Simply put, probate is the process whereby someone’s debts and their property are held in their name whilst being transferred to heirs or beneficiaries, in most cases, an immediate family member.
The process begins when a petition is filed with the probate court to appoint an administrator of the estate.
Ordinarily, after swearing an oath, the Grant Of Probate will be received in 3-4 weeks. After that, the rest of the probate process will take a further few months to reach completion. The majority of cases are completed start to finish in 9-12 months, unless it’s a particularly complicated estate, or a contentious probate, which could take several years.
The purpose of a Grant of Probate is to ensure whomever was named the administrator of the estate will oversee certain proceedings in the event of someone’s death. The administrator is ultimately responsible for collecting the assets, paying any outstanding debts, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.
However, there are times when Probate solicitors might be required, particularly if it’s a complicated estate to administer.
Here is a short video that explains a little more about the probate process.
The Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA) is a legal document allowing someone over the age of 21 to appoint one or more persons to act on his or her behalf should, one day, mental capacity be lost.
An LPA protects your interests, enabling you to pick a trusted proxy to deal with your affairs should the need arise. Having an LPA in place means saving loved ones from the stress of having to apply for a Deputyship order should a loss of mental capacity occur.
The short answer is, usually.
Inheritance tax is the tax on the estate left after somebody dies. Currently, UK Inheritance tax is at 40 percent, but if the deceased’s estate is worth less that £325,000 (650,000 for a married couple) than nothing has to be paid at all.
Neither does the tax have to be paid if the spouse or civil partner is left everything. Also, if the deceased has given money or property as a gift during their lifetime this might also be exempt, so long as it complies with HMRC’s regulations.
Capital Gains Tax is the tax paid when an asset that has increased in value is sold or disposed of. It’s the gain that’s made that is taxed, as opposed to the amount of money you receive.
Some assets, however, are tax free, and you don’t have to pay Capital Gains Tax if your yearly gains are under your tax-free allowance.
If you’re the executor you can apply for probate personally, or have your probate solicitors do it for you. Before your application you’re obliged to estimate and report the estate’s value.
The probate registry will issue a Grants of Representation, a document that gives you the right to deal with the deceased’s estate. The probate registry will then issue a Grant of Probate to the executor.
The short answer is No.
You can use a probate specialist, who is often cheaper than a probate solicitor. Or you can do it yourself.
DIY probate is something many people consider, and it is possible to do it yourself if the process isn’t too complex. You would, of course, save money, but you’d also create a lot of work for yourself. A fixed fee solicitor might be the answer.
This means being able to manage your probate costs, as a fixed fee solicitor forfeits the usual hourly in favour of a price for each step of the process. For many, an easier prospect than DIY probate.
Estate Administration is, ultimately, the process of collecting and managing the estate, paying any outstanding taxes or debts and distributing the remaining property to the heirs. It is the named executor who will be expected to learn about Estate Administration and carry out these tasks.
So, how long does probate take after swearing oath? Expect it to be a 4/6 month process at least, and be prepared for it to take as long as a year.