Probate Solicitors Help Estranged Family get their Inheritance
A Probate Case Study – Client Situation
We were notified by a Local Authority that Mr R had sadly died and that we’d been appointed as Executors of his Will. Because Mr R was estranged from his family and had lost contact with them long before he died, he hadn’t named them an Executor in his Will.
As his appointed Executors, we had the responsibility of going through his Estate and dealing with his bank accounts, pensions, property and belongings.
How We Helped
At first, the administration of the Estate was held up, as there was a lot to sort out with Mr R’s property. Our Probate Solicitors arranged for a professional cleaning of the house and it took a few months to sort through Mr R’s possessions.
As the Local Authority had arranged the funeral and cremation, they provided us with a copy of the death certificate and gave us Mr R’s ashes for safekeeping.
Once we got these, we began the Probate process and preparation for selling Mr R’s property. But this proved a little tricky at first, as we didn’t have much information about Mr R to hand. So we began with his bank statements to get an idea of his in-goings and outgoings.
From looking at Mr R’s bank statements, we could see that several direct debits had continued being debited from his account for 6 months after his death. We got in touch with Mr R’s bank provider to explain the situation and end the direct debits.
We also began contacting other organisations such as HM Revenue and Customers (HMRC) and his utility and pension providers to notify them of Mr R’s death.
In his Will, Mr R had left his Estate between his brother and sister. After some investigation, we managed to track down Mr R’s sister and brother and reached out to them. Estranged families can create some challenges, but we managed to investigate the situation with the documentation we had to hand.
This also helped us to contact other professionals and bring together information so we could administer the Estate.
Once we get the Grant of Probate, we can sell Mr R’s property and close his bank accounts. After paying any outstanding tax and debts, we’ll distribute Mr R’s Estate to his named charity, before dividing the remainder between his two siblings.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.