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.
Here is a short video explaining what probate is.
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 whoever 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.
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 than £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.
The UK Care Guide has partnered with Co-Op Legal Services, the UK’s leading probate specialists, to bring our site users a cost effective but premium level probate service.
We realise that for many it is essential that probate is completed quickly. That is why our dedicated service is designed to speed things up as much as possible for you and consequently reduce the time it takes for probate to be completed.
Our support can be broken down into 2 options. This allows you to choose how involved you want to be in the probate process.
Using this approach means that we provide you with some support and tell you what you need to do.
Co-op Legal Services offer a Bereavement Notification Service, which provides practical advice and assistance following a bereavement. This then allows you to take on much of the work involved with probate.
The Co-op can help with financial matters, such as providing template letters for you to give to the bank, building society, pension provider and other financial institutions about your loss.
The service can also help with stopping unwanted mail, closing social media accounts and giving advice where there has been a referral to the coroner or there is to be an inquest.
Co-op Legal Services offers a complete Probate Service and will do all the work for you. There are no upfront costs for this service and a fixed fee can be agreed at the outset to give you peace of mind.
They will take full responsibility for getting the Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excluding VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs on your behalf.
A Probate specialist can meet with you in your home or another location (in England or Wales) to explain the Probate process and to answer your questions.
They will provide you with a Fixed Fee Probate quote which is based on the individual circumstances of your loved one’s Estate. The prices are some of the best value in the UK.
There are no upfront costs to pay as all Probate fees are deferred and will be taken from the Estate once it is in funds.
Co-op Legal Services is a trading name of Co-operative Legal Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
If easier, you can book an appointment on this page, using the calendar below, with a probate specialist. They will be able to help answer any questions you have and also provide you with more information on the free bereavement support service that they offer.
The cost will depend on whether you use a probate solicitor, probate professional or a bank. The cheapest is a probate professional. For it to be done properly the costs can typically be anything from £1,000 upwards.
Firstly, you are able to undertake the probate process yourself. However, most people prefer to get help. You can approach a solicitor or probate professional. The bank can help but they tend to be very expensive. We work with Co-op Legal Services if you need help to do things quickly and cost effectively.
The threshold for Probate is usually around £15,000. However, this depends on which banks and financial institutions are holding the deceased person's assets. Therefore we recommend you seek legal advice to check whether or not Probate is required.
There is no fixed time for the probate process. However, it would typically take between 6 and 12 months. But there are many factors that impact this and when any potential inheritance is released. You can read more about these factors on our site.
When someone passes away, it is not automatic that you need to go through a probate process. Estates that have a low value or are made up of assets that were jointly owned do not always require probate.