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High Net Worth Probate

Our expert High Net Worth Probate Solicitors at Rowlinsons can help you with the administration of complex, large, and valuable estates. We provide legal advice that is effective and tailored to your situation.

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Probate Solicitors for High Net Worth Individuals

The probate process can be more complicated than usual when the deceased leaves behind significant wealth. That’s why getting specialised legal advice from a probate solicitor early on helps things go as smoothly as possible.


High net worth probate solicitors

The probate process for High Net Worth individuals can be complex, confusing, and time-consuming.

At Rowlinsons our knowledgeable estate administration team has extensive experience in dealing with large, complex estates. Our award-winning solicitors are on your side to deal with all matters of probate efficiently, sympathetically and with attention to detail.

In October 2023 our estate administration team was highly commended in the category ‘Private Client Team of the Year – Boutique’ at the British Wills and Probate Awards. In 2018 we received the National Law Society Award for Excellence in Private Client. Our team were also awarded the Solicitor Firm of the Year (North) category at the 2018 British Wills and Probate Awards.

Our estate administration team includes members of STEP who have received a STEP Worldwide Excellence Award, demonstrating our commitment to bringing you the best possible service. 


What are the challenges of high net worth probate?

The main challenge when dealing with High Net Worth probate cases is keeping track of the variety of assets which could be held in different trust structures or jurisdictions. Assets will have to be identified and valued individually and accurately.

There may be businesses owned by the deceased that are still in operation which could mean taking care of employees, the day-to-day running of things and managing the accounts.

Getting a fair outcome is another concern and trustees and beneficiaries will want to know that they are receiving the correct entitlement – especially with so much at stake.


What is an executor in high net worth estate administration?

The role of the executor is to ensure that the estate of the deceased is fairly and objectively distributed according to the wishes of the deceased outlined in the will.

If you’re named the executor in a will, it is your responsibility to obtain a Grant of Probate before you can start dealing with the estate.

The executor arranges for the identification of assets and valuation of the estate. This enables them to calculate the amount of inheritance tax due on the assets which the executor is responsible for paying from estate funds.

Some estates will continue to generate income after the death of the owner. The executor will need to produce the final accounts for HMRC and settle any income tax due.

Managing the extensive estate of a high net worth individual is no easy task, and may involve the instruction of different professionals such as chartered surveyors or accountants. The expertise of the team managing an estate distribution can help relieve the burden placed on the executor and ensure the best outcome possible. The High Net Worth Probate Solicitors at Rowlinsons have years of experience dealing with large estates, and can support you with a proactive approach.


What are the tax implications for high-value estates?

The Inheritance Tax rules apply to all estates.  The first £325,000 of an estate will generally fall within the tax-free ‘Nil Rate Band’ meaning that smaller estates may not actually pay any tax, whilst high-value estates can find themselves facing significant tax bills as tax is charged at 40% on assets exceeding this £325,000 threshold.

The executor will need to organise the payment of inheritance tax from estate funds. Inheritance tax must be paid by the end of the 6th month after the date of death and before you apply for probate. You must send the inheritance tax forms to HMRC within one year of death. 

Some assets could be subject to tax relief, for example, business or agricultural assets.  If eligible for Business Relief, the amount of inheritance tax due on the value of the business may be decreased by 50 per cent or the business may even be tax-exempt depending on the structure of the business. The rules on business relief are complex and care is need in making a claim for relief.

One other option the testator may have chosen is to leave some of their money to charity which will not be taxed. If at least 10 per cent of the taxable estate goes to charity, the inheritance tax rate for the rest of the estate decreases from 40 per cent to 36 per cent.

Our solicitors are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Inheritance Tax, and advise clients regarding eligibility for reliefs and exemptions which can potentially drastically reduce or in some cases defer your due payments. Contact Rowlinsons Solicitors today for an assessment of your case.

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Why is it important to properly value assets for high net worth probate?

The Executors of an estate are under a duty to make the fullest enquiries reasonably possible before declaring the estate values to HMRC for tax purposes.

If the estate is not valued properly you may end up paying the wrong amount of inheritance tax.

Paying too little Inheritance Tax could mean facing penalties or being liable for Capital Gains Tax if the undervalued asset is sold later at a much higher price.

If you pay too much Inheritance Tax, it is possible to claim some of the money back. To avoid extra hassle or spending more money in the long run, it’s better to get the valuation right the first time. 

If assets are inaccurately valued, it may lead to unfairness in the distribution amongst beneficiaries which could lead to disputes later.

Assets that need to be valued:

  • Money in bank accounts
  • Investments and shares
  • Property and land
  • Personal possessions and jewellery
  • Vehicles
  • Lifetime gifts made within 7 years of death

You will need to value the deceased person’s share of any jointly held assets and identify any gifts that were made within the last 7 years because these might also be subject to inheritance tax. Money is easy to value, but property or possessions will need to be accurately assessed. 

An estate agent or chartered surveyor can give you an accurate valuation based on an estimate of their sale at current market value. However, the advice of an expert High Net Worth Probate Solicitors is invaluable and can make a real difference when it comes to the distribution of these assets.


How can beneficiaries ensure they receive fair asset distribution?

Once the Grant of Probate is obtained the executor can start to settle the estate. Complications can arise when beneficiaries or other parties question the fairness of asset distribution.

Family members left out of the will may be disappointed if the will does not live up to their expectations, but in the UK, there is no right to inherit, and the court cannot change a will because someone thinks it is unfair.

Unless there is a strong case that the person left out of the will was financially dependent on the testator, has been unfairly treated, and perhaps left destitute, they might not be able to make a successful claim for assets. A specialist probate solicitor can advise you on whether you may have a valid claim on the estate.

Rowlinsons have experience in supporting beneficiaries of high value estates and can help provide expert advice should any disputes arise.


How a probate solicitor can help

High net worth probate cases can be difficult to navigate particularly if the estate involves businesses, trusts, and overseas assets. It’s crucial to have expert advice on your side to ensure you effectively secure the legacy of your loved one.

Rowlinsons are probate experts. We work on behalf of high-net-worth individuals, their families, executors, and beneficiaries to help guide you through the process. We’ll tailor our approach to the nature and extent of assets to make administering the estate as straightforward as possible.


Contact our HNW Probate Solicitors

Dealing with the administration of the estate of a High Net Worth individual requires a high level of legal expertise. The benefits of instructing an experienced team are clear, both from a legal and a financial standpoint.

Our team of Probate Solicitors for High Net Worth estates has been supporting clients across the Cheshire and the North West for many years from our offices in Frodsham and Runcorn (Sutton Weaver), including individuals in WarringtonWidnesSt HelensChester, and Northwich.

As a specialist firm of Solicitors in Cheshire, we offer expert legal advice to clients across England and Wales. Contact us today to find out more about our Estate Administration.

Call us today for an initial no obligation call or click here for a call back. We also have meeting facilities in North Wales for Family Law clients.