Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died, so the administration of an estate can be a stressful process. We can assist in obtaining the grant of representation (or grant of probate) and help ensure your role as a Personal Representative is fulfilled correctly and legally.  We can provide guidance on these matters, for example payment of testamentary expenses and debts and payment of gifts to beneficiaries.

As we are a full service Estate Planning firm, we can also advice you on post death matters (Changing A Will After Death) such as Deed of Variation and Disclaimers. You might want to do this if you don’t need all your inheritance and would like it to go to someone else. It can also help minimise inheritance tax.

STAGE 1: VALUING THE ESTATE

At this stage we will go through the deceased’s papers and bank statements to establish their assets and liabilities. This may or may not be straightforward depending on the filing and whether the deceased had multiple investments, properties, and other personal belongings to consider. At this stage we may need to contact banks, lenders, fund managers, pension providers, the local government, the DWP, and HMRC.

STAGE 2: FILE INHERITANCE TAX FORMS

Regardless of whether inheritance tax must be paid inheritance tax forms must be completed. One form is used for non-taxable estates, another for taxable estates. The personal representative will complete the related forms as well as any additional schedules to establish the amount of tax payable.

STAGE 3: PAY INHERITANCE TAX

If there is inheritance tax payable on the estate then it must be paid prior to obtaining the grant of representation. Funds can be transferred directly from one of the deceased’s accounts for this if there are sufficient funds.

STAGE 4: FILE PROBATE FORMS

Once we have assessed the size of the estate we will be able to complete the probate application form by applying to the Probate Registry. The personal representative (Executor or Administrator) will need to sign a Statement of Truth at this stage to confirm that the details of the application are correct

STAGE 5: PAY PROBATE FEES

At this stage we will pay the applicable probate fees on your behalf. These are fixed regardless of the size of the estate and are detailed above in the disbursements section.

STAGE 6: ADMINISTER THE ESTATE

We will collect in the assets of the estate, discharge the liabilities and subsequently distribute the estate in accordance with a Will or the rule of intestacy