Probate

Probate Services
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What is Probate?

Probate is the process of proving a Will is valid through an application to the Probate Court. Probate usually relates to Estates where a Will exists but the same process is usually followed in estate where no Will is available.

A Grant of Probate is not always required and depends on the value of the estate. A Grant of Probate is usually required where a property is to be sold or if there are cash assets worth more than £25,000

Why choose Hardmans?

  • A dedicated and experienced Probate Specialist will handle your matter from start to finish
  • We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Giving you peace of mind during a difficult and emotional time
  • This firm has been practising in Probate matters since the firm began (approximately 1890)
  • You can easily meet with your solicitor throughout the matter – no call centres and no out of town services

Is it easy to administer an estate?

There can be many complex issues that arise during the administration of an estate, which non-qualified people may not appreciate. Complexities can include:-

  • dealing with the deceased’s income and capital gains tax affairs
  • dealing with overseas assets
  • calculation of inheritance tax, and apportioning liability for payment between beneficiaries
  • dealing with creditors of the estate
  • preparing inheritance tax accounts and liaising with the Revenue staff with regard to any enquiries
  • finding missing beneficiaries
  • providing tax certificates for beneficiaries
  • preparing the Oath for Executors
  • preparing comprehensive Estate Accounts at the end of the process which provide a clear summary of the administration
  • setting up of and dealing with the administration of trusts for minors, disabled people or specialist adult trusts

What is Intestacy

Our team can help you if you have lost a family member or friend and no Will can be found. This process is called “Intestacy” and a set procedure must be followed to ascertain who must act as “Administrator” (like an Executor but not appointed by Will) and to whom the assets of the estate should pass. This can be a difficult and sometimes upsetting process but our knowledge and experience can help ease the process.

What about Inheritance Tax?

  • We will calculate any Inheritance Tax and complete the relevant Inheritance Tax forms appropriate for each Estate administration (either IHT205 or IHT400)
  • We will communicate with HMRC to ensure all inheritance tax matters are dealt with appropriately
  • We can advise and calculate the transfer of any Nil Rate Band allowance, if available.

Our Probate Team

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Catherine was born in Rochester and educated at Fort Pitt Grammar School. After graduating from her LLB Honours Degree from University in London she moved to York to study professional qualifications at The College of Law.

After leaving York Catherine moved to Deal to start her training with the firm in 1996 and qualified in 1998. She was made a Partner in 2002 and continues to enjoy serving the local community of Deal and Sandwich.

Catherine has settled in Deal and has a strong commitment to Kent, having grown up and lived in the County for the most part of her life. She has a particular interest in the continued existence and growth of small businesses in East Kent which provides essential support and economic stability to local communities. Catherine is the Managing Partner of Hardmans and has a broad base of clients, both high net worth requiring specialist Inheritance Tax advice and business clients requiring specialist commercial advice.

Catherine feels it is extremely important that clients of all walks of life can continue to receive advice from a local firm from people with local knowledge who are available and on-hand to provide advice on a face to face basis, although use of the internet and telephone are useful and important communication tools. Results are however often achieved by talking to people – a method often forgotten in this time of electronic communication and faceless companies.

Catherine is Clerk to a local charity and also undertakes pro-bono work for a number of long standing Deal Charities.

Catherine lives in Deal and enjoys walking her dogs and going to the theatre.


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Freda started with Hardmans in 1998, having completed a degree in Social and Economic History at University of Kent at Canterbury. She has worked at Mowll & Mowll as a receptionist prior to undertaking her degree and joining Hardmans in her capacity as a fee earning assistant to Catherine Hobson.

Freda has considerable experience in dealing with people and you will find her very sympathetic, easy to talk to and understanding in what is often a very difficult and emotional time.



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