For free initial advice on any Probate matter, call our Probate Specialists on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will help you.
What is Probate?
Probate Explained by Probate Solicitors
Probate Definition: In England and Wales Probate is the word normally used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions (called the assets) of a person who has died.
Before the next of kin or Executor named in the Will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased's assets they may have to apply for Probate.
When Probate has been granted through a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration the next of kin or Executor can start to deal with the deceased person’s assets in accordance with their Will. If the deceased died without a Will the law will determine who should receive everything, see Probate without a Will for complete details.
The Probate Process Explained
The Probate process often involves a lot of complicated legal, tax and financial work which can be broken down into five different phases.
Probate Phase 1. Identifying all of the deceased’s assets (property, investments and possessions) and all of their liabilities (debts ranging from loans to utility bills), in order to determine the value of their Estate.
At the same time, verifying entitlement to the Estate under the terms of the deceased’s Will, or in accordance with Intestacy laws if they died without a Will, and obtaining the necessary identification documents for those beneficiaries.
Probate Phase 2. Paying Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) where applicable, and submitting the correct Inheritance Tax return (required whether or not there is tax due), and applying to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation, being a document confirming the legal authority to administer the estate.
Probate Phase 3. After the Grant of Representation has been issued by the Probate Registry, liquidating (selling) the deceased’s assets, settling their liabilities, paying the final estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any further Inheritance Tax, any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the estate.
Probate Phase 4. Preparing estate accounts documenting all payments into and out of the Estate, and showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries. Sending the estate accounts to the Personal Representatives (such as the Executor in the Will) for approval.
Probate Phase 5. Providing there are no challenges to the estate or other complicating factors preventing distribution at this stage, the final phase will involve transferring any assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain, and distributing the balance of the estate funds.
For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate team on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will call you.
When is Probate Required?
Probate is required in England and Wales when:
- Property (houses, buildings or land) is owned by the deceased.
- A Grant of Representation is required by a bank or other financial institution with which the deceased held assets. This is normally if the amount in the account is over the specific threshold set by that institution*.
*Banks and other financial institutions set their own limit above which Probate will be required, so it's worth checking with the individual organisation as to whether or not they require a Grant of Representation.
How We Can Help You
We can explain the Probate and Estate Administration processes to you and provide free initial advice and guidance, which will help you to make important decisions about what to do next.
We can take care of all the legal, tax (excluding VAT) and estate administration processes on your behalf, when you choose our Probate Complete Service.
As part of the Co-op Group our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.
Our customers consistently rate the quality of our legal advice and services at 4.4 out of 5 stars. See Probate customer testimonials.
For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate team on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will help you.
Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
Probate Estate Administration in England and Wales is not a reserved legal activity which means that unregulated providers can offer Probate Estate Administration services regardless of whether they are insured, experienced or qualified to provide a full Probate service.
Co-op Legal Services is a trading name for Co-operative Legal Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, giving you peace of mind knowing that your Probate affairs are being dealt with by a regulated organisation and by a brand name you know and can trust.
Co-op Legal Services have offices in Manchester, Bristol and London.