Probate Process

First Meeting

We’ll meet with you (ideally in person, but this can also be done by ‘phone or Skype call) to get a preliminary understanding of the status of the estate, following which we’ll write to you with a summary of the position and detailed costs information.

What we aim to learn from our first meeting:

  • Your connection with the estate;
  • Executors and beneficiaries;
  • The existence, or not, of a Will and its location;
  • The assets and liabilities of the estate;
  • Any possible claims against the estate;
  • Overall Inheritance Tax position;
  • The extent of the assistance you require from us.

 

Costs proposal and Confirmation of Instructions 

We’ll confirm our proposed costs for dealing with the agreed scope of your instructions to us, in writing, and on your confirmation