Streamlining the complexities of your loved one’s legacy to ensure a smooth transition.
Probate is the term used for the process of administering someone’s estate that has passed away. This includes coordinating all of their assets such as selling their property, paying their debts and taxes and then distributing the rest of their estate to their beneficiaries. A Grant of Probate is a legal document issued by the High Court authorising the right person to deal with the estate of the deceased. This person will either be the executor appointed by the will or is the administrator if there is no will.
In most circumstances probate is required. It is not required when the estate is low in value or made up of assets owned jointly such as property or bank accounts as they will automatically pass to the surviving owner. Our team can provide more guidance as to whether probate is required.
If there is a Will it would normally include who has been named as an ‘executor’ and therefore who has the duty of administering the estate. There may be more than one person named. An executor must have mental capacity and not be a minor. If you have been appointed as an executor but for any reason either you do not want to fulfil your duties or if you simply require advice and assistance you can appoint one of our solicitors to act on your behalf.
A grant of representation is a document issued by the court to confirm that specified persons (known as the personal representatives) are authorised to deal with a deceased person’s estate. There are various different types of grants of representation. Grants of probate (where there is a Will naming executors) and grants of letters of administration (where there is no Will).
For an executor to collect and distribute the estate’s assets it may be necessary to apply for a legal document called a Grant of Probate. This is issued by the Probate Registry and will give you the authority to handle the estate. To do this you need to determine the value of the deceased’s estate as at the date of death and any lifetime gifts made in the preceding 7 year period. This will include valuations of the deceased’s property, bank and building society accounts together with any investments and any personal possessions.
It will be your responsibility to administer the estate for the benefit of the beneficiaries by collecting all of the assets and settling all of the liabilities. With estates over the current inheritance tax threshold of £325,000, there may be an inheritance tax liability. In this case you will be required to complete an inheritance tax account known as an IHT400. Part of the inheritance tax liability must be paid on applying for the Grant of Probate. All executors named in the Will who wish to apply for Probate must sign the tax account
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