When someone dies it is a hugely upsetting time for friends and family members who may feel too distressed to deal with the issues that require prompt attention. Having to cope with their own grief, but also attend to the formalities such as registering the death as soon as possible, arranging a funeral, completing government forms and applying for the Grant of probate.
Often loved ones feel too overwhelmed to deal with such things and prefer instead to hand everything over to an experienced and professional firm who can deal with everything for them swiftly and exactly in accordance with the Law, whilst also putting the interests of the client first. That is when we at PJW Law can help.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process involved in administering a person’s estate on their death. Either a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will usually need to be granted by the Probate Registry before this can take place. Both of these documents give one or more people legal authority to manage the deceased person’s affairs, including accessing their assets, i.e. personal possessions, property and money.
Applying for Probate?
In order to apply for the Grant the executors must complete the relevant tax forms and send them to HMRC. This involves firstly identifying and valuing the individual’s assets to determine whether inheritance tax (IHT) is due. The deceased’s estate may owe other tax too, such as income tax or capital gains tax (CGT). It is the executor’s duty to determine this.
Once forms have been submitted to HMRC (and in some instances inheritance tax may need to be paid) an appointment can be made at the Probate Registry to apply for the Grant of Probate or the application is sent by post. This Grant usually arrives by post a couple of weeks later.
The executor can then proceed to gather in all the deceased’s assets which may include property, personal possessions, bank and savings accounts, shares, insurance policies and sometimes business assets. All debts will need to be paid, i.e. utility bills, credit cards, loans, mortgages and tax. Assets may need to be sold, such as a house.
Once this is all complete all the beneficiaries of the Will must be located and paid any gifts or legacies due to them in accordance with the terms of the Will, or where there is no Will, according to the Laws of Intestacy.
What PJW Law do to help
Our approach is simple; we invest time to understand your situation. We provide clear, practical advice and will consider all the various options available to you. This includes advice regarding Inheritance Tax in administering an Estate, with advanced planning or by making use of the exemptions available to your beneficiaries with a Deed of Variation.
Whatever the complexity, PJW Law can guide and support you on your when you lose a loved one.
We also provide death registration services and oath swearing and fixed fee services for advice if you have decided to handle matters yourself but need some help.