Probate is getting legal authority to act on a Will - let us take your stress away.

A grant of probate is the legal authority given to Executors so they can carry out their role. Executors cannot carry out their role without a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will) in those cases where probate is needed.

Not every estate needs to go through the probate process; it is required only when there is no other mechanism by which to transfer the assets.

When the deceased has taken other steps for distributing assets, such as transferring them into joint ownership, then a grant of probate may not be necessary.

Probate IS required if:

  • Property is owned by a single person (or the survivor of a previous partnership)
  • Assets are owned by a single person
  • Single bank accounts exist (subject to the bank’s floor limit)
  • There is a Trust in the Will

Probate is NOT required for:

  • Property Owned JOINTLY
  • Jointly owned bank accounts

Warning – just because an estate doesn’t need to go through Probate, the Executors are still LEGALLY BOUND to deal with the estate according to the Will and are LEGALLY LIABLE for any errors they make.

Anything not done correctly will come to notice eventually (when selling assets etc) so it is important that it is done correctly in the first instance. Imagine what a pain it would be if a house sale fell through because a purchaser backed out when abnormalities are discovered!

Estate Administration

Estate Administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal, financial and personal tax affairs after they have died.

It involves far more than obtaining a Grant of Probate (Confirmation in Scotland) which is just one element of the process. This means dealing with all their assets (such as property, shares and personal possessions), paying debts and paying any Inheritance Tax and Income Tax. Whatever is left in the estate is then transferred to the beneficiaries. Estate administration can be extremely complex and is required after every death, whether or not there is a Will.

In order to complete the estate administration process, there are a number of tasks that need to be carried out, including:

  • Notifying beneficiaries and dealing with their questions
  • Redirecting post and cancelling or transferring utilities
  • Dealing with any Income Tax liabilities
  • Advising on the distribution of assets to avoid or mitigate tax liabilities
  • Calculating and paying Inheritance Tax where relevant
  • Dealing with specialist legal work

These are just some of the tasks that are involved and every estate is different. While some people decide to administer the estate themselves, this can take a significant amount of time and effort; and it leaves them personally liable for any mistakes made during the process.

Whether their estate is simple or complex, the issues faced with the death of a loved one are rarely straightforward. Most people are not used to dealing with the complex requirements of estate administration, especially at a time when financial matters are the last thing on our minds.

That’s why we partner with trusted providers to provide quality and hassle-free probate and estate administration services.