Historically only solicitors were allowed to offer Probate services, but since 1st November 2014, accredited accountants are now able to offer this assistance. We were amongst the first firms to gain probate accreditation.
It goes without saying that not having a will in place can have major consequences for those that are left behind as an estate may not be distributed as originally intended.
Furthermore there can be increased administration costs to the estate, with additional tax implications.
It has also been widely reported recently that problems and disputes about probate are on the rise. There are a number of probable reasons for this increase, ranging from suspected executor fraud to negligence, from executors being obstructive to disputes where a Will creates a trust and the executors are also the trustees.
Since we become accredited, and thus allowed to offer probate assistance, we have seen a gradual increase in the number of clients wishing to use these services. Dealing with probate on death is a natural extension to our services, as a clients financial information will be readily available to us.
Apart from applying for probate and acting as an executor and assisting executors, we have also been identifying the assets and liabilities of estates and dealing with all the administration.
It goes without saying that we also deal with all aspects of Inheritance tax returns, claiming all reliefs which the estate is entitled to.
We are always pro-active when it comes to structuring our clients assets for tax purposes, and we have been advising our clients on a number of areas including:
- Will trusts or lifetime trusts
- Tax-effective clauses to include in a will
- Maximising lifetime inheritance tax thresholds in your will
- Optimising all inheritance tax reliefs, (including personal business assets)
- Bespoke will planning for wealthy estates
Being able to offer probate services has increased the wide range of assistance we offer, and as a result improves still further the level of service we provide to our clients.