Probate

An introduction to Estate Administration

Estate Administration is the process of dealing with a person’s belongings, assets and tax affairs after they have died. All estates, whatever their size, will require some form of estate administration.

If there is a valid Will then the people that will carry out the estate administration are the Executors named in the Will. If there is no Will, or the Will is invalid for whatever reason, or if the Executors named in it do not wish to act, then Personal Representatives will be appointed to deal with the estate administration.

Estate Administration is often referred to as “Probate”. Probate can be used to describe the estate administration process but is also the name given to the legal document (a ‘Grant of Probate’, or in Scotland ‘Confirmation’) issued by the Probate Registry and sealed by Court that formally names the person or people that are legally entitled to collect in and distribute the assets of the person who has died.

A Grant of Probate is not always required in every estate. It tends to be applied for when there are significant assets or if the deceased’s assets included property (eg. a house or land) or shares.

Applying for a Grant of Probate includes the completion of an inheritance tax return which is sent to HMRC and paying any tax due; finalising income tax affairs and pensions, collecting in the assets from banks and building societies and selling assets (such as shares or property) if necessary. Finally the estate assets, after the payment of all debts, can be distributed to the beneficiaries who are named in the Will or, if there is no Will, under the Rules of Intestacy. It is usual for final estate accounts to be prepared and signed off as well.

For further, more detailed information, please contact us by calling or visiting our Funeral Home.

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