Probate Solicitors

Probate Solicitors London

Our Probate Lawyers focus on the efficient management and administration of estates ensuring they are handled sensitively and swiftly. When someone dies, the executors of the Will, or their next of kin where there is no Will, have significant duties. We can help guide you through the process.

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  • “Osbornes represents high-net-worth individuals, families, trustees and executors in complex estate disputes such as validity of wills claims, corporate conflicts and family company administration.”

  • “Incredibly dedicated and committed to her clients. She can do both the non-contentious and contentious sides very, very well.”

Specialist advice from expert probate lawyers

Our probate solicitors focus on taking the burden away from the deceased’s personal representatives as the circumstances require by providing expert advice and guidance.   We will  ensure the deceased’s affairs are

  • Wound up
  • Assets transferred or sold as required and
  • The beneficiaries receive their entitlement without delay.

We offer all our clients fast expert advice whether the deceased died having made a Will or not. If there is no Will the rules of succession to property and other assets are determined by the Intestacy Rules.  We will advise on their effect which often is to create a statutory trust where the deceased leaves children and a surviving spouse.  In these circumstances it may be necessary to trace distant or long lost family members and we can make the necessary arrangements.

On our clients behalf we will complete the appropriate Inland Revenue forms, which are now required for all estates, and all other papers necessary to obtain the Grant of Representation to enable the deceased’s assets to be released and distributed to the beneficiaries either in accordance with the Will or under the Intestacy Rules.

Where the deceased did not consider tax planning before death it is possible to vary the Will or the effect of intestacy and thereby create substantial tax savings.  We focus on the enhancement of clients’ assets by advising on estate and succession planning and will advise executors and beneficiaries on possible variation of estates where appropriate.

Speak to a lawyer today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    Client StoriesVIEW ALL

    1. 13.9.2021

      Complex probate involving 4 wills

      The case study relates to complex probate involving four separate wills. The deceased had made four wills in rapid succession,...

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    2. 13.9.2021

      Probate with assets worth between US$600...

      This probate case relates to a property in London which was funded by our clients, who are based in Australia...

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    3. 13.9.2021

      US/UK cross border probate

      Our probate lawyers were instructed by a US-based widow of her late husband’s £8 million English estate. As well as...

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    • "I wish to thank you for your advice, efficiency and professionalism throughout which has been greatly appreciated."

      Client review

    • "I am proud to be a private client of Osbornes Solicitors LLP, a client of many years. I appreciate the swift and efficient work of the Private Client Department Team."

      Client

    • "Jan Atkinson, with her steely, steady, calming presence, instils confidence in the most highly-strung of us clients. With her masterful knowledge of the law, old and new, and its application, Jan can navigate through the most complex of cases to a successful end."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "I find Osbornes’ client-friendly approach welcoming and refreshing"

      Legal 500 2021

    • "A medium-sized London firm dealing with big litigation and doing it extremely well because of a depth of expertise and experience."

      Legal 500 2021

    • My family had the pleasure of Jan Atkinson working with us on the will and probate issues of [my mother's] estate in Camden and Ireland after she passed on last year. Jan and her assistant(s) offered us a fantastic service at a sad time.

      Client Review

    • "Jan Atkinson stands out for her wide-ranging knowledge and experience of estates; whatever problem you throw at her, she has seen it all before and is able to find a creative and sustainable solution. She has exceptional commitment to her clients and explores every avenue to find the best solution for them"

      Legal 500 2021 - Jan Atkinson

    • The team is very caring, experienced and detailed and was clear about the  next steps and offered very helpful advice and suggestions

      Legal 500

    • Jan Atkinson has extensive experience in private client matters, which underpins her excellent skills in the contentious probate area. Plus she is strong on international matters

      Legal 500 2020 - Jan Atkinson

    • A small but formidable team, punching above its weight. Jan Atkinson is a seasoned pro. Approachable but no push-over

      Legal 500 2020 - Jan Atkinson

    • "They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."

      Chambers UK

    • "Elspeth Neilson is very reliable and practical."

      The Legal 500

    • "The team frequently deals with cross-border estates for high–net-worth individuals."

      The Legal 500

    • "The team were extremely professional in putting my needs first. There was a joined-up approach to catering for the client, and all lawyers involved were briefed and constructive."

      Chambers UK

    • The situation was handled by your extremely competent, efficient hands - I would not hesitate to recommend Osbornes to others.

      Wills, Probate and Disputed Estate Client

    • "Service prompt and effective. I have absolute confidence in Maggie."

