What Is Probate?
Probate just refers to the 'Grant of Probate' which is required by law when the deceased owns property (including any houses, buildings or land) or if a financial institution (such as a bank) requires a 'Grant of Probate' to release funds. However, probate is not required if the estate is less than £5,000 in value or if the assets were held jointly so will pass to a surviving spouse or partner. It’s important to remember that if probate is required, the 'Grant of Probate' must be obtained before an Executor (if there is a Will) or an Administrator (if there is no Will) can start to gather in the assets associated with an estate.
Keep in mind that the 'Grant of Probate' is sometimes referred to as the 'Grant of Representation' or 'Letters of Administration'.
What Is Estate Administration?
Estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal and tax affairs after they’ve died.
If there’s no Will, it’s classed as an intestate estate and the assets will be distributed in line with the rules of Intestacy rather than the family wishes. If this is the case, it’s likely to make the estate administration process more complicated.
So What Could Be Involved In Estate Administration?
- Completing all Inheritance Tax forms
- Applying for probate or confirmation – Probate is often mistaken for the entire estate administration process, whereas it’s only a small part of what’s involved.
- Income Tax work for the year of death
- Valuing assets
- Property valuation and sale
- Specialist building insurance
- Setting up Trusts in a Will
- Postal redirection
- Registering unregistered properties
- Arranging for a pet to be re-homed
- Cancelling or transferring utilities
- Settling all liabilities
- Distributing funds to beneficiaries
- Producing estate accounts
If you or your family and friends have any questions about applying for the “Grant of Probate” or the estate administration process feel free to contact either of our offices for free guidance and advice.