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.

 

Bicester, Buckingham & now Oxford!

Bicester Wills & Probate launched in 2010, and opened an office in Buckingham in 2018. We are delighted to now also have an office in Headington, Oxford. We look forward to servicing the Wills & Probate needs of the local community in Oxford.

Probate fees are on the increase

Currently, there is a set fee of £215 to obtain a Grant of Probate. The new fee to be charged for Probate applications will be calculated on a sliding scale, probably around 0.5% of the value of the estate. This will have a huge impact on the costs of most probate applications, so what can you do about 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’. Treatment and general care decisions will be made by our medical team and clinicians based on our best interests. Let’s look at the role of 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.

To find out more please get in touch by telephone

or book an appointment online.