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 todays 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 its 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 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 is always a distressing time. Having to deal with their personal belongings, banks, DWP, arranging the funeral and much more, you may also need to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. If you would like assistance or feel it is too much to cope with, we are here to help. Choosing the right option is entirely up to you but we will always consider the most cost effective service based upon your individual circumstances.
1. Comprehensive Service
We will deal with the whole estate on your behalf. You will be appointed a professional, dedicated person from one of our legal partners. The progress of your application will be communicated throughout the process keeping you fully informed. This comprehensive service includes:
Valuation of all assets and liabilities.
The completion of all tax forms and settlement of any inheritance tax, income tax or capital gains tax.
Drafting and submitting of all documents in order to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (if there is no Will) from the Courts.
Collecting or transferring of all assets including Bank accounts, Investments, shares, etc.
Handling the sale of any property or 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.
2. Grant Assist
Following your initial assessment we will give you a fixed price in writing before any work is started.
We will complete a Personal application and HMRC tax return for submission to the Probate Registrars. The Grant Assist Service makes you the applicant but with our full support. We provide you with a fully completed set of documents ready for you to sign and submit to the Courts.
It is not unusual for the Courts to ask for additional information, in any circumstance we will cover this additional work in the fixed price we agree.
There may be an additional Court fee to pay, currently £215.
Should you require any further work in this matter which falls outside the Grant Assist we will agree this with you BEFORE work commences. In most cases we are able to assist you at the fixed price agreed.
For any Probate requirements, please contact one of our friendly, local team today.