Do I Need a solicitor to administer the Estate?


It is not essential to instruct Solicitors to administer an estate, but to personally deal with such matters, requires a degree of experience and confidence in managing issues that affect other peoples money.   The role often involves complex preparation and  review of paperwork, as well as tax and legal issues.   You may need to liaise with the deceased’s accountant and financial advisor.  If you choose to instruct Solicitors and/or other professionals to assist with administration of the estate, the cost of doing so is a  legitimate expense of the estate.


Costs and Expenses

Only Solicitors and other professionals who administer Estates are entitled to charge for acting as Executors but all Executors have an entitlement to be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses incurred in administering the estate.    The estate is also  responsible for the costs of valuations required, tracing missing beneficiaries and other similar expenses.


Common mistakes made by inexperienced Executors/Administrators:-

     -misunderstanding the meaning of the Will;

     -failing to correctly identify assets and liabilities;

     -incorrectly determining beneficial interests;

     -failing to keep adequate records of financial transactions whilst administering the estate;

     -failing to place the relevant Trustee Act notice;

     -disposing of assets without considering all possible tax implications;

     -lacking impartiality in dealing with beneficiaries

Any such mistakes may result in an executor/administrator being the subject of legal action by beneficiaries for negligence or breach of trust.


Why use Oak Tree Probate Solutions?

     -experience and expertise – we have been administering estates and trusts for more than 100 years;

     -you substantially reduce the risk of personal liability;

     -we are committed to providing a high level of service at a reasonable cost;

     -we will agree a fee with you for administration of the estate before starting work;

     -we provide you with a nominated point of contact for all your queries  and concerns;

     -we endeavour to provide understandable straight forward advice in plain English

What if there is no valid Will?

If there is no valid Will, application for a Grant of Letters of Administration can be made by a close relative of the deceased in the following order of priority:-

     -husband, wife or civil partner

     -sons or daughters*

     -parents

     -brothers or sisters*

     -more distant relatives*

*if any of these relatives die before the deceased, their sons or daughters may make the application.

A grant will not be issued to anyone under the age of 18. Under the present law, a partner of the deceased is not entitled to apply unless they were married to the deceased or in a civil partnership.

Application for a Grant of Letters of Administration is similar to the process followed when applying for probate, with an oath being sworn to prove the applicant’s relationship to the deceased and entitlement to apply. The person appointed as Administrator has the same responsibilities as an Executor of a valid Will.

If you would like Oak Tree Probate Solutions to help you in administering an Estate please contact us today.