Probate and Administration

Expertise

We provide comprehensive and expert advice on all aspects of the administration of an estate from ascertaining the estate and its value, through tax compliance (whether inheritance tax, capital gains tax or income tax for the period of administration), marshalling the assets, settling liabilities and making final distribution.

Our detailed knowledge of Inheritance Tax, trust, property and company law means we are well positioned to advise the family following a death on the how best to organise ownership of the family assets to take best advantage of inheritance tax breaks available on the death and anticipated for the future.

Frequently the estates we administer have an international aspect whether that relates to the residence or domicile of the deceased or assets of the estate.  We will work with lawyers or the courts in other jurisdictions as necessary, cogniscent of the problems and solutions affecting cross border estates.

We can act as co-ordinator of the administration of multi-jurisdictional estates even where the UK element is relatively small, but where  an awareness of the different legal systems and a knowledge of how they impact one another is essential.

 

Experience

Our experience in this area includes:

  • Advising executors of an estate which contained copyrights and other valuable intellectual property rights both generally and in relation to a US breach of copyright claim brought against them
  • Advising the executors of a substantial estate left to a large number of national and small charities; minimising tax liabilities, negotiating a common approach by the charities to the administration of major assets of the estate
  • Advising the family on a disputed will and on transactions in the lifetime of the deceased involving a constructive trust in order to recover very substantial assets for the family that were claimed by others
  • Acting as an executor and advising a co-executor in relation to connected estates of a husband and wife which involved three property investment companies, problematic issues in relation to the tax treatment and past tax affairs of those companies and difficult issues in relation to the beneficiaries of the estates
  • Advising in relation to the preparation of financial statements and supporting analysis for a large contested estate comprising UK and foreign assets
  • Acting as executor and advising co-executor in a complex estate comprising private company shares and joint venture property interests, beneficiaries from a number of different relationships, major liquidity issues, and an action against the estate initiated abroad
  • Advising on the successful reinstatement of a long term non-UK resident’s UK domicile shortly before her death resulting in a substantially reduced inheritance tax liability; then on the administration of the estate, with assets in both France and the UK, including successfully demonstrating to both the French and UK tax authorities that the deceased was domiciled in the UK
  • Advising the executors of an estate comprising a farmhouse, farmland, a number of cottages and business property and obtaining full inheritance tax relief
  • Acting for the executors of a UK resident US domiciled testator, with assets in the UK and in the US, and considering post death restructuring of the family wealth having regard to US and UK tax and succession issues
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