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Probate and the Administration of Estates

Good lifetime estate planning is the key to keeping estate administration simple, minimising inheritance tax, and ensuring the wishes of testators are complied with.

"Payne Hicks Beach has a very strong reputation in this field - the firm is what a top-end private client firm should be - they are a class act - they are creative in thinking of alternative approaches, very responsive and professional" Chambers HNW

Ensuring that our clients’ aims are achieved, even after death, requires imagination and flexibility, diligence and attention to detail, as well as empathy and good listening skills.  A testator’s objectives may range from the continued running of a family business to a straightforward transfer of assets to a surviving spouse.

We offer a sensitive and efficient service, dealing with matters including:

  • Establishing the assets and liabilities and gifting history of a deceased person
  • Dealing with inheritance tax reporting obligations, including advising on how to minimise these, claiming all available reliefs and exemptions, and negotiating complex points with H M Revenue and Customs
  • Arranging for the funding of inheritance tax liabilities
  • Applying for a grant of representation (Probate, where there is a valid Will, or Letters of Administration in other cases) both in the UK and the equivalent in other jurisdiction
  • Advising on issues arising out of conflicts of international succession law
  • Dealing with lifetime employees of the deceased, including the settlement of any outstanding PAYE or NIC liabilities
  • Dealing with income and capital gains tax compliance matters for the estate, and, if required, tidying up the lifetime tax affairs of the deceased
  • Paying estate liabilities, and otherwise arranging for the distribution of the estate in accordance with the Will or relevant rules of intestate succession
  • In relation to discretionary Will trusts, providing the requisite advice and documents for execution by the executors of trustees


Payne Hicks Beach Trust Corporation Limited is the Firm’s in-house trust corporation, through which we offer trustee or executor services if required.

Payne Hicks Beach’s private client team is ranked in Chambers HNW 2021. Quotes include, “they’re always very efficient, they give good advice and they are easy to deal with…their advice is clear, objective and understandable.” A source says, “you can tell that they care about their clients by looking at the quality of their work product…they take the time to address all questions to make sure everyone at the table understands what is going on. They go above and beyond. They’re a fantastic firm.”