Probate & Administration of Estates

Speak to an expert probate solicitor for free today on 01271 343457.

When a loved one dies it is often difficult to know where to turn for advice. Sorting out someone's estate by yourself, also called going through probate, can be very daunting.

Samuels Solicitors have been established probate solicitors in Barnstaple, North Devon, for over 25 years. We have been helping clients throughout North Devon, Torridge and beyond, by providing expert assistance when they need it most.

We are happy offer a free initial ‘no obligation’ chat to explain what is involved in administering an estate and the first steps that you need to take.

What is "probate"?

The legal process for dealing with the estate of a person who has died is known as “probate”. The probate process differs depending on whether the deceased person left a will or whether he or she died without one.

If there is a will then the executors named in that will are responsible for administering the estate.

What if someone dies without a will?

If there is no will then the person(s) entitled to administer the estate is determined in accordance with a legal order of priority. The Intestacy Rules will apply to this situation.

The Intestacy Rules change every so often, and so it is very important that you have good, up to date, legal advice if a loved on has died without leaving a will. The longer you leave it, the more likely it is that damaging disputes between family members can start, and the more difficult it can be to sort out someone's estate after they have died. 

What needs to be done after someone dies?

The "estate" is the name give to the property and other belongings, including any cash in the bank, owned by the person who has died.

Dealing with an estate can prove time consuming and complex. The assets and liabilities of the estate need to be ascertained and valued and sometimes expert assistance is needed to do this.

There may be inheritance tax to pay and sometimes it is necessary to set up a trust, whether this is for a young or vulnerable person or for beneficiaries named in a trust created by will.

What is an executor?

An "executor" is the person named in a will, (and can be a friend, family member, or a solicitor - or a combination of these), whose job it is to sort out the estate of the deceased person. 

How we can help you

At Samuels Solicitors, we act as both professional executors (appointed by the person who has died, in their will) and on behalf of other executors appointed in a will (or persons entitled to administer an estate where there is no will). This can take the stress and worry away from the executors and other family members so that they can grieve in their own way. 

We pride ourselves on administering estates quickly and efficiently and we recognise how it is often very important for a deceased person’s loved ones to close this chapter of their lives.

If you need a probate solicitor in North Devon, or if you just want to discuss sorting out the affairs of someone who has died, we can help.

Abbie Kingdon's team has a highly ethical approach to the fees charged for the administration of estates and unlike some firms, we will never take a percentage of the deceased's estate as payment. We will only ever charge for the work which has been done. 

Contact us for more information. 

Latest Probate & Administration of Estates News
  • There have been significant delays in grants of probate, but has this now been sorted out?
  • There can be different reasons why you might want to stop a grant of probate being issued, and the procedure is fairly complex. Read more here.
  • Executors of a will have an important role to fulfill - do you understand what you have to do as an executor?
  • Executors don't always get on - if you need to remove a difficult executor, find out how we can help.
  • The much criticised fee increase proposed by Theresa May's government has finally been scrapped for good, to the relief of legal practitioners
  • The are new regulations in force which executors or administrators of estates need to be aware of.