Probate and administering an estate

Hancock Quins have been looking after families of all generations for many years.

Coping with the death of a loved one or a close friend imposes great strain on you and your family.  If you are appointed as the executor of an estate or are the administrator designated by the rules of intestacy, you must comply with the provisions of the deceased’s will or the administration of his/her estate under the rules of intestacy if the deceased left no will.

Legal obligations

As an executor or administrator, you are under strict legal obligations to ensure that the debts of the estate are dealt with, that any taxes are paid and that the assets of the estate are distributed in accordance with the terms of the will or the rules of intestacy.  These responsibilities can be complex and time-consuming and you cannot be paid for your time in dealing with this.


If the deceased left no will, he or she is said to have died ‘intestate’.  In the case of intestacy, the burden of administering the estate can be much greater than would have been the case if a will had been made.

Can Hancock Quins help?

At Hancock Quins, the solicitors in our private client department have many years of experience in administering estates of all sizes and complexities and are able to steer a clear and logical path through the administration maze.

We are able to offer a range of services to meet your needs as executor or administrator.  On one hand, we can offer advice on the process required to obtain a grant of probate or letters of administration.  On the other hand, we can take on the complete administration of the estate, relieving you of the burden and enabling you to fulfil the deceased’s wishes with the minimum of difficulty.

In any event, we will explain clearly what is involved and offer advice on all aspects of dealing with the estate.

Dealing with the estate

We can deal with all aspects of the administration of the estate on your behalf, including:

  • assisting with funeral arrangements;
  • settling the tax affairs of the deceased (income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax);
  • arranging valuations of assets in the estate;
  • arranging the placing of legal notices to protect the executors;
  • obtaining the grant of probate or administration;
  • calculating inheritance tax on assets and advising on possible means of reducing the inheritance tax liability;
  • settling any tax liabilities arising during the winding up of the estate;
  • advising whether any tax savings are possible;
  • arranging a sale or auction of assets;
  • arranging payment of any debts and legacies;
  • advising on and dealing with the sale of any property;
  • collecting in and distributing the assets among the beneficiaries;
  • preparing documents to vary the will post death;
  • advising on and setting up trusts created by wills.

Each estate is unique and the matters needing to be addressed in administration will vary considerably in their complexity.  We have the experience to deal with it in a sensible and cost-effective manner and we can help the executors or administrators to comply with their legal obligations with the minimum of difficulty.

Time and costs

Executors and beneficiaries are sometimes concerned about the time that is taken for an estate to be dealt with and the costs involved.

Why choose Hancock Quins?

At Hancock Quins, we offer a free no obligation case assessment meeting in relation to probate cases so that after the meeting you will be able to make an informed decision about the administration.

We will explain clearly, at the beginning of the administration, how and when we will charge and provide an estimate of these charges as soon as the details of the estate are known.

We will also provide you with an estimate of the length of time it will take to complete the administration.

Throughout the matter, we will tell you at regular intervals what progress is being made and what further action is required to complete everything.

Our aim is to provide a professional and personal service and to deal with all probate and administration matters as speedily and efficiently as possible.

We provide:

  • fast, efficient and friendly advice at a difficult time;
  • highly respected and experienced wills and probate solicitors;
  • complete administration of an estate on your behalf; and
  • a free, no obligation case assessment meeting so you can make an informed decision.             
If you want to discuss our services in probate and administering estates, or would like some advice, call our wills and probate team in Watford on 01923 650850. We are waiting to take your call.