Posted: Wednesday, 19 January 2022 @ 11:10
someone dies, their personal representative will generally need to apply for a
Grant of Probate or, if they did not leave a Will, a Grant of Letters of Representation.
This is the legal authority that will enable them to wind up the deceased’s
is not any legal timeframe for applying for probate, however much of the estate
administration will not be possible until this is received, so it is generally
one of the first things that is done.
whether probate is necessary
the case of some small estates, probate may not be necessary. This will depend
on the amount of assets held. Banks each have their own limit above which they
will require sight of a Grant of Probate before closing an account and
releasing funds. This can range from £5,000 to £50,000, depending on the bank.
the deceased owned a property, then probate will generally be required if the
property is to be sold.
applying for probate
probate is required, there is a set procedure to go through before an
application for the grant is made to the Probate Registry.
the death needs to be registered within five days. It is recommended that you
also purchase extra certified copies of the death certificate as some asset
holders will require a copy before releasing money.
next stage is to detail the assets and liabilities contained in the estate and
work out their value. This can be a lengthy process if the deceased had
substantial holdings. You will need to contact the asset holders, to include
banks and building societies, stockbrokers,
fund managers, pension providers, HM Revenue & Customs, lenders and any
other likely organization to which the deceased could have owed money.
the deceased owned a property, that will also need to be valued.
cash gifts that the deceased made over the previous seven years will also need
to be included in the value of the estate. If Inheritance Tax is payable, it
will be payable on these on a sliding scale, depending on how long ago they
probate application form will need to be completed along with an Inheritance
Tax form stating the value of the estate. If the deceased was entitled to any
Inheritance Tax relief, then this should be included. For example, if their
spouse pre-deceased them, they may be able to take advantage of any unused
Inheritance Tax allowance they had left over.
probate fee should accompany the application. Once this has been accepted,
Inheritance Tax should be paid. It may be possible to pay this from one of the
deceased’s bank accounts if you are able to provide the bank with the relevant
form showing the amount due. Alternatively, HM Revenue & Customs may be
prepared to accept payment in instalments.
winding up of an estate can be a lengthy process, particularly if there is a
property that needs to be sold. Generally, obtaining probate as soon as you can
will help set things in motion and allow you to start closing accounts and
collecting in assets.
Provided by Sue Ioannou, Chair & Head of Training.