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Probate Explained

Probate UK Explained

Probate Explained

Carrying out the process of probate on the estate of a loved one is a significant undertaking. It involves a great deal of challenging legal, and administrative work, which in times of grief can be stressful, not to mention confusing.
Probate is the title given to the process of applying to a court of law to prove that a Will is a valid legal document. Obtaining probate is the first step in the process of administering the estate of a person who has died.
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When a person dies, their estate needs to be gathered, valued, managed, and distributed. Estate administration includes paying the deceased’s debts, and distributing the assets in accordance with the Will.
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When you take out a prepaid probate plan, you pay one up front fee at today’s prices and the whole process is carried out on your's and your loved one’s behalf. Unlike many other probate services, our legal experts administer the estate too.
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Applying for probate and probate of a Will can be complex and confusing. This guide sets out everything that is involved. We have included information such as who is responsible for carrying out probate, what to do if there is or is not a Will, the appointment and responsibilities of an Executor and much more.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need some help and advice or if you’re ready to go ahead with a prepaid plan. Contact Us

Probate UK Explained

What is Probate?

When a person dies, whether or not they have a Will, the people responsible for their estate may need to apply to the courts for probate. Probate is the process by which a Will is "proved" and accepted as valid. In the absence of a Will it is the permission to settle the estate according to the laws of intestacy.

The application for probate is made to a section of the court known as the Probate Registry. Once granted, a document known as the Grant of Probate is issued and confirms that the applicants are authorised to deal with the deceased’s affairs. In the absence of a valid Will, Letters of Administration will be issued.

The people who apply for the Grant of Probate and carry out the administration of the estate are known as the Executors. Executors must carry out a number of tasks including notifying the authorities and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.


Administering the Estate

Estate administration is the process of handling a person’s legal and tax affairs after they pass away. It involves a lot of complicated personal, legal, and financial work and is not only time consuming but comes with the risk of financial loss should something go wrong.
This is why many people choose to appoint a professional to act as executor or personal representative.

Here is a break down of what the probate process usually entails:

  • Applying for and acquiring the Grant of Representation from the court.
  • The identification and valuation of all your assets (such as property, investments and possessions) and all liabilities (such as debts, loans, utility bills etc). Their values must be calculated in order to determine the total value of your Estate.
  • Notifying any government departments such as HMRC, DVLA, Passport Office as well as banks, utilities companies.
  • Closing all bank accounts and any other relevant accounts.
  • Ensure all assets, including properties, are protected and kept secure.
  • Taking care of any online accounts, protecting them against fraud and theft.
  • All those due to inherit from your estate must must have their entitlement to the Estate verified under the terms of your Will (or Intestacy laws if there is no Will).
  • Inheritance Tax must be calculated and paid to HMRC where applicable.
  • An Inheritance Tax return (required whether or not there is tax due) must be submitted to HMRC and an application to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation must be made to confirm legal authority to administer the estate.
  • The final estate administration expenses must be paid. Any further Inheritance Tax, Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the estate must be declared to HMRC.
  • Accounts documenting all payments into and out of the estate must be prepared showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries.
  • Estate accounts to the must be sent to the Executor of the Will for approval.
  • As long as there are no challenges to the estate or contentious factors preventing distribution, the transfer of any assets and distribution of the balance of estate funds can take place.

The probate process and the administration of a Will can be a complicated drawn out process. The benefits of appointing us to execute your Will ensures peace of mind for all involved. When you appoint us to administer your estate, we offer you:

We deal with estate administration on a daily basis. The complexities that may arise such as finalising Inheritance Tax, managing trusts and investments and dealing with properties will be taken care of professionally and you are not at risk of losing out financially by unforeseen circumstances.
By using a professional legal service you can be sure that all matters will be dealt with impartially and in accordance with the law and your wishes. Any tensions within families will not affect the probate and estate administration process whatsoever.
Peace of Mind
A prepaid service will always be in place whereas a nominated family member or friend could emigrate or pass away themselves. Once your plan is in place, there will always be someone to deal with matters when the time comes.

Many people have no experience or knowledge of the probate and administration process and having to learn in a time of emotional distress adds to the emotional upheaval. By appointing us as Executors, your loved ones will be free to deal with the changes in their lives without the added worry of a complicated legal process to deal with.

What is Prepaid Probate?

Our prepaid probate plans involve paying a fixed amount in advance to cover probate and the administration of your estate in the future. Our charges are based on your age not on estate values. The younger you are the cheaper the cost.

Most probate applications involve much of the same work. Yes there can be more complex ones, but most estates have a similar amount of work. Why should you pay more to a solicitor because your house has a higher value or you have more savings?

The Benefits

The main Benefits of a Prepaid Probate Plan:

  • The costs are fixed at the outset, saving your beneficiaries a significant amount of money.
  • You are taking away the burden of loved ones trying to apply for probate themselves and administer the estate at a difficult time.
  • You will feel fantastic that you have your house in order and everything is in place.
  • You can save on Inheritance Tax – probate costs are not deductible from Inheritance Tax. Without a plan, you pay IHT and then probate costs. By paying for a probate plan during your lifetime, you can save on IHT if it is above the nil band threshold.
  • Should you need to go into care, this expense has already been paid. So your beneficiaries won’t need to find the cost to pay for probate themselves.

Our Probate Plan

Once you have decided to prepay your probate this is what happens next:

  • One of our experienced and professional team will discuss your circumstances and requirements with you to ensure you are making the right decision.
  • You will receive your Welcome Pack which includes your certificate and a copy of our terms & conditions.
  • We send funds to one of our probate experts or solicitors.
  • They will write to you to confirm they have been instructed and supply you all of their contact details.
  • If necessary they can write a new simple will for you and suggest they are nominated as joint Executors. This way, your beneficiaries cannot miss the fact you have already paid for probate. Alternatively if you already have your own Will, you could ask your existing Will writing company to nominate your new probate solicitor as an Executor on the existing Will.

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