When someone dies in England and Wales, you may need to go through a process called Probate.
This will give you the legal authority to deal with the deceased person's 'Estate', which is the collective term for everything he/she owned.
Not everyone will have to go through the Probate process when a loved one dies. But if you do, here is a step-by-step guide of what will be involved...
Probate Step 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 Step 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 Step 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 Step 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 Step 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.
The good news is that we can offer whatever level of assistance is needed to help you put the affairs the deceased in order, whether that be a complete Probate and Administration service or simply providing advice and assistance on completion of forms or on specific aspects of the administration.
To make a no-obligation appointment with one of our Professional Estate Planning Consultants, click here or call the head office on 01843 598620.
We hope you found this article helpful!
Newlife Wills team.