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Probate & Trust Administration

When a loved one dies the last thing most people want to think about is sorting out their financial affairs. Unfortunately this has to be undertaken and we are here to help…

As solicitors we are used to dealing with clients financial affairs and keep up to date with the latest changes and developments.

At Hart Scales & Hodges we provide a complete service including:

  • Sorting through the deceased’s papers and contacting the various creditors and debtor’s of the deceased
  • Obtaining valuations for the various assets of the Estate
  • Preparing the Inheritance Tax Accounts which need to be prepared before an application for probate can be submitted
  • Drafting the Oath for Executors or Oath for Administrators
  • Collect in the Assets of the Deceased once probate has been obtained
  • Distributing the Estate in accordance with the Will or intestacy rules
  • Preparing the Estate Accounts

Our service does not stop once the estate has been administered, through our close links with various financial planners and accountants we are able to put beneficiaries in touch with local business that will help them manage their inheritance.


What is Probate?

Unless the estate is very small and with no freehold or leasehold property (such as a house or flat) the personal representatives of the deceased will have to obtain a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry. This is a document issued by the Court showing their entitlement to deal with the estate.

We will probably be able to tell you straight away if a grant is needed, and we shall handle all the necessary paperwork for you.


What if the Deceased left a Will?

If the deceased left a Will, the application is to the probate registry for a grant of probate and the Executors named in the Will must distribute the Estate in accordance with the Will


What if the Deceased did not leave a Will?

If the deceased did not make a will and therefore died ‘intestate’, the application is for a grant of letters of administration. The persons who can apply for these are laid down in Statute but broadly are the traditional next of kin. The Law will state how the Estate is to be distributed and if no relatives are found this will be paid to the Crown.


What does an Executor/ Administrator do?

An Executor / Administrator is responsible for:

  • Notifying all of the creditors and debtors of the deceased and preparing the IHT accounts to be submitted to the HMRC
  • Arranging to pay any Inheritance Tax that is payable on the Estate either from assets that can be released pre-grant or via a loan from a bank
  • Applying for a Grant of Probate of the Will or Letters of Administration
  • Paying the debts of the Estate
  • Distributing the Estate according to the Will or Intestacy Rules
  • Preparing Estate accounts showing the progression of the Estate


As can be seen there is a great deal to do and the executors are liable for any mistakes or delays in the administration of the estate. 

We are here to remove the risk and hassle from your shoulders.