Case Study 1 - Peter’s Story
We received a call from one of two brothers in their 40’s who had both moved to Australia. They had returned to Bedfordshire to care for their father in the last few weeks of his life. After picking up one of our probate booklets at the funeral directors, a free advisory meeting was set up with the two brothers at their father’s home. At the meeting the reasons for probate and the process were clearly explained and the brothers provided details of their father’s assets.
They included: -
- Guardian Financial Services portfolio
- A three bedroom house and contents
- British Gas
- Council Tax
- TV license
- Natwest account
- Natwest credit card
- Saga insurance
- Zurich insurance
- HSBC Global Asset Management
- The Coventry Building Society x2 accounts
- Market Harborough Building Society
- Northern Rock x2 accounts
- Yorkshire Building Society x3 accounts
- Sainsbury's bank
- Equitable Life insurance
- Techtronix pension
- State Pension
- Driving license
- Bus pass
A fixed fee including legal fees, VAT and third party costs for the whole administration was provided, agreed and signed by the brothers. The original will and codicil were collected and copies were made at the house of all other assets using a portable copier/scanner.
The brothers wished to keep their father’s house and rent it out but we were to collect in and sell all other assets and distribute the estate as per their father’s will.
The brothers were then able to return to Australia whilst we set about administering the estate.
Our fee covered the following aspects: -
- All postage, letters, emails, telephone calls and return visits to collect documents
- Obtaining written valuations of all assets including savings, house, contents and car etc
- Transferring their late mother’s unused Inheritance Tax allowance to their father’s estate
- Drafting and swearing the oath on behalf of the brothers
- Completing Inheritance Tax forms
- Applying to the probate Registry for the Grant of probate
- Calling in all assets
- Paying back overpayments
- Making an interim distribution to the brothers in Australia
- Arranging the transfer of property with the Land Registry
- Transferring all utilities into the brothers’ name
- Obtaining clearance from HMRC regarding Income Tax
- Obtaining clearance from DWP regarding state pension
- Providing comprehensive estate accounts
- Making final distributions
During the administration period the brothers received weekly feedback by email and called or emailed from Australia whenever questions arose. This was all included in the fixed price at the outset.
We had a call from a 78 year old lady whose brother had died. Her brother was single and did not have any children. She too was not married and had no children to help.
She had been given our details from her niece whose mother’s estate we had dealt with 2 years previously. I went to meet the sister of the deceased at his house in London. She was very uncertain about what her brother had in the way...
We were contacted by a man in his 20’s whose father had passed away without a will. His parents had divorced and he had not seen his two elder brothers for some time and he did not know how to contact them. He was unsure what was involved with his father’s estate as he had become estranged from him after his parents divorced. He had seen our booklet at the funeral directors who told the son that we had recently completed...
We were called by a barrister whose father had recently died. He had heard of our service and was keen to have a meeting. Although he obviously had a good understanding of probate, he practiced in another area of the law and wanted Valued Estates to do everything on behalf of his surviving mother as quickly as possible...
We were called by a past client for the fifth time. His mother-in-law had died at Christmas in a care home. The children had recently sold their parents’ house to pay for the care fees. Unfortunately, she had died after only a few weeks at her new home. Probate was required as the proceeds from the house sale had resulted in large amounts of money being spread around several institutions in order to maximise the income available...