Offering probate is a natural extension to the full range of services we already offer to both individuals and businesses


Probate services are no longer purely the domain of the legal profession. It’s been over seven years since the Government changed the law to enable accountants to handle the probate process, yet many people are still seemingly unaware that this is an option.

At the time the move was heralded as a bid to increase competition and choice for those dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s death. And for many this was seen as highly sensible and long overdue.

Accountants are no longer the professionals we only turn to at year end to sort out our tax returns or contact in a panic when we get an unexpected tax demand.

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Like the traditional image of a family solicitor, many people now rely on long term on-going relationships with their ‘family’ accountant to provide an end-to-end service; advising on business matters, how best to protect income and also how to plan for passing on hard-earned inheritance to the next generation.

They are often known as trusted advisers to more than one generation of the same family. And let’s face it, your accountant already has the privileged position of knowing almost as much about your financial affairs as you do yourself and has, probably, worked closely with you to establish the best inheritance tax plan. So, who better to assist with the execution of your final wishes or those of your loved ones.

So, if using him or her to administer probate is such a no brainer, why aren’t more people taking advantage of this new service? Well, it seems that the law change has not been very well publicised and in addition only a relatively small number of accountancy companies nationwide have taken up the challenge.

At Richardson Swift we took the attitude that offering probate was a natural extension to the full range of services we already offer to both individuals and businesses. We can support families through the probate process and assist with establishing the value of the estate, preparing the Grant of Probate, calculating and reporting tax liabilities to H M Revenue and Customs, plus administering the estate in a tax efficient way.

Director Calvin Healy heads the firm’s Inheritance Tax and Probate Service. He had experienced having to deal with the probate process as a client on the death of his grandfather and was determined to create a service that would take as much of the stress out of the process for clients as possible.

“I saw the stress that dealing with my grandfather’s will caused my mother and I wanted to make sure our clients were able to relax in the knowledge that we are dealing with everything on their behalf.

“Coping with the death of someone close to you is upsetting enough without having the burden of sorting out their probate heaped on top. At Richardson Swift we see it as a privilege to share this burden and help our clients through difficult times.”

In fact, this approach is core to the Richardson Swift (RS) ethos no matter what services the client uses.

Unlike some firms, RS puts the needs of its clients, rather than the tax calendar, at the heart of everything it does.

Last year the firm restructured its organisation so that every client now has a dedicated, fully qualified ‘client adviser’ monitoring their requirements on a day-to-day basis, as well as one of the four highly skilled directors – all specialists in their own fields – overseeing their account.

“We encourage our clients to incorporate tax planning into their everyday lives. Then they are not caught out when life throws them a curveball.

“It’s not just about making sure you get your tax return in on time or that you don’t miss filing your company accounts, it’s about how to make the most of your money and succeed in challenging times.

“Never mind the numbers, as chartered accountants and tax advisors, we are really here to help our clients prepare for life’s twists and turns,” added Calvin.

Calvin Healy is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser and is fully authorised to carry out non-contentious probate work. Contact him direct via or book a meeting at a time that suits you.

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