Introduction to probate

We know that when it comes to probate, it can be time consuming and quite complicated. Needed the extra support can do a world of good.

At probate Adviser, we want to make sure that you have all the resources you need to come to grips with probate. We understand that you may have further questions, and we encourage you to contact us - this way you can have a dedicated team to speak to regarding your probate queries.

Administering an estate takes a considerable amount of time and work. Therefore the decision to act as an administrator/executor is not to be decided without a considerable amount of thought.

The Administrators/Executors have to:

  • Understand the Will and all its contents
  • Gather details of all liabilities and assets
  • Apply for the grant of probate or confirmation
  • Complete HMRC documentation
  • Obtain all the assets
  • Pay all the relevant taxes
  • Make sure all liabilities and expenses are paid off
  • Distribute or transfer the relevant assets
  • Prepare all the relevant accounts

Apply today to get the support you need regarding probate

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Administering the estate

Who can administer the estate?

It is essential, before administering an estate, to check who has the authority to do so. Most people assume that the next of kin will be the person to administer the estate; however, it will be the Executor or Executors who will carry out the deceased’s instructions.

If the deceased dies without a Will they have died ‘Intestate’ and the estate will be distributed following the Law of ‘Intestacy’. This law will determine who becomes Administrator of your estate.

Administrators/Executors need to make sure they are reporting to both the HMRC and the beneficiaries. This process can be very time consuming and frightening. Here are some things to consider:

  • You can either hire an estate planner or do it yourself
  • As the administer of the Will you need to make sure that the decisions you make are in the best interest of the estate
  • Make an honest assessment of whether you have the time to administer the estate.
  • If you do it yourself, you will be held accountable for any mistakes
  • There is a lot to organise and important things may be forgotten
  • If you feel as though there are problems you cannot solve, seek professional help.

Should professional advice be sought in administering the estate?

Administrators/Executors can seek professional advice if it is needed. This should only be done if they feel the need for help or it is convenient for them. Any fee’s incurred from taking the professional advice can be paid out of the estate subject to the terms of the Will. If the administrator/executor comes across one of the following and he/she doesn’t know what to do, that’s when professional help should be sought:

  • Beneficiaries cannot be notified
  • Trusts are set up
  • You have to follow the rules of the intestacy and there are questions as to where the other blood relatives are
  • Inheritance tax is complicated to pay
  • The deceased owned a business or was a partner in a business
  • A beneficiary stands to inherit a life interest from the estate
  • Person(s) questioned whether the Will is valid or if the will cannot be found
  • If a person is intending to challenge the Will
  • If there is no Will in place and the deceased's cohabitee who is not married or in a civil partnership with the deceased wishes to make a claim on the estate
  • Asset are overseas

Where does the authority to act from derive come from?

Executors have authority to deal with the estate from the date of death. However, to prove they have this authority they need the ‘Grant of Representation’ in England and wales or in Scotland a ‘Confirmation’. Administrators have authority from the ‘date of grant of representation’ in England and wales or ‘confirmation’ in Scotland.

There are three main types of ‘Grant of Representation’ in England and Wales. They are as follows:

1. Grant of Probate - These are issued if the appointed executors on the Will are administering the estate

2. Grant of letters of administration with the Will annexed - These are issued if deceased left a valid Will but did not appoint a valid administrator. If the administrators are unwilling or unable to act then this act will also be issued.

3. Grant of letters of administration - These are issued if no Will was made.