Questions answered

Nothing is too much trouble

If you find yourself with a question about the probate process, how it all works, or just where to start, take a look below at our responses to frequently asked questions.  You may also find our blog useful.

What happens when someone dies without a will?

If someone dies without leaving a will, their estate will be shared out according to rules known as intestacy. If someone dies without leaving a will, they are called an intestate person. These rules strictly dictate who the beneficiaries are.

Why should I make a will?

A will tells everyone what you want to happen with everything you own (money, possessions, property, etc). If you don’t leave a will, then the laws of intestacy will dictate what happens with your estate. This could differ from your final wishes and leave your friends and family potentially upset.

I am a beneficiary of a will, how long will it take until I receive the money?

It varies widely from case to case.  If it is very straightforward it may take 2 to 4 months. Normally at least 6 to 9 months before beneficiaries start to be paid. Sometimes longer if the bereaved’s estate is more complex.

What is probate?

Generally, the legal process that must be followed after someone dies to enact the contents of their will, is called probate. This makes sure that the estate (money, property, and assets) is distributed according to their wishes.

Can you recommend a bereavement service?

This page found on the Marie Curie website provides a very useful list of charities that provide bereavement services.

What should I do when someone dies?
Getting married or divorced how does it affect my will?

If you had a pre-existing will before you got married, and did not explicitly insert a clause to prevent it, then it will be automatically revoked. This is not the case, however, should you get divorced, although your ex-spouse is treated for legal purposes in relation to the will as if they had died. It is recommended that you re-write your will as soon as possible if your relationship status changes.

What is an executor of a will?

The executor is someone named in a will as being legally responsible for following the instructions left by the deceased regarding their estate. We are adept at acting as executor, to find out more, get in contact with us.

What is Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance Tax is a tax on the estate of someone who has died, this is calculated by reference to the value of their estate.  There are a number of reliefs that maybe claimed to reduce the tax payable.

Can you change a will after someone has died?

For tax or other legal purposes beneficiaries may want to change a will after someone has died.  Generally, as long as the beneficiaries left worse off agree to the changes, then a will can be changed.  Although, we would recommend that specialist advice is sort should you wish to do this, to ensure all legal requirements are met.

What is a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)?

An LPA is a legal document that allows others to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.  Find out more here.

For more information on how we can help please see our probate services, or if you have any queries please get in touch.

What people
say about us

“Harries Watkins Jones provided me with a top-notch service when filing my tax return for an inherited property. They were aware that I was struggling with the emotional side of things and they provided a clear and professional service while maintaining sensitivity throughout. During the pandemic they provided me with the same level of service remotely and were at hand at all times for queries.”

Mr R Hext

Control your future

To find out more about how we can help you, or even just talk through any of your probate questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.