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Probate: facing the legal practicalities

Probate: facing the legal practicalities - you are NOT on your own.

When we lose people close to us, we can find it very difficult to function properly and think clearly, as if our brains are on hold. And yet, all of a sudden we are faced not only with having to think about a funeral and everything this will entail, but also winding up the administrative aspects of a person’s entire life. Even at our best, for most of us this would be a daunting prospect, and so facing it at a highly emotional and painful time, it can all seem too much.

Some people’s affairs are relatively straightforward, perhaps just involving one or two bank accounts with some savings, a few utility bills, and their home. Others can be more complicated, including for example business ownership, stocks and shares, a number of properties, pensions, and valuable assets. Then there is the question of whether or not there exists a valid Will, and if anybody knows where it is, and if indeed it is the most recent Will to have been made. In addition, there is the question of who is to benefit from the Will or estate.

Some families choose to handle all the probate and administrative affairs themselves, some prefer to hand it all over to a good probate solicitor, while others decide to do a bit of both. Whichever approach one takes, usually the three most important priorities for families are as follows: (1) that the probate and estate administration are handled properly; (2) that the costs involved are kept to a minimum and that the family or executors always remain in control; and (3) that the estate is wound up as quickly as possible.

However simple or complicated, there is excellent help available, and making the most of this help really can save you a vast amount of time, money, and in particular, family aggravation and upset.

Tuesday 17th April 2012 Leon Lurie Solicitor specialising in probate and estate administration Hudson Law

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