What is Probate?
Probate Definition: In England and Wales, 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 or estate) 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. If you own property or land you will almost certainly need Probate.
When Probate has been granted the next of kin or Executor can start to deal with the deceased person’s assets in accordance with their Will. If the deceased died without a Will, the law will determine who should receive the deceased's assets which is why a Will is so important.
Why should you pre-pay your Probate fees? Planning for the future with a Pre-Paid Probate Plan ensures the rising cost of dying will be frozen at today's prices. In a similar way to our Pre-Paid Funeral Plans, the funds are securely held in Trust so you can be assured the plan will provide the service in full when it's needed. Many Solicitors charge by the hour or a significant percentage of the total value of the estate but, regardless of the cost to administer your estate, we will guarantee your beneficiaries will have nothing more to pay in respect of legal fees. Inheritance tax and other debts are payable by the estate but we will ensure these are paid on your behalf. If you are aware of the need to pay inheritance tax we will advise you the best possible way to reduce or eliminate it altogether as part of our estate planning and Will Writing service.
A Grant of Probate will be required if the deceased’s estate has any number of individual assets of a certain value. The value is determined by the institution who holds the asset or funds on behalf of the deceased. Banks and Building Societies typically have their own limits which, in some cases, can be as low as £5,000. Applying for a Grant of Probate can be extremely stressful, complicated and time consuming. Not understanding the process can often lead to costly errors and delays. If the deceased owed money it is essential a notice is given to allow companies to make a claim against the estate. Failure to comply could leave the executors (you) liable in the future.
There may be a requirement to pay Inheritance Tax on the estate, IHT as it is known, to HM Revenue and Customs on amounts over the current NIL rate band. There are a number of NIL rate bands (Personal allowance, Business relief and Property relief) which you may be entitled to which would significantly reduce the amount payable from the Estate. Where a person was previously married and they have both died, it is possible to reclaim the allowances of their deceased partner from years gone by. Always seek advice before an application is started.
At 4 Probate and Wills our experts will ensure you only pay the tax that is due.
Our probate service
Losing a loved one and dealing with their personal belongings, banks, DWP, HMRC and arranging the funeral can be overwhelming, distressing and feel too much to cope with. Even if you have been appointed as Executor in the Will you don't have to do this alone. We are here to help.
Option 1. Comprehensive Service
We will administer the whole estate on your behalf.
Valuation of all assets and liabilities.
Complete all tax forms and settlement of any inheritance tax, income tax or capital gains tax.
Drafting and submitting all documents in order to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (if there is no Will).
Collecting or transferring of all assets including Bank accounts, Investments, shares, etc.
Handling the sale of any property and completing any other conveyancing matters.
Producing the estate accounts on completion.
Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or deceased's wishes.
Creating and managing any Trusts that are required from the Will.
Protection against creditors making a claim on the estate after the funds have been distributed.
Option 2. Grant Assist (most popular)
This is the most cost efficient and popular option which can be completed in a matter of weeks.
We will complete a Personal application and the necessary HMRC tax returns and submit them to the Probate Registrars.
The Grant Assist Service ensures you remain the applicant with our full support.
In the unlikely event the Probate Registrar asks for additional information we will complete this on your behalf.
You may wish to place a notice in the Gazette to notify creditors of the deceased estate.
If you are unaware of the financial situation of the deceased we can arrange an estate search if required. This often locates £1000s in accounts you where not aware of.
There will be an application fee payable to HMCTS, currently £215 which needs to be paid when the application is submitted.
Irrespective of which option you choose, both will produce a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
For any Probate questions or to make an application, please contact us today.