Losing someone that we love is not something we ever want to think about. However, unfortunately, it is something that many of us have to go through in our lives.
When this does happen, we are going to have to deal with our grief, but we will also have to think about what will happen to the estates of that person.
Kent accountants for probate services, often speak to people in the middle of dealing with their loved ones’ estates, and they usually have the same questions to ask us. What is Grant of Probate, and how does it work?
What is a Grant of Probate?
A Grant of Probate is when you have an authorised and appointed executor responsible for carrying out the administration on your estates once you have died. This could mean that they will ensure that your affairs are in order, or it could be distributing all of your key assets to those who you have appointed in your will.
In most cases, no one will be able to gain access to your bank accounts unless they have this legal approval. However, if the estate is worth less than £10,000 or they are owned jointly with someone else, you won’t need to apply for a Grant of Probate to deal with these assets.
How do I apply for probate?
To be granted probate, there are specific vital steps that you will need to follow. You will first need to register the death of the person. This needs to be done within five days in the UK, apart from in Scotland where you have eight days.
It is also a good idea at this stage to buy extra copies of the death certificates as you may need them throughout the process.
Once you have done this, you need to get the estate valued. This will require you to go through their papers and bank statements. This will give them some idea of what they had in money and property. You also need to think about anything they may owe at the time of their death.
Some of the key places that you need to get in touch with are:
- Lenders including credit cards, loans and mortgages
- Pension providers
- The local Government relating to council tax
- The Department of Work and Pensions
- HMRC (to discuss tax that might be owed)
You will also need to arrange for valuations to be carried out on the property too. Once you have this information, you will need to file inheritance tax forms related to the estates. Only then you can send off your probate application forms that can be found online. You should hear soon about this, and then you will be required to pay out the probate fees (and then any inheritance tax that may need to be applied).
If you want to make sure that your estates are for when you pass away and that you know who will be dealing with them, its best to talk to expert Kent tax advisors who can support you through probate and estate administration and ensure that all your wishes are met. No matter what happens in the future.