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Probate Case Studies

Caroline

Caroline came to us in a state of distress - her partner James had sadly died without a Will and she had been left with a number of bills that she could not pay. They had been together for 15 years and James was estranged from his family.

As they were not married she was not entitled to administer his estate nor inherit anything from his estate. She told us that his parents were not alive and he had two sisters. She asked us if we could help with this difficult situation.

Our Estate Management Partner traced James’ sisters and were surprised to be told that he had two children from a previous relationship that Caroline had no knowledge of.

This meant that the children, who hadn’t ever known their father, were entitled to administer his estate.

This was obviously a very sensitive situation, but with our help, the family were able to steer James’ estate through probate and enact a deed of variation that ensured that Caroline got an appropriate settlement from the estate.

 

Michael

When Michael’s wife Nicola died, she had a number of assets in her own name, including three ISAs, a car and a buy to let property.

She had left a Will with a trust in it that allowed Michael to enjoy the use of her assets for the rest of his life, but ensured that her children would always benefit from her assets when Michael died, even if he remarried.

However, the tax free status of Nicola’s ISAs would be lost if they were transferred into a trust rather than into Michael’s name. As the balances were significant, it was important that a solution was found so that he could enjoy a tax free income from the ISAs.

Our Estate Management partner helped him get probate on his wife’s estate, set up the trust and transferred the buy-to-let property to the trustees. We then facilitated a trustees meeting in which the trustees agreed to transfer the ISAs to Michael in exchange for a similarly valued investment bond that he held in his name being transferred to the trust.

This maximised the tax efficiency of the estate and still protected Nicola’s children.