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I am happy with the service that I got and would recommend you to other potential clients.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I found Osbornes always very helpful and efficient.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • We are very pleased with the services of Osbornes. Highly professional and through with close attention to detail.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I would highly recommend Jan Atkinson in any probate matter and Osbornes Solicitors in any other legal matters.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Jan Atkinson is a very proficient lady whom I would highly recommend to anyone involved in probates.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Thanks for all your work and explaining everything so clearly. For any legal matters in the future I would not hesitate in instructing Osbornes.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • We have found your service to date as the most informative we have come across.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Osbornes Solicitors always responded promptly to any request for information I had.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • “Geoffrey’s affairs were dealt with just the right combination of friendliness and professionalism, which really helped.”

       

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Jan Atkinson is confident with a straightforward approach. Her practice covers both contentious and non-contentious matters, including wealth planning and estate administration.

      Chambers UK

    • I would like to thank everyone in my case for the excellent job!

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates client

    Probate FAQs

    What is grant of probate?

    A grant of probate is the formal document issued to the executors of a will enabling them to deal with the deceased’s assets. The grant is issued by one of the District Probate Registries in England or by the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court.

    When someone dies without having made a will, the next of kin (closest relatives of the deceased who are entitled to sort out the deceased’s affairs) are referred to as ‘administrators’ instead of executors and they apply for a document called a ‘grant of letters of administration’ instead of a grant of probate. Both types are grants of representation and perform the same function.

    How long does it take to get a grant of representation?

    It can take just a few weeks, but usually several months at present, to get the grant, depending on how complex the estate assets are and how quickly it is possible to get together all necessary information to complete the inheritance tax (IHT) return which has to be done before the grant can be applied for.

    The form is an IHT400 or IHT205 depending on the type and value of the estate. If IHT is payable some of this has to be paid before the grant will be issued but banks and building societies usually release monies from the deceased’s accounts for this purpose.

    How does the probate process work?

    Our Will and our estate are individual to each of us, so the full probate process can vary depending on the instructions that have been left in the will.

    The basic process for an executor will include:

    1. Bringing together the full details of the estate’s assets and debts
    2. Making the application for a Grant of Probate (this is the formal document giving the authority needed to administer the estate)
    3. Completing an inheritance tax return and paying any tax due.
    4. Change the order of 2 and 3 above

    Inheritance Tax return

    The Inheritance Tax (IHT) return when completed is lodged with HMRC where tax is payable and the necessary IHT is sent to HMRC. If no IHT is payable, the tax return IHT205 is sent direct to the chosen probate registry with the statement of truth when it has been signed by the executors or the administrators (collectively known as Personal Representatives or ‘PRs’). The statement of truth has replaced the oath for executors and oath for administrators.

    The statement of truth is the document by which the PRs formally apply for the grant of representation and promise to collect in all the deceased’s assets, pay any debts and distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the will or as required by the Intestacy Rules which apply when someone dies without a valid will.

    How long will it take for probate to be granted?

    The grant normally takes a few weeks or so to issue and then it is sent to the banks, building societies etc. and then accounts can be closed, shares transferred or sold and the monies released will be used to pay any outstanding debts of the deceased. The balance can then be paid to the beneficiaries under the terms of the will or in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.

    How long will dealing with Probate take?

    For most estates probate will take around twelve months to complete. Each estate is different and completion will depend on the size and complexity of the estate. International Probate may be more complicated as this involves assets in more than one country and usually takes longer to complete.

    What happens if there is a dispute with regards to probate?

    Disputes may come up during the probate process which may cause delays with administering estates. We have a highly skilled team of solicitors able to advise and deal with Contentious Probate matters.

    Accreditations

    New and Insights From our LawyersVIEW ALL

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      7.9.2021

      Dealing with Debts as an Executor

      It is a common misconception that a person’s debts die with them. After you die your debts become the...

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    2. 14.4.2021

      Osbornes Shortlisted as Probate Law Firm...

      Osbornes have been shortlisted as finalists for an award at the 2021 UK Probate Research Awards. The firm has been shortlisted...

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    3. 2.7.2020

      Probate Applications – the latest on turnaround...

      Until around 18 months ago, the turnaround time for grant of probate applications could be as little as 5 to 7 days if...

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    4. 27.4.2020

      Wills, Probate and Estate Administration – dispelling...

      Certain myths come up time after time in Private Client Law and in this article I hope to dispel some...

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      Treasury collecting millions in unclaimed assets...

      Bona Vacantia is Latin for ‘ownerless goods’. Under a combination of common law and statute dating back to the Middle...

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    6. 19.2.2019

      Government plans to increase Probate Fees

      The government is to press ahead with plans to substantially increase probate fees. Currently, there is a flat fee of £215...

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