What is probate?

This is the process of administering the estate of a deceased person.

It involves locating the original and most recent Will; establishing who the Executors are; valuing the estate for Inheritance Tax; and applying to the Court for the Grant of Probate.  The Grant enables the Executors to prove they are responsible for collecting in the assets, paying off the debts and liabilities, and distributing the estate according to the deceased’s wishes as set out in the Will.

Where there is no Will, probate involves identifying the next of kin and having them apply to be the Administrators of the Estate.  The estate still needs to be valued, and an application made for the Grant of Probate.  When the Administrators collect in the assets and pay off the liabiities, they must then distribute what’s left according to the Intestacy Rules.

Both the Executors and the Administrators, to whom probate is granted, are known as the Personal Representatives of the deceased.

What paperwork is involved in Probate?

The Will

This is the most important document!  It must be the most recent Will of the deceased, and must be the original.

The Estate Accounts

This is a detailed list of all the assets and liabilities of the estate.  Later, it is also used to account for all payments out under the Will or Intestacy Rules.

The Inheritance Tax return 

If the estate is valued at less than the nil rate band (currently £325,000.00), the appropriate form to complete is the IHT205.

If the estate is valued at more than the nil rate band, the appropriate form to complete is the IHT400.

The application for Probate

To obtain a Grant from the Court, the Personal Representatives must complete the form PA1.

The above paperwork, and any associated information required by the Court, must be submitted in application for the Grant of Probate.

Receipts

Full records must be kept of all assets gathered in, all debts and liabilities paid, and all payments out to beneficiaries.  These records must be kept.  HMRC can ask to see these records for up to 20 years after the estate has been distributed.

Services

Wills 

  

Costs

(see ‘The Inheritance Tax Return’ section for explanation of IHT205 & IHT400)

Fixed Fee Probate Assistance for estates requiring an IHT205
£1,200 – £2,995

Fixed Fee Probate Assistance for estates requiring an IHT400
£2,995 – £3,995

The Probate Registry charges an application fee of £215.  This is not included in our fees.

Contact us for a costs estimate tailored to your requirements.

 

Our experienced team can manage the entire estate administration for you, or be on hand to complete the paperwork and provide advice when you need it.

 

How can my wishes be known if I’m too ill to communicate?

If we become too ill to speak for ourselves, we are deemed to have ‘lost capacity’. Decisions about our treatment and general care will be made by our medical team and, whilst our next of kin may have some say, the clinicians decide what is in our best interests and act accordingly. Let’s look at Health and Welfare LPAs.

Who’ll manage my money?

The question of who’ll keep our finances in order if we have lost our capacity to manage them is a huge one! It’s important to have someone we trust. Everyone’s heard scare stories of people targeted by unscrupulous ‘good samaritans’ who clear out their bank accounts… It doesn’t have to be that way.

Making a Living Will

What are your views on life saving medical treatment? Will your wishes be considered if those circumstances arise for you? A ‘Living Will’, sets out your preferred treatment in specific situations. This means that whether or not you are conscious, and whether or not you have capacity, your voice will be heard.

What is your digital legacy?

What is your digital legacy? Most of us leave digital footprints every day...we're Tweeting our opinions, Facebooking our friends and Instagramming pictures of our delicious meals and sunshine filled holidays, whilst LinkedIn showcases our careers and contacts. What...

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