How can we help you following the loss of a relative or loved one during the pandemic?

How can we help you following the loss of a relative or loved one during the pandemic?

13th July 2020

Emma Wallbank TEP, Legal Executive in our Private Client team, explains how we can help below.

Sadly, over the last few months some of us will have lost loved ones, or know people who have lost loved ones.  In these unprecedented times, when death rates are high and death tolls have become part of everyday news, people are still finding themselves confused and alone, at a time when support is most needed. 

Our team at BTTJ are here to provide that support, with our qualified team of probate lawyers and support staff.  During lockdown, our Private Client Team have continued to advise people and assist clients with probate applications whilst working from home.  Most of our meetings have taken place over the telephone or by video call, however some socially distanced meetings have also taken place when needed.

When a loved one passes away, we often find ourselves with endless amounts of paperwork, old and new which can be confusing and overwhelming.  Sorting through this paperwork and notifying all the relevant parties is time consuming and especially difficult when most organisations are either closed or have limited staff available to handle your queries.  At BTTJ we can take care of this for you.  Before we carry out any work on your behalf, we will have a meeting with you to gather as much information as possible about the estate.  We will then provide you with an estimate of our costs at the outset, setting out clearly in our terms of engagement letter what work we will carry out on your behalf.  Our costs are usually recovered from the deceased’s assets which alleviates the worry of paying legal costs from your own money.         

We can tailor our support to your needs. Some clients are happy to do all the initial factfinding themselves and then will ask us to complete the probate forms for them and make the application for the grant of representation on their behalf. However not everyone feels confident in taking these first steps, especially at the moment when obtaining information has become more difficult, and so a lot of clients prefer us to deal with the whole estate for them to reduce the pressure and stress. If you would like us to support you by dealing with the whole estate, we will contact the relevant companies to request the information required to complete the probate application on your behalf. 

The COVID-19 restrictions have added additional delays at the Probate Registry, which is why our team are dealing with your probate applications as a priority.  Upon receipt of the Grant of Representation, we then cash in the assets on your behalf.  The funds can be paid to our client account, rather than the Executors having to set up an Executors account, which could prove difficult with current restrictions.  We will pay any necessary taxes from the estate funds and recover any repayments of tax due to the estate.  If there is a property to sell or the property needs transferring to the beneficiaries, we will provide our conveyancing team with all the necessary documents they require and liaise with them throughout the process to ensure that the transaction runs smoothly and that you are kept up to date.  Once the administration has been completed, we will provide you with a set of estate accounts detailing all of the assets, liabilities, income, and administration expenses.   

By appointing one of our experienced probate lawyers, this provides you peace of mind that the estate has been dealt with correctly and nothing is missed.  If you have a query about dealing with Probate, please contact one of our experts from our Private Client team who will be able to assist you, or telephone 02476 531532 to be put in touch with one of the team.