Probate and estate administration: How we can help

When a loved one dies, there can be a lot of paperwork to sort out in order to obtain a grant of probate. Where do you start?

Pile of papers representing probate and estate administration

If you are administering the estate of someone who has died, there can be a lot of paperwork to sort out in order to obtain a grant of probate, if needed.

There is a variety of help available online and commonly people think this amounts to just a bit of form filling. However, whilst it isn’t rocket science, the paperwork can be lengthy and onerous, especially when you are dealing with feelings of grief.

A few things to consider:

  • Is a formal grant of probate needed? Generally, it is not needed for joint assets or assets under about £30,000, where you can close accounts usually just with the death certificate and a copy of the will.
  • If a grant of probate is needed, is an inheritance tax account needed? This is certainly the case where inheritance tax is indeed payable on the estate, but sometimes an account is needed even if there is no tax to pay on the estate. Some reliefs aren’t automatic and have to be claimed and accepted by HMRC. This is particularly the case if you want to claim the ‘residence nil rate band’ or ‘business property relief’.
  • If a formal grant of probate is needed, what is the process? The probate system itself can be quite confusing and many applications can be filed online (which is generally quicker) but some still have to be filed by paper application. If the wrong application is used, it is generally put into a ‘stops’ pile and it can really delay matters.
  • If there is no will in place, the estate passes under intestacy – this can be tricky! Sometimes the beneficiaries aren’t obvious and it depends on how the assets are held and their value.

Dealing with a loved-one’s estate and related paperwork can be overwhelming, and it is easy to get it wrong – but we can help simplify the process and aid dealing with matters quickly and efficiently.

Is it expensive? We have various options on pricing (see here) and can assist you on a full service arrangement where we deal with everything, or a limited service where we just obtain the grant of probate for you, or a mixture between the two.

At a difficult time like this, our professional assistance can enable the beneficiaries to inherit promptly and allow everyone to begin to move on. Speak to our private client team to see how we can help.

This article was written by Katherine Carroll

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only and reflection the position at time of posting. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters.

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