Probate refers to the legal process of reviewing a will with the aim of determining its validity and authenticity. It can also be defined as the general administration of a deceased person’s estate.
In this guide, we will analyse the concept of probate and the period after which probate is granted.
Usually, the court appoints an individual who is also called an executor named in the deceased’s will mainly if there’s no Will of garnering the assets, paying the remaining liabilities on the individual’s estate, alongside distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.
After the oath swearing, the grant of probate usually takes between 3-4 weeks to be received. The remaining probate process usually takes up to 6 months to complete but can easily go past 12 months.
The revenue and customs authority can take up to five months to process capital gains tax and the inheritance tax. You should pay inheritance tax to make sure the process takes the shortest time possible to complete.
Here is short video that explains a little more about how long probate takes.
You can read more about the costs of probate here.
In essence the costs are split in to two parts. There is the fixed fee that you pay to the government and then there is the fee that you pay to a solicitor or probate specialist to deal with all matters.
The fixed fees are going to change from April 2019. At present, there is a £215 cost for a probate application fee made by an individual or £155 for applications made by a probate solicitor or specialist.
The fees for using a solicitor or probate specialist will typically range from between 3% to 5% plus VAT. As an example, if your estate is worth £500,000, then costs will range from £15,000 to £25,000 plus VAT.
Therefore the probate cost will vary depending on the deceased person’s assets and property value. Generally, as you can see, the higher the value of the asset, the more the probate costs.
We have partnered with Trust Inheritance, the UK’s leading probate specialists, to bring our site users a cost effective but premium level probate service. The costs for the service start at only £500 plus VAT and you can choose how much you want to do and how much you want Trust Inheritance to do.
The services are broken down in to 3 tiers, which essentially allow you to choose how involved you want to be in the probate process.
If you are looking to do things as quick as possible then tier 2 (give me some help) or tier 3 (do it for me) are probably the best way to go.
Have a read of the 3 options and see which one would best suit your needs.
This is a fantastic and in-depth, comprehensive, online ‘Do it Yourself’ service, giving you everything you need to ensure you have dealt with the estate in line with your responsibilities and liability as a personal representative.
This toolkit can be used whether a Grant of Representation ( also known as the Grant of Probate, Administration or Confirmation) is required or not, even if a Will was not left.
This is a great tool to help families, executors and administrators discover what to do when someone dies. From the immediate steps to take, for example, registering the death, obtaining a death certificate, arranging a funeral, looking after dependents or securing the property; to distributing the property or possessions of the deceased.
Below are the benefits of the online toolkit:
Basically this gives you everything you need and the cost of this support is only £500 plus VAT. You will struggle to find such a comprehensive service at a lower cost.
This is the next tier up and gives you everything that you would get in the ‘Tell me what to do” approach above.
In addition, as Trust Inheritance are a ‘Trust Corporation’, less information is required by the Courts when they apply for the Grant on your behalf.
This means Court fees are reduced saving money against the estate and crucially, the Grant is expedited and issued within weeks of application, rather than months; quickly freeing up funds to cover costs and expenses, as well as allowing interim payments to be made to those who are due to benefit much sooner.
In addition to all the benefits of the ‘Tell me what to do” approach, we will also Fast Track the Grant of Representation application. Trust Inheritance will appoint you a personal Bereavement Adviser who will be by your side through the whole process.
If getting probate done quickly and minising your costs is your primary aim, then this is the way to go.
The costs for this level of personal and quick support are only £1,500 plus VAT.
This is the 3rd tier and essentially means that Trust Inheritance will do everything for you. This is the most comprehensive service you can get and will ensure that probate is completed as quickly as is possible.
You will be assigned a Solicitor, who will deal with the entire matter for you and will be on hand throughout. They will cover everything needed in order to finalise the Estate Administration and to ensure your legal responsibilities are adhered to.
The costs for this level of total support are 1.99% of the value of the estate subject to a minimum of £2,250 plus VAT.
This approach will work best for those that would prefer to let someone else deal with all the various bodies that need to be notified once someone passes away. As a comparator these costs are typically half of what a bank would look to charge you.
If you would like some help and either know which of the 3 tiered approach you would like to use, or would just like to chat through each to help you decide which is right for you; please call us on 0800 840 1187 or you can leave your contact details at the bottom of this page and someone will be in touch to help.
A grant of representation is a legal document that an individual should acquire to deal with the deceased person’s estate.
This document confirms your legal status and your ability to deal with all things related to the Estate of the person that has died. You should also note that the grant of representation may still be needed irrespective of whether the person that died left a Will.
The testator usually appoints the person who should serve as the executor. If the will of the testator doesn’t nominate such a person, it won’t be possible for one party to apply for probate. In such instances, one of the beneficiaries is allowed to apply for legal documents allowing them to act as administrators.
In England & Wales there are no time limits for the probate application. However, there are other aspects of the process, such as settling inheritance tax issues, that do have timescales attached. When applying for probate you first need to make sure you have a grant of probate. This allows you to deal with their affairs.
When it comes to inheritance tax, this must be deal with within 6 months of the date of death.
Typically it will take between 6 to 12 months with 9 months being the average time for probate to complete. If there is a Will in place and the estate is relatively straightforward it can be done within 6 months. If there is no Will or the Estate can not easily be valued or identified then it can take 12 months and sometimes longer.
When a person dies, the assets they owned, including money and property should be evaluated prior to issuing a grant to the executor. This has to be done so you can establish whether there is any inheritance tax owed.
This should be worked on before the assets of the deceased are handed over to the beneficiaries.
The Probate Registry is part of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service. Its role is to issue the grants of representation. As outlined above, this is the legal document that you need to have the legal right to deal with the Estate of the person that has dies.
It may be challenging for an executor to deal with the administration of an asset. Whether the deal revolves around the beneficiary or an executor, working with a team of solicitors who can contend contentious probate will come in handy for both parties.
Contentious probate refers to a clash relating to the administration of the deceased person’s assets. It may entail an argument over how the will is being interpreted or working with prosecutors who barely understand their role in the administration of the will.