Estate Administration

Wills and Probate

Most estates have to go through probate, whether you leave a will or not. It ensures the deceased estate passes to the right people and all Tax due on death is identified and collected. If your estate is over five thousand pounds, before it can be collected for distribution, a Grant of Probate must be obtained. This means the Will must be formally recognised at the local Probate Registry.

All Banks, Building Societies and Insurance Companies will insist on seeing a Grant of Probate before they pay out and your house will not be able to be sold. If your estate is worth more than £325,000 it may be liable to Inheritance Tax and you would be wise to enlist the help of a professional.

If you are acting as an Executor in a Will then you are personally liable for any debts, so professional advice is essential.

1. As an Executor of a Will you have the following options when dealing with the estate:

• Seek professional help to complete the work for you. They will provide a discreet and confidential service, covering every aspect of Probate and the administration of the deceased person’s estate. Whether your executor just needs some guidance and support, or want the administrators to take all the weight off their shoulders and deal with the whole process, in a fast and efficient manner

Some Solicitors offer a fixed fee service or charge an hourly rate so it’s important to shop around and obtain at least 3 quotes

2. Dealing with Probate Yourself

If you are the appointed executor and wish to deal with probate yourself, the following is a very basic idea of the process involved ~ you will receive a booklet from the probate office to help

• You can telephone the local probate registry and ask for a personal application.

• Complete the yellow (assets) form and the blue (next of kin) form and submit to the probate registry with an original death certificate and the original Will.

• Advertise for creditors locally and in the Local Newspaper.

• After two ~ three weeks you will receive an appointment date to attend the court to confirm the details, pay the fee and swear an oath.

• Another two ~ three weeks later you will receive the grant of probate to send to the institutions holding the money to release any assets for distribution.

• Distribute assets, prepare accounts and keep for twelve years

3. Pop into your local Bank or Solicitor and ask them to complete probate for you. The problem with this is they charge for their services and you will pay £2000 – £8000 for a simple estate. Ask for a quotation before they start work.