Probate

Probate is the legal process whereby a named executor disperses the estate of someone who has died. An executor is legally responsible for administering an estate and distributing assets in accordance with the deceased person's Will.

The Law allows you to nominate a family member or friend (known as a "Lay" executor) to dispense your will. Sometimes a loved one may die without having left a Will, however their estate must still be dealt with according to the Law. To ensure that your wishes and those of your loved ones are adhered to and in accordance with the rules and laws of intestacy, it is strongly advisable to appoint a professional to handle matters. This is where DS Wills & Estate Planning can help.


Case study

Cause

Mr & Mrs J. jointly own the family home. When Mr J. dies, his children deal with the Will as "Lay" executors. The Will contains a Property Protection Trust (PPT), which is supposed to "ring fence" their father's 50% share of the house so they can later inherit it when Mrs J. dies. However, because of their inexperience as executors, they fail to properly set up the PPT..

Consequence

10 years later, Mrs J moves into a care home. Because care costs are means tested and because her chidren did not properly set up the PPT in her husband's will, she now has to pay the full cost of care. This is because she is now deemed as owning 100% of the family home. The children, who believed the Will "ring fenced" their father’s 50% share of the property, now see their inheritance eroded by care costs.

What should have been done..

If Mr J had chosen a professional executor, the PPT would have been set up properly, meaning Mrs J's care costs would have been means tested against only her 50% share of the home. This would have left her husband's share (due to the children after her death) untouched.

Conclusion

It always pays to go with a professional. The above scenario is not an uncommon event. Many "Lay" executors get it badly wrong or neglect the setting up of trusts, which can result in serious losses of inheritance in later years.

Why you can trust DS Wills & Estate Planning

I offer an affordable fixed price*, no matter how complex the estate may be, bringing you and your family complete peace of mind. I offer free no obligation home visits and give you all the advice and support you need. I will assess your estate and clarify for you and your family the tasks involved, including a written fixed price for services. For more information, call me, Danielle at DS Wills & Estate Planning today on 01642 968707. Alternatively, fill in the callback form on this page.

* Subject to all information being submitted to the company before a quote is made. Additional charges may apply where further work is required.