The term ‘Probate’ has several interpretations but is commonly used when administering a deceased person’s estate.
If a Will exists, then one or more Executors will have been appointed to ensure that the wishes expressed in the Will are fulfilled. If a person has died intestate (without making a Will) then an application will need to be made to the Probate Registry for a grant of ‘Letters of Administration’ to authorise someone to deal with the estate.
Most estates need a ‘Grant of Representation’ (obtained either through Probate or Letters of Administration) before the deceased’s assets can be released for transfer to the beneficiaries, but this is not always the case. Usually estates under £5,000 will not require any sort of Grant.
Our team is on hand to advise you on the correct interpretations of the terminology and, if required, we can apply for Probate on your behalf. We are able to assist Executors or Administrators with the administration of the Estate, including obtaining valuations to determine its size for Probate and Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes. We can also prepare the necessary IHT return and, if required, collect monies due, settle outstanding debts and arrange for the transfer or sale of any shares, property or land.
The estates of many people will be liable for Inheritance Tax, but steps can be taken to minimise this liability, including the creation of Trusts. There are many different options available, depending on your assets and the number of beneficiaries you need to consider. We can advise you on the most appropriate course for your particular circumstances.
There are occasions when it may be necessary to change the entitlement of a beneficiary and we can advise on a Deed of Variation, should this arise.