Making an Application for Probate – The Basics

When a person dies it is a legal requirement that their estate has to be administered. This means all their assets must be collected together, and all of their debts must be paid. Once this has been done what is left over may be distributed to those people who are entitled to it. The process of the administration of an estate is called Probate.
The administration of an estate is carried out by 'Executors' who may also be known as 'Personal Representatives'. If the deceased left a will, it normally contains the names one or more executors. In some cases they might be friends or family. In other cases this task may be entrusted to a professional, such a solicitor, or a Probate Practitioner. It is the first task of the executor to apply for Probate.
 
Probate is the authority, given by the court, to a person or persons to administer an estate. The document which is issued by the Probate Service allowing this is called a Grant of Representation, or Grant of Probate. When there is more than one executor it is essential that all delegated parties work well together to decide what needs to be done, as disagreements can lead to delays which may be expensive.
 
There are several steps in the Application for Probate. These may differ depending on the size and nature of the estate.
 
The first step is one of preparation. This involves the registration of death and obtaining all the relevant documents. Then the executor must ascertain the values of any assets and check for liabilities. At this stage all of the beneficiaries must be contacted and any initial enquiries to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) should be made.
 
The next step is the preparation and submission of Inheritance Tax forms and the application form for the Grant of Probate. Once the Grant of Probate has been received it must be registered with all of the asset holders.
 
Once these steps have been complete the executor may begin with the collection of assets and complete any outstanding income tax affairs such as dealing with Inheritance Tax. They may also begin with the payment of smaller legacies.
 
For further information with regard to the an Application for Probate call the free advice line 0800 612 6105

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