Probate

It is a difficult time when a loved one dies and can be extremely stressful. Having to deal with the estate administration could add to your woes. Don’t let it.

When a loved one dies, their debts will need to be cleared. Then their estate needs to be distributed according to their Will or the laws of intestacy (if there is no Will in place).

We offer a full handheld Probate and Estate Administration service.

What is Probate?

The term probate simply refers to the process of gaining the legal right to deal with the deceased’s estate. That person, either an executor under a Will or an administrator without a Will, is responsible for sorting out the deceased’s affairs.

It is important that you conclude the deceased’s affairs appropriately. As it can cause both financial and emotional distress to family members. Especially if the process is not correctly followed.

If there is a Will in place and an Executor is named. Then that person needs to apply for a ‘Grant of Probate’. If there is no Will or the Executor is not named in the Will. Then the person looking to conduct the probate as an administrator would need to apply for ‘Letters of Administration’.

The executor is then responsible for gathering all the deceased’s assets. As well as paying any outstanding debts such as a mortgage. Then distributing what is left according to the Will or intestacy. It can be quite an administrative burden.

As an executor, you will need to complete and send all relevant probate and inheritance tax forms. Sending them to the correct government office.

The estate administrator needs to contact all the relevant financial institutions. They should understand all the deceased’s debts. Then makes an estimate of the estate value and report to HMRC. Anything believed to have a value over £500 should be referred to a professional valuation service. All gifts within the last 7 years will need to be taken into consideration.

Is Probate always required?

No, probate is not always required. You do not need to apply for a grant if:

  • Everything is owned in joint names and passes by survivorship to spouse or civil partner. Such as joint property and joint savings accounts.
  • The estate does not include solely owned land, property or shares.

A Grant may be 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.

How we can help you

With our Complete Probate Service we:

  • Take you, as an executor, through the legal meaning of the deceased’s Will;
  • Apply for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration;
    • Complete the Probate Application
    • Complete the Inheritance Tax forms
    • Send to the Probate Registry
    • Help you swear an oath that the accounts are accurate
  • Write letters to all involved to close accounts, such as banks and utilities companies;
  • Collect the estate amount;
  • Pay any debts outstanding, such as mortgages, loans and credit cards;
  • Claim any insurance policies taken out by the deceased;
  • Make final valuation of the estate less of taxes and debts;
  • Establish any Will Trusts setup in the Will through relevant appointments; and
  • Distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.

The role of Executor or Administrator, and the estate administration duties involved, can be very time-consuming and challenging. As it involves following a specific process, completing complicated forms and a knowledge of both the law and taxation.

If you book an appointment with one of our specialists. We can walk you through the process step-by-step. Ensuring that the estate is properly dealt with.

Farani Taylor Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This gives you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones probate affairs are being dealt with by a regulated organisation. Also by a brand you know and can trust.

Contact us or call us on 0207 242 1666 today.

Sheldon Burgher

Paralegal
Biography Sheldon joined the Farani Taylor team in 2018. She completed her law degree in 2015 and is working towards...
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