The granting of Probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under their Will.

When someone dies, their representative will need to get the legal right to deal with their property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’). The executor or their selected representative applies for a ‘grant of representation’ – known as ‘probate’.

You can apply yourself or use a solicitor or another person licensed to provide probate services. For more information on using a solicitor contact us.

Most cases follow the same basic process. If there’s a will – this normally states who sorts out the estate. And they can apply to get the ‘grant of representation’. This gives legal rights to access the affairs of the deceased, for example accessing their bank account.

The role of administrator once the probate is received is:

  • Pay any Inheritance Tax that’s due.
  • Collect the estate’s assets, for example money from the sale of the person’s property.
  • Pay any debts, for example unpaid utilities bills.
  • Distribute the estate – this means giving any property, money or possessions to the people entitled to it (‘beneficiaries’).

Often this is a time consuming and complex process and many families chose to employ a legal team to manage it on their behalf. Contact us for more details.

If you wish to use professional services to undertake the work, they will:

  • Apply for Probate
  • Swear an oath
  • Manage and execute:
    • The official copy of the death certificate
    • The Will and any codicils (amendments)
    • Probate application fees
  • Complete an Inheritance Tax form
  • Value the estate
  • Fill out the appropriate forms
  • Pay inheritance tax (with a nil return if no tax is due)

You can get a penalty if you send inaccurate information on the Inheritance Tax form.

If there’s tax to pay, some of it has to be paid immediately. This tax can be claimed back from the estate or the beneficiaries, in due course.

Control the Cost of Probate

  • Probate (administering the deceased’s estate) commences immediately on the death of an individual
  • Tasks include: paying IHT, seeking power of probate, protecting assets until distribution, pay debtors, advise banks and others, resolve mortgages, look after guardians, submit tax returns, distribute assets, meet wishes in the Will and much more
  • Estates worth more than £50,000 will pay fees, those between £50,000 and £300,000 will pay £300; Estates worth over £1m but less than £1.6m will pay £8,000; Those above £2m will pay £20,000
  • It is possible to use third parties to conduct probate on your behalf; and pay for this in advance – interested contact us.