What is Probate?
Probate is the word normally used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions (called the assets) of a person who has died.
Before the next of kin or Executor named in the Will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased’s assets they may have to apply for Probate.
- Property (houses, buildings or land) is owned by the deceased.
- A Grant of Representation is required by a bank or other financial institution with which the deceased held assets. This is normally if the amount in the account is over the specific threshold set by that institution.
The Probate process often involves a lot of complicated legal, tax and financial work which can be broken down into five different phases.
Indentification and Valuing
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 die without a Will, and obtaining the necessary identification documents for those beneficiaries.
Taxation and Application
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, which is the document confirming the legal authority to administer the Estate.
Dealing with the Estate
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.
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.
Providing there are no challenges to the Estate or other complicating factors preventing distribution, the final phase will involve transferring any assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain, and distributing the balance of the Estate funds.
- Our Probate team offer a compassionate and supportive service providing practical and bespoke advice to suit each individual requirement. No two probate cases are the same, therefore we are able to offer you tailored advice and support along the way. We take full responsibility for completing the Estate administration process for you, giving you peace of mind that everything is being taken care of.
- We are an accredited member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for Probate work.
- Free initial face to face or virtual meeting with a specialist Probate professional.
- Getting the Grant of Probate and dealing with the legal, tax, property and Estate administration affairs.
- We deal with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), calculate Inheritance Tax and complete the necessary forms.
- Ongoing support from our Probate specialists who will keep you informed from start to finish.
We would be very happy to talk to you in detail and answer any questions you might have. Our friendly, knowledgeable team are always happy to help.