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  • Overview

    Specialist probate lawyers

    Our award winning team of probate lawyers has been helping  executors, personal representative and administrators for generations of families.  We understand the support you need when dealing with someone's estate varies enormously, depending on the complexity of the will and estate and how much work you want or have time to carry out yourself. Whether you’re facing probate with no will or contentious probate, our team has the knowledge to deal with every scenario.

    Our experienced team of Probate lawyers recognise the challenges our clients face when they lose someone; to help bring clarity and structure at this difficult time we have created a practical Bereavement Guide.

    We offer a free initial telephone conversation to help you decide which probate service is the right one for you from the list below.  To speak to one of our team please call us on 01892 51000.

    What is the role of an Executor of a will or Personal Representative?

    In short, the role of the executor or personal representative (PR) is to carry out the deceased person’s wishes as per his/her will and to distribute their estate according to those wishes.

    The role of an executor can be a difficult responsibility and leave you open to personal liability but our experienced probate solicitors in Kent can help you manage the risks involved.

    Choosing the right probate service

    Our probate lawyers will help you with the paperwork and bureaucracy involved, guiding you though the decisions and actions needed. Our probate services are listed below, please read the descriptions to understand which service you require:

    • Full estate administration: our team will deal with each aspect of the probate process, so you are not burdened with the responsibility
    • Executor support service: you choose which parts of the process you want to carry out yourself and which you would like a lawyer to do
    • Grant-only service: we can apply for the Grant of Representation on your behalf and you enabling you to do the rest of the work yourself
    • Independent administration: A service for estates that are in dispute and require an independent administrator to be appointed to deal with the estate administration up to the point of distribution.

    Resolving probate complications

    Having support from a probate lawyer can take away stress at a difficult time. We can help you with issues such as:

    • What to do when someone dies without making a will: we advise you of the steps you need to take and the rules that guide entitlements
    • Inheritance Act Claims: expert advice and assistance when a claim is threatened or proceedings are issued
    • Probate Disputes: we help you through the process and find the best solution.

    To ensure we provide you with the very best support possible we have created a Probate questionnaire, this will help us gain an understanding into your situation. Once we've recieved your questionnaire, one of our lawyers will contact you in regards to taking the next steps.

    How much does it cost?

    Costs vary according to the level of service you feel you need. Our probate solicitors always give you clear guidance on the costs at each step of the process. Grant-only services are provided on a fixed fee basis where there are no complications.

    To help control costs we will ensure that someone of the appropriate skill level handles any new matter and this will always be discussed at the outset.

    How long does it take?

    Timings vary according to the complexity of the estate and the level of support you choose. We will give you an estimate of the timings at the outset. We offer an express probate service for less complex estates.

    Free initial telephone consultation - Call Thomson Snell & Passmore today

    If you would like one of our team to discuss your needs and options please complete this short probate questionnaire and we’ll contact you. Alternatively you can contact our probate lawyers in Kent on 01892 510000 (Tunbridge Wells) / 01322 623700 (Thames Gateway) or  online using our get in touch form on this page.



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    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Wills, Trusts & Tax Planning team who have recently advised a client on deeds of variation, inheritance tax and discretionary trusts.

    Farming estates & inheritance tax

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Wills, Trusts & Tax Planning team who have recently settled a farming case, saving a potential IHT liability of over £500,000.

  • Latest Updates

    Making use of the Residence Nil Rate Band

    The Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) has been recently introduced and is only able to be claimed on estates where the deceased has died on or after 6 April 2017. The RNRB increases the amount which can pass free of Inheritance Tax on the death.

    Independent administrator service

    Independent administration is a service solicitors and families can use when there are recalcitrant executors, intractable differences of opinion or contested wills combined with a need to protect an element or the whole of a deceased’s estate.

    Law Commission’s consultation on the law of wills

    Thomson Snell & Passmore has responded to the Law Commission’s consultation on the law of wills.

    Industry call for clarity on digital legacies

    New powers over what happens to digital legacies upon death have been called for by solicitors and legal academics

    Election kills probate 'stealth tax'

    Nicola Plant, Partner and Head of Private Client speaks to The Law Society Gazette about the government's decision to scrap probate fee increases.

    Financial penalties against personal representatives

    Personal representatives are expected to make full enquiries regarding lifetime gifts made by the deceased, as well as the assets in the estate.  Failure to do this could result in a penalty being imposed by HM Revenue & Customs.  Helen Stewart, Partner and Head of Probate, considers a recent case and provides some tips for avoiding penalties.

