Our Services

Probate Solicitors

When someone close to you dies, it is hard to know where to start. Sorting out their final affairs can feel like a huge task when you are also grieving. Our probate solicitors based in South West Wales are here to help you through this difficult time.

We can take the burden of administering your relative’s estate off your hands, giving you peace of mind that everything has been dealt with correctly and the deceased’s loved ones can receive their inheritance as soon as possible.

Give us a call at your local office in Carmarthen, Haverfordwest or Narberth for more information or to discuss how you would like us to help, or fill in our online enquiry form and a friendly member of our team will be in touch shortly.

How our probate solicitors can help you

We can:

  • Help you track down the deceased’s Will.
  • Talk executors (if there is a Will) and administrators (if there is no Will) through the probate process and the work that needs doing.
  • Apply for the Grant of Probate (if there was a Will) or Letters of Administration (if there is no Will) – these are the legal documents that give you authorisation to deal with the deceased person’s estate.
  • Handle the estate administration process, such as obtaining details about the deceased’s finances, contacting organisations such as their bank, handling the Inheritance Tax paperwork and paying off debts.
  • Distribute inheritance to the deceased’s heirs (beneficiaries).
  • Provide advice about resolving Will, inheritance and probate disputes (if any arise).

Our probate and estate administration fees

Coping with the death of a loved one is hard enough without having to worry about costs – most fees will come out of the deceased person’s estate, but keeping costs as low as possible means that the deceased’s heirs inherit as much as possible.

We are open and upfront about our fees, so you always know where you stand in terms of costs. We charge both fixed fees and hourly rates, depending on the circumstances of the case. Whichever method of funding you use, we’ll provide a clear breakdown of costs and will never do additional work without confirming with you first.

Visit our Probate Pricing page for more information about our fees

Why instruct a probate lawyer instead of handling the estate administration yourself?

We are flexible and are happy to take on as much or as little work as you need us to do. Some people only want us to advise on the steps they need to take, others want us to handle the entire estate administration process on their behalf – it is entirely up to you.

That being said, there are some cases where it is usually a good idea to seek the advice of a specialist probate solicitor, including:

  • If the deceased died intestate (without leaving a Will) – the position is a little more complicated because they did not leave any instructions about who they want to be their executors and to handle the estate administration or who they want to inherit.
  • The estate is over the Inheritance Tax threshold (currently £325,000) – it is vital to make sure you are paying the correct amount of Inheritance Tax. There may also be a range of tax reliefs and exemptions available that need the attention of a skilled solicitor.
  • The estate is particularly complex, for example, it includes assets such as property portfolios, high value investments, foreign assets and trusts – getting all the legal details right is essential, so speaking to a solicitor about this is the way to go.
  • The estate is bankrupt (there is not enough money to repay the deceased person’s debts) – this requires specialist advice.
  • The deceased person lived outside the UK.
  • There are concerns over the validity of the Will or there is likely to be a dispute over the Will or probate – Will and inheritance disputes often have the potential to become combative and extremely expensive, so getting expert legal advice is the best (and often the most cost-effective) thing to do.

Do you always need to go through probate?

In the vast majority of cases, you will need to go through the probate process and apply for either a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration depending on whether the deceased left a Will or not.

The only times you may not need to go through probate are:

  • If the deceased’s assets are worth less than £5,000.
  • The deceased’s assets are all held jointly with someone else (for example, they jointly owned their home with their surviving spouse).
  • The estate is only made up of cash (notes and coins).

If you are not sure whether probate is needed, we recommend getting in touch for advice. We’ll be more than happy to help.

What happens when someone dies without leaving a Will?

When someone dies without leaving a Will it is called ‘dying intestate’.

When someone dies intestate, they haven’t left any valid wishes about what they want to happen to their assets and who they want to act as executors and handle their final affairs (administer their estate).

Who inherits if there is no Will?

The State decides who gets what under a law called the Rules of Intestacy. Only certain close family members are allowed to inherit under the Rules and there is an order of priority, with the deceased’s spouse/civil partner and children at the top and distant relatives at the bottom.

If the deceased had a spouse/civil partner and children, they share the estate, with the spouse/civil partner inheriting the most.

If the deceased did not have children, the spouse/civil partner inherits everything.

If the deceased had no spouse/civil partner, the children inherit everything equally.

Unfortunately, unmarried partners and step children are not allowed to inherit under the Rules of Intestacy. If the deceased had no spouse/civil partner, children (including adopted children) or grandchildren, other close family members inherit, such as parents, brothers and sisters.

Who administers the estate if there is no Will?

If there is no Will, or there is a Will but the deceased did not name any executors, anyone who can inherit under the Rules of Intestacy is allowed to apply to become an administrator and deal with the estate.

The same order of priority applies to people applying to become an administrator as beneficiaries under the Rules of Intestacy. For example, if the deceased’s adult child and uncle both want to apply to become administrators, the child will take priority. If the applicants have equal priority, it is usually decided on a first-come-first-serve basis.

What happens if a Will or probate dispute arises?

Disputes can arise for many reasons. For example:

  • Someone may challenge the validity of the Will.
  • Someone may disagree with how much inheritance they have been left.
  • Someone may have a problem with the way probate is being handled.

If a dispute has arisen or you are worried about a dispute arising, get in touch as early on as possible for advice – probate disputes can be very expensive and often have the potential to permanently damage families if not handled sensitively.

We work closely with our Dispute Resolution team to help people resolve a wide range of Will, inheritance and probate disputes, often out of court, helping families avoid major conflict and keeping costs to a minimum.

For more information, visit our Inheritance Disputes page.

Speak to our probate solicitors in Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire

Give us a call at your local office in Carmarthen, Haverfordwest or Narberth for more information or to discuss how you would like us to help, or fill in our online enquiry form and a friendly member of our team will be in touch shortly.