Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration and Intestacy
The term probate is often used generally for dealing with somebody’s affairs when they die. Technically it is just the document issued authorising somebody to deal with the estate. This person is the executor on the Will or if there is no will an appointed administrator.
Everything else around it; paying bills, closing accounts, collecting in assets, paying tax, distributing funds to the beneficiaries etc is the estate administration.
Administering an estate is something that you can do yourself if you wish. However, it is very time consuming and many find it difficult to deal with the burden and emotional stress and therefore choose to use a professional.
When using a professional choose somebody who is a specialist. Not only will this alleviate your burden but you will now have access to their experience and knowledge. This means work can be done quicker and more efficiently.
We offer a capped fee service priced solely on the work involved. No hourly rates or percentages of the estate. You will only ever deal with a qualified person who will be your point of contact through to completion of the work.
The Probate process explained
The Probate process often involves a lot of complicated legal, tax and financial work which can be broken down into five different phases.
Probate Phase 1. Identifying all of the deceased’s assets (property, investments and possessions) and all of their liabilities (debts ranging from loans to utility bills), in order to determine the value of their Estate.
At the same time, verifying entitlement to the Estate under the terms of the deceased’s Will, or in accordance with Intestacy laws if they died without a Will, and obtaining the necessary identification documents for those beneficiaries.
Probate Phase 2. Paying Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) where applicable, and submitting the correct Inheritance Tax return (required whether or not there is tax due), and applying to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation, being a document confirming the legal authority to administer the Estate.
Probate Phase 3. After the Grant of Representation has been issued by the Probate Registry, liquidating (selling) the deceased’s assets, settling their liabilities, paying the final Estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any further Inheritance Tax, any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the Estate.
Probate Phase 4. Preparing Estate accounts documenting all payments into and out of the Estate, and showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries. Sending the Estate accounts to the Personal Representatives (such as the Executor in the Will) for approval.
Probate Phase 5. Providing there are no challenges to the Estate or other complicating factors preventing distribution at this stage, the final phase will involve transferring any assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain, and distributing the balance of the Estate funds.
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