Many of our clients ask us when making their Will, what is Probate and how does it work? Probate is often the term used to refer to the settling of affairs of someone after their death. It is a term that is often used in lieu of the wider process of Estate Administration.
What is The Grant of Probate?
The Grant of Probate or “Probate” is a legal document applied for by the Executor (or more than one) to settle someone’s affairs once they have died and have left a Will.
If the person dies without a Will the next of kin will apply for Letters of Administration.
These enable the Executors or Administrators to settle the deceased’s estate according to legal, tax and financial requirements which apply to the person’s property, money and possessions.
What do I need to do for Probate?
- Ensure you have a valid Will
- Obtain all information regarding the estate
- Get two open market valuations for any properties owned by the deceased
- Write off for date of death valuations for cash and investment assets
- Pay off all debts and liabilities
- Check if any gifts were made within 7 years of the date of death
- Apply for Probate by completing the appropriate form(s) and submitting it(them) with the death certificate to your local probate registry or online (documents to be submitted by post subsequently)
- Obtain Inheritance Tax number and agree on the amount of IHT due with HMRC
- Ensure that the correct amount of Inheritance Tax is paid
If the person did not leave a Will the process is similar, but you will be issued with Letters of Administration instead of a Grant of Probate.
If there is a Trust in the Will we strongly suggest you seek advice on what to do with any Trust assets from a Probate specialist.
What do you need to do to Administer the Estate?
There will then be work relating to sale/transfer of property, collection of sale proceeds, dividends, preparing of accounts and distribution of the proceeds to the beneficiaries at the appropriate time.
As an Executor or Administrator, you will settle the deceased’s legal, financial and property affairs. This requires you to administer and settle their property affairs, pay debts, calculate and pay Inheritance Tax and make appropriate payments to beneficiaries.
The passing of a loved one is often a difficult time and a person’s estate can be a time-consuming and stressful task to sort out even when a Will has been left.
If no Will can be found the person dies intestate and the deceased’s affairs must be settled according to the laws of intestacy which may not accord with the wishes of family and friends.
A valid, up-to-date Will in place would help to ensure the wishes of the deceased are executed.
Choosing your Executors when making your Will is a significant decision as Executors are the ones who have the legal authority to act on behalf of the deceased to administer their estate.
Probate is complex enough
We know that dealing with the affairs of a deceased loved one is complex and often distressing, even at the best of times.
Our affordable Probate and Estate Administration service is designed to give you peace of mind that all legal formalities have been completed, HMRC is satisfied at every stage and the funds released to the beneficiaries without delay.
For free Probate and Estate Administration advice or to get the process underway, call our friendly team of Probate professionals today on 0208 568 9602 or email email@example.com.