Advice Admin & Legal What is Probate?

What is Probate?

In England and Wales, probate is generally a word used to describe the financial and legal processes of a person after they have died. Probate therefore generally refers to dealing with property, money, and possessions. Probate is often required before the Executor named in the will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute the deceased's assets.

Probate meaning

The word 'probate' refers to obtaining permission to execute the wishes of a will. It is widely used to describe settling the estate of someone who has died.

If you have been named an executor in a will there are specific rules on how you notify officials and distribute an estate.

You'll need a grant of probate to manage this process.

The probate process

Below we have broken the process into 5 sections:
1. Identifying all the deceased’s assets and liabilities.

This can include property, investments, possessions, and debts ranging from loans to utility bills. This will be used to help value the deceased's estate.

2. Paying Inheritance Tax (not always required).

First, the executor will need to complete the Inheritance Tax form. Once this form is filed, HMRC will tell the executor how much Inheritance Tax is owed. Sometimes there is no Inheritance Tax owed. If there is Inheritance Tax owed, the executor will need to pay it. As part of this section, the executor will also need to apply to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation; adocument that confirms they have a right to administer the estate.

3. Settling the estate once the Grant of Representation is given.

This stage mainly involves selling the deceased’s assets and paying off their outstanding liabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, the final estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax or additional Inheritance Tax due.

4. Preparing estate accounts.

Preparing the estate accounts includes documenting all payments in and out of the estate as well as documenting the balance left for distribution. These accounts are shared with beneficiaries.

5. Distribution of assets.

If there are no challenges to the estate or other issues stopping the process, the final section involves transferring any assets beneficiaries wish to retain and distribute the balance of the estate funds.

Are you still unsure or confused? Chat to us online or call our probate team today at 0800 0238967 for free help.

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