Probate and estate administration
We have acted for many generations of executors, trustees and beneficiaries to distribute assets in an efficient and sensitive way.
At this difficult time for families, we see it as our role to make the process as smooth as possible.
Our size and global reach mean that we are able to project manage very complex estates. Where property and family members are spread across different jurisdictions, where there are disputes, tax issues or other complications, the probate team routinely consults with colleagues in other departments and countries to offer sophisticated and practical advice.
Services include drafting applications for grants of representation so that if necessary you can manage assets before probate is completed, and coordination of different tax regimes to avoid ‘double tax’ on your inheritance. We can also act as executors and trustees, either individually or through WITCO, our UK trust corporation.
In one notable case we advised executors for the 11th Duke of Marlborough in the largest ever claim of heritage exemption from UK inheritance tax. We argued that Blenheim Palace – designated a Unesco world heritage site – should be preserved for the nation. Like many Withers clients, the Duke owned assets in multiple jurisdictions and we were able to advise on foreign succession laws, estate and inheritance taxes and filing deadlines.
In a less high-profile case, an American family recently consulted us upon the death of their British father. Having worked in London for many years, he had various types of foreign investment that, while acceptable in the UK, would carry a punitive tax charge for his US family. Commercially it did not make sense at the time to sell these investments so we were able to restructure the asset base to comply with tax and procedural rules across both jurisdictions.
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Ranked in Band 1 for private client for the last 16 years
Leading firm for private wealth
Ranked in top tier for personal tax, trust and probate
UK top 25 private client law firm 2017
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InsightView all Firm insight
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Further obligations on taxpayers with offshore affairs: The 'requirement to correct'
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