Dealing with Probate is something that almost everyone will have to deal with at one point or another in their lives, but what is it?
At an already very difficult time, dealing with probate can seem very daunting and complicated, but we can help simplify matters.
When a person passes away, before their assets can be released, the Probate Registry will issue a formal ‘Grant of Probate’. The Grant is a document which states who is legally entitled to deal with the deceased’s estate.
Probate was previously required on all estates over £5,000. However, as of May 2017, the threshold has been increased such that it is now only required on estates over £50,000.
Only when you have obtained Probate will you be able to sell the house or close bank accounts over the probate limit.
Applying for Probate will vary slightly depending on whether the deceased passed away with or without a Will.
If the deceased passed away without a Will, the form of ‘probate’ will be called obtaining Letters of Administration. If the deceased held a valid Will, the process is called obtaining Grant of Probate.
In order to apply for either the Grant or Letters of Administration, the Executor (the person named in the Will to deal with the estate) (or Personal Representative “PR” in the case of Letters of Administration) will be required to:
1. Obtain valuations of the deceased’s estate i.e. property valuation, obtaining closing bank statements, final bills etc;
2. Once the Executor or PR has full details of the deceased’s estate at the date of his death including all assets and liabilities, they will then need to complete the probate application form;
3. The Executor or PR will need to complete the applicable Inheritance Tax form. There are two forms – the IHT205 and the IHT400. The latter is much more detailed and this is only required where there is inheritance tax payable;
4. Pay the Inheritance Tax (where payable); and
5. Swear an Oath for Executors or PR.
The fees to apply for probate are currently £215 for a personal application and £155 where an application is made by a solicitor on your behalf.
The process can be very time consuming and can take months or even years to complete depending on the size and complexity of the estate of the deceased.
If you require assistance with obtaining Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration contact us today for a free consultation.