“Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.”

So, make it simpler on both fronts.


The source of this well-known quote may be debated, but its truth rarely is. When a loved one dies there is much to organise. So are there steps you could take to plan ahead for probate?


Planning for the death of a loved one may seem barbaric, but it’s immensely beneficial to help get their affairs in the best possible order. My wife found managing the probate process – getting the legal right to deal with someone’s estate – for her late father in 2017 was much simpler because he kept immaculate financial records.


Applying for a ‘grant of representation’ – more commonly known as a grant of probate – can be done by anyone, but if the deceased hasn’t left a will, has complex arrangements such as assets held in trust, or the will is likely to be contested, a specialist probate solicitor can be a good idea. Always use a reputable source such as the Law Society, and be sure to check their fees.


When someone dies, their estate will normally have to pay any tax due before money is distributed to their heirs. Be careful when it comes to taxes, as income received after the person’s death, such as rent from property or income from a business, ‘belongs’ to their estate. Aside from income tax, there is also capital gains tax and of course inheritance tax to consider.


Understand your estate’s liabilities well in advance with your financial adviser, so you can take steps to mitigate IHT and take advantage of available tax breaks.


Helping your loved ones be prepared for probate is a gift. That’s why the Retirement Café event on Wednesday 7th March at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel is all about preparing for probate. Ask your questions to Kurt Lee of Lester Aldridge Solicitors and Simon Head of Head & Wheble funeral directors.


Spaces are limited and must be pre-booked, so call 01425 279212 or register here.