a loved one is likely to be one of the hardest times of your life. That’s why our probate solicitors in Essex are committed to offering a well-organised, professional and sensitive service, that makes your life easier during a difficult period.

Applying for a Grant of Probate, or a Grant of Letters of Administration where no Will has been left, can be a daunting responsibility, which is why our team are here to advise on all aspects of the process. With our support, you can be confident that you have all the information you need to carry out your role as an Executor or Administrator.

We recognise that you will likely need reassurance for any concerns that you may have. We are real people who pride themselves in providing you with the service you require, whatever that may be.

Our probate solicitors can provide support on:

  • Applying for a Grant of Probate
  • Handling intestacy and Letters of Administration
  • Estate administration

Contact our probate solicitors in Essex

You can contact our probate and estate administration solicitors during our office hours of 9am-5pm at your local branch in Romford, Gidea Park or Collier Row by giving us a call on:

Alternatively, contact us at any hour of the day by filling in our online enquiry form, and we will call you back.

Our probate services

Applying for a Grant of Probate

If a person dies with more than £5,000 in bank accounts and/or owns property, it is very likely that the Executor will be required to obtain a Grant of Probate in order to administer the deceased’s estate. This will usually include taking actions such as selling property and following and making the bequests set out in the Will.

Our probate solicitors in Essex can advise you on every step involved in applying for probate, including assessing the extent and value of the estate and what documentation will need to be submitted to HMRC. With our team’s support, you can be certain that any probate applications you need to make will be as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

Handling intestacy and Letters of Administration

If a loved one has died without leaving behind a valid Will, you will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. If approved, this would see you appointed as an Administrator.

We can guide you through this process and help with all of the practical issues involved in administering the estate.

Estate administration

The administration of an estate can be complex, with plenty of important details and paperwork to stay on top of – many of which can be difficult to handle for Executors or Administrators who are inexperienced in the role. We can advise you on your obligations when administering an estate, ensuring that you understand exactly what steps you need to take.

Why work with our probate solicitors in Essex?

At F Barnes, we have a highly experienced team who can assist you with every aspect of the probate process, reducing the administrative burden and intervening where you need guidance on a specific issue.

Our solicitors always provide straightforward advice that accounts for the whole picture. We are distinguished by our friendly and approachable manner, reasonable fees and commitment to exceeding client expectations. Our reviews speak for themselves.

We provide a first-class personal service with one person dealing with the probate throughout. When you work with our team, you will only have one contact who you will be able to build a strong relationship with and who will be on hand to answer any questions you might have.

We are proud to hold the Lexcel Accreditation, issued by the Law Society. This involves the firm undergoing a rigorous audit process which ensures we maintain high levels of client care.

Sangeet Tatem is a solicitor that is STEP affiliated (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). Members of STEP are recognised as experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience. By joining STEP and maintaining their membership members have also shown significant commitment to their continued professional development in this specialist area and are subject to an extensive Code of Professional Conduct, requiring them to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of their clients and of the wider community.

Liam Gough is a member of the Association of Lifetime Lawyers (formerly known as Solicitors for the Elderly). He also sits as a Judge with the Court of Protection.

Frequently asked questions about probate

What steps are involved in obtaining probate?

There are five main stages to the process of applying for probate, these being:

  1. Make an appointment with the team at F Barnes, who will ask you to bring death certificates, pension, bank account, property deeds and the Will of the deceased so they can assess the extent of the estate and advise you on what documentation needs to be submitted to HMRC. Your legal advisor will also be able to advise you at this stage if any Inheritance Tax is likely to be payable.
  2. F Barnes will then notify all interested parties and ask them to verify the sums which are held by the deceased. Once all parties have verified the sums held in accounts, and shareholdings etc, your solicitor will draw up the documentation to be submitted to the Probate Registry.
  3. F Barnes will then invite the Executor to approve the figures and sign the documentation. The documentation will vary depending on the size of the estate but will usually comprise of a HMRC form detailing the assets and liabilities in the estate and an Oath which the solicitor will prepare and ask the Executor to take to an independent solicitor to be sworn. The solicitor acting on the Probate cannot swear the Oath as the party must be independent, but they will advise you on the process and answer any questions you may have.
  4. Once the forms have been signed, they will be submitted to the Probate Registry. The Probate Registry will take between 2-3 weeks to process the application.
  5. The Grant of Probate is issued. This will allow you to close down bank accounts, sell or transfer property, pay debts/expenses and administer the funds in accordance with the deceased’s Will.

What issues need to be considered when applying for probate?

There are many practical issues to manage when someone dies which are the legal responsibility of the personal representatives.

  • Whether there is a Will or not, we can help with applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and ensure this is done in a timely fashion.
  • Inform all relevant persons and organisations - Banks, Life Assurance Companies, Employers, Local Authorities, Inland Revenue, etc.
  • Deal with HMRC once we have established whether and Inheritance Tax is payable or if any income Tax is due to be rebated to the estate.
  • We can arrange to sell the deceased’s house, arrange specialist insurance whilst the building may be empty and deal with conveyancing issues on your behalf.
  • Prepare Estate Accounts showing who has received what.

How long does probate take?

The typical probate timeline is likely to vary from case to case. Generally, if there is no Inheritance Tax to pay, the entire probate process takes around 9 to 12 months.

That said, there are no time limits on probate, which means that it could take longer if Inheritance Tax needs to be paid, or there are other issues that need to be resolved.

How much does probate cost?

Our fees for obtaining a grant and the administration of estates vary according to the value of the estate. Where possible, we offer fixed fees for handling these issues, all of which are set out on our probate pricing page.

What happens if probate is contested?

Emotions often run high after a loved one dies which, in some cases, can lead to a dispute arising. Resolving probate and estate administration disputes is something our solicitors have specialist expertise in, representing clients, Executors and Administrators on a range of disputes. Visit our contentious probate page for further information.

Contact our probate solicitors in Essex

You can contact our probate and estate administration solicitors during our office hours of 9am-5pm at your local branch in Romford, Gidea Park or Collier Row by giving us a call on:

Alternatively, contact us at any hour of the day by filling in our online enquiry form, and we will call you back.