Aside from helping a client to draw up a Last Will and Testament, there are other roles a Will & Probate solicitor would undertake, and in a specialised field such as this, the Will & Probate lawyer would be experienced in all aspects of their profession. If you would like to know more about the responsibilities and services3 this type of legal expert undertakes, here is a brief explanation.
- Making a Will – Every adult should make a Will, as it ensures that their estate is distributed according to their wishes, should they die for any reason. The actual wording of a Will must be clear and concise, and it is advisable to consult an experienced probate solicitor when making a Will. There are experienced Will and probate lawyers in London who can help you to draft the legal document, and can also advise you on matters like inheritance tax and setting up a Trust.
- Estate Distribution – In the event a person dies and did not make a Will, their estate falls under the Rules of Intestacy, and family members would require the services of a probate lawyer to fully understand how the estate is divided. In the event of a death, the family must deal with many things, such as seeking a grant of probate, the transfer of property, or even tracing missing relatives. All of these can be handled by a solicitor, which is the preferred way to do things, and often, the family member is already stressed over the bereavement, and is just not able to deal with complicated forms.
- Family Disputes – Will and estate disputes are common and there are a number of ways this might come about. A family member, for example, might feel that the deceased person was unfairly influenced at the time of making their Will, or perhaps that the person was did not have the mental capacity when they made the Will, and in such cases, the family member would seek the advice of an experienced probate lawyer. One of the major causes of a family dispute occurs because the deceased person did not make a Will, and a family member is unhappy with the Rules of Intestacy, which would ultimately decide how the estate is divided, and therefore has an estate dispute.
- Forming a Trust – The main function of a Trust is to ensure that the estate is used to provide for a particular person or persons. Should a person die and their child was not yet 18 years old, then the estate would be put into a Trust, which would be administered by the executor of the Will, until that person reaches the age of 18. Setting up a Trust can be complicated, and a probate lawyer would help the person to create a Trust that achieves their objectives, and with tax implications, the lawyer would know the most beneficial way to go about setting up the Trust.
With all of the above services offered, a Will & Probate lawyer must be very knowledgeable and with a few years of experience, can ensure that the client’s wishes are at the forefront of the proceedings.