When a loved one passes away without leaving a will, it can make their passing even more difficult for their family; how do we divide the assets? How much does each child get? Do step-children get an equal share?
Of course, many people are aware that when an individual passes without leaving a will, that the family may need to hire a probate solicitor in Portsmouth, to help divide assets and discuss taxes and other affairs surrounding the estate.
However, there are also instances where families would benefit from seeking probate based advice that many people are unaware of. Though not as common, these are situations where legal advice would save family members time, money and most importantly, heartache.
What are the instances when you should hire a probate solicitor in Portsmouth? Read on to find out!
One of the most common reasons to hire a solicitor after a loved one’s passing is in relation to unpaid debt.
Even if they have left a will and the selling of their estate results in a large amount of money, if it does not cover the cost of their outstanding debt, it is important to seek legal advice on how you and other family members will pay off the debt.
In the UK, there is an inheritance tax threshold; if the value of the estate exceeds this threshold or their estate is still making money post their passing (e.g. a rented property), then hiring a solicitor is extremely beneficial.
This is because inheritance tax law is complicated and becomes more challenging to navigate if the estate is still creating income for the beneficiaries.
When a will is read to family members, it goes without saying that many of them become upset as it may not benefit them financially or they were promised more.
Many families contest will validity, which can put a halt on any assets being released and cause extreme stress.
A solicitor will be familiar with the legal steps surrounding this and can advise you on the appropriate course of action.
Many families have step-children, adopted children or extended family members.
If a person passes without a will, there is a fair amount of legality surrounding who gets what and this is usually based on genetics or marriage.
It can be useful in this instance to hire a solicitor, who can determine and defend the rights of any step-children or adopted children, so they can get their share of the estate.
Complicated wills can make being executor of an estate a real headache. If you find yourself overwhelmed with issues like appeasing ex-partners and assets being held in trust funds, then you will undoubtedly benefit from hiring an experienced solicitor, who can help everyone gain access to their share of the estate.
Similarly, if a trust has been left for a family member who has special needs, to help pay for their care, you should contact a qualified solicitor.