Applying for probate in the United Kingdom can be a complicated and time-consuming process, but it is possible to do it yourself if you have the necessary knowledge and resources. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of applying for probate and provide you with the information you need to successfully navigate the process.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate. This involves collecting their assets, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will. In order to do this, you will need to obtain a grant of probate from the probate registry, which is a court that deals with the distribution of estates.
Gather the necessary documents
The first step in applying for probate is to gather the necessary documents. You will need the original will (if one exists), a death certificate, and a list of the date of death balances for assets and liabilities. The Will should be the most recent version, and it should be signed and witnessed in accordance with the requirements of UK law.
The death certificate will be necessary to prove that the person has died, and the list of assets and liabilities will be used to calculate the value of the estate. This will be necessary for taxes and other debts.
Obtain a grant of probate
Once you have all the necessary documents, you can apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration by filling out a PA1 or a PA1P form if the estate is intestate and submitting it to your local probate registry, along with the necessary documents and a fee. The court application fee is £273, but you can check the current fee by visiting the Government website. It is important to note that if the estate is complex or if you are unsure about the process, it may be advisable to seek professional legal help.
Collect and distribute the assets
Once you have obtained the grant of probate, you can collect the deceased’s assets to pay any outstanding debts and liabilities and distribute to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will. This process can be time-consuming and may require you to contact various financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies, to retrieve the assets.
It is also important to keep accurate records of all transactions and to provide a full account of the estate to the beneficiaries.
You also need to pay any taxes that are due on the estate, such as Inheritance Tax. If the estate is subject to inheritance tax an IHT400 will be required and you’ll need to pay the tax due within six months of the end of the month in which the person died. If the estate is valued at less than £325,000, no Inheritance Tax is due. But if it’s worth more you may be liable to pay inheritance tax. The tax rate for inheritance tax is 40% on the amount above £325,000.
Applying for probate in the United Kingdom can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with the right knowledge and resources, it is possible to do it yourself. Remember, if the estate is complex or if you are unsure about the process, it may be advisable to seek professional legal help. By gathering the necessary documents, obtaining a grant of probate, collecting and distributing assets and paying taxes, you will be able to successfully administer the deceased’s estate and ensure that the beneficiaries receive their rightful inheritance.