What is Probate and what do you need to apply for it?

Will I need to apply for Probate?

Please call us for a free no obligation initial chat on 0800 3 10 11 12

Welcome to our web page on the meaning of Probate.

This is referring to the permission to carrying out the process of administering the estate. This also is the entire process of administering the estate of somebody who has died. This will involve organising paying debts and tax then distributing money, assets and possessions to the beneficiaries.

This can be very different depending on whether there is a Will or not. The first part of this process will be locating if there is a valid Will, this will also state who is the executor. The Probate process will vary depending on the estate and Will, if you require any advice on the probate process please call us for a free no obligation initial chat on 0800 3 10 11 12 and see how we can help you.

What does Probate involve?

1. Identifying the value of the estate

You will need to collect all assets, possession, debts etc. so that you have a rough estimate of the value of your loved ones estate which will aid the process, as many of the applications and payments that need to be made as part of the estate may depend on a specific amount threshold. You will also need basic personal information about the deceased and the death certificate.

In order to value the estate, you should contact all organisations relating to the persons assets and any debts you believe the deceased may have had. For example, you may need to contact the mortgage lender. Then you will need to estimate the value and report this to the HMRC.

2. Applying for Probate

You will need to complete several forms. You may also need to complete an inheritance tax form which will be sent to HMRC. The applications that you make will be different depending on whether there is a Will and if there is, you will need to apply for a grant of probate as an executor of the Will and if there isn’t, you will need to apply for a grant of letters of administration. This will then give you authority to deal with the estate. You can apply for this or we can do it for you.

We can apply for a grant of representation for you quickly and easily and at a low cost. For obtaining a simple grant our costs are usually from £500 + vat + court fee totalling around £750. Please call us for a free no obligation initial chat.

If you require any help completing the forms and ensuring that you have done everything correctly, call us today on 0800 3 10 11 12.

3. If there is a Will

Probate will be applied for through a Grant of Probate by the executor of the estate, this will give the executor the authority to administer the estate and once granted it will confirm the Will is valid. This is an official document which will be issued by the probate registry. A Grant of Probate is only required depending on the value of the estate as if there is a small estate this may not be required.

4. If there is no Will

Probate will be applied through the rules of intestacy which will set out who can apply and become the administrator of the estate and will apply for a grant of letters of administration. This will determine the distribution of the estate. Once received this will confirm any entitlement for the person to deal with the estate, before this is issued, they have no authority to deal with the estate.

4. Paying inheritance tax

Part of the probate application will include an assessment of whether inheritance tax is payable; this will usually need to be paid if the estate is valued at more than £325,000. However, any part of an estate that passes to a spouse will not be liable to pay any inheritance tax. If a deceased’s spouse has died before the deceased, you may be able to claim their tax allowance as well if it was unused, meaning the inheritance tax band limit could be doubled to £650,000.

There is also a residence nil rate band that can be claimed if a home passes to direct descendants such as children. If inheritance tax needs to be paid this will be charged at 40% on the value of the estate which is above the threshold. This must be paid by the end of 6 months after your loved one has died. There are certain exceptions and reliefs, so it is advisable to get legal advice to make sure that you pay the correct amount.

You will need to compete the IHT 205, or IHT 400 with your application for probate. The IHT 205 form is generally used when there is likely to be no inheritance tax to pay. Whereas the IHT 400 is used when there is inheritance tax to pay. This will need sending to the HMRC however you should keep a copy for your records.

If you need any further information on inheritance tax and the form filling, please do not hesitate to contact us.

5. Statement of Truth

While completing the process of applying for probate, a declaration will need to be made by the applicant stating that at the time of submission all the information to their knowledge is true.

Will I need to go through Probate?

This depends on the size and nature of the estate. Usually if an estate is small it will not need to go through probate. If there is little to no assets held in the estate probate will not be needed, however, if for example there is a property involved then this will definitely have to go through probate. Usually if the estate is worth less than £5000, you will not have to go through probate however this may depend on individual bank or other financial institutions so it may be best to speak to them to find out what they require so that they release the funds without delay. They may ask for the grant of probate or grant of letter of administration when sorting out collecting the assets.

Although if the assets were hold jointly with for example a surviving spouse or civil partner, they should pass to them without going through probate.

If you require any further information on probate or any other issue related to administering an estate, please give us a call free on 0800 3 10 11 12 or telephone 01536 276300 and ask for Adrian or Mandy at our Corby office or 01536 311690 and ask for James or John at our Kettering office or contact us online. We are known as the “friendly professionals” and will work hard for you.

Adrian Chambers - Seatons Solicitors

Probate & Estate Specialists

I’m Adrian Chambers and I specialise in Probate and Estate matters. We at Seatons are known as the friendly professionals, we aim to provide clients with an outstanding legal service.

We will help and support you and most importantly we work hard for you.

If you need help in obtaining probate and/or administering a loved one’s estate, please click here for further information.

Please contact me for a free initial no obligation chat on 01536 276300 or contact us online.

For information about our costs on probate work please click here.

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