    The legal week in 60 seconds

    The Solicitors Journal reports on Thomson Snell & Passmore's recent significant promotions within the firm.

    Top 25 UK Law Firm

    We are pleased to receive, for another year, the accolade from eprivateclient of being listed as one of the Top 25 Law Firms in the UK.

    Spotlight on probate

    Probate is a subject that is increasingly grabbing the headlines not least because disputes are increasing, particularly in relation to who inherits and how much they inherit from a testator’s estate.

    Challenging an English Will

    When a loved one dies, it is a hugely emotional and challenging time. Family tensions often run high, and where the deceased has left behind a Will that is not as expected, creates disappointment or jealousy, or perhaps even arises suspicion as to the circumstances surrounding its creation, the situation can become all the more difficult.

    Are you aware of your digital assets?

    For most of us, and increasingly irrespective of age, the digital world has crept into our lives. Whether we manage our bank accounts or investments online, store our photographs in the cloud or manage our social lives through Facebook, our digital footprints are becoming deeper and deeper.

    Securing English grants of probate for managing the British-based assets of deceased persons who were domiciled outside the UK

    We are frequently called upon to secure English grants of probate for managing the British-based assets of deceased persons who were domiciled outside the UK. Our proficiency in these matters is demonstrated by the following case study.

    FAQ: Dispute Resolution

    Q.  I have been cut out of my parents Will, what can I do?

    Tax Carrots

    The inheritance and income tax promises from party manifestos are little more than tinkering. They are only likely to complicate tax matters further.

    Shareholders’ agreements: the death of a shareholder in a jointly-owned company

    The death of a shareholder can create significant problems for a company. Our experience suggests that this is particularly so where there are only two shareholders who each own 50% of the shares.

    Where there’s a will…

    It's impossible to prepare for every eventuality and prevent a probate dispute, but there are various ways to reduce their likelihood, says Jessica Bermingham.

    Writing a Will won't always protect your estate after death

    The recent court victory of budding young opera singer Miles Taylor provides a salient reminder that the notion that your will can leave whatever you want to whomever you want is, in some ways, a myth says Jessica Bermingham.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Private Client team top ranked for fourth year in a row

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is delighted to announce today that the firm’s Private Client team has once again been included in Private Client Practitioner magazine’s “Top 25 Law Firms”. This is the fourth consecutive year that the team has been included in the highly regarded rankings.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore Retains Excellent Rankings

    Thomson Snell & Passmore has achieved outstanding rankings in this year’s Chambers & Partners – with an impressive 24 lawyers recognised as “leaders in their field” – four more than last year.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Private Client team top ranked for third year in a row

    Thomson Snell & Passmore today announces that the firm’s Private Client team has been named as one of the “Top 25 Law Firms” by Private Client Practitioner magazine for the third year in a row.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s leading Private Client Practice

    Thomson Snell & Passmore is delighted to announce that Private Client partners Jeremy Passmore and Simon Brown have both been recognised as a ‘Leading Lawyer – Prominent figure’ in the 2012 edition of the Citywealth Leaders List for the second year in a row.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore Retains Excellent Rankings

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore has achieved outstanding rankings in this year’s Chambers & Partners and has an impressive 20 lawyers recognised as ‘Leaders in their Field’ – retaining its position as one of the region’s leading law firms. Chambers & Partners is one of the foremost independent guides to the legal profession and this year Thomson Snell & Passmore has maintained its strong reputation across all its practice areas.

  • Know How

Get in touch

I was satisfied with the efficiency and warmth of the service Kirsty provided.


I cannot speak too highly of the care, attention and sympathy that I have received.


The whole process was made very simple.


Very sympathetic and understanding during a very difficult period of my life.


Initial contact was made at a time of great stress and I was glad to 'hand over' some of my concerns to TS&P. Their expertise and consideration has been a comfort in a time of continual stress. Thank you.”


Helpful, committed and responsive, who do a great job and treat their clients well.

Chambers UK

Sue, thank you for the hard work you have put into concluding mum's estate.  Thomson Snell & Passmore had been my parent's solicitors for decard. You served them well!


Sue, we as a family sincerely appreciate your strong efforts, together with all of your Team, to assist us through this very trying process and must say a big Thank you.  Personally I am exhausted yet realise that I could not have achieved a final result without your professional and caring support.


Efficient, effective and friendly helpful.


Sue Lambert assisted me greatly and kept me informed through the entire process.


Sarah responded quickly and offered me sensible solution, and covered all the loop holes.


Everyone has been extremely supportive throughout all the stages.


As well as being highly efficient, great sensitivity has been evident during very emotional times.


Meet The Team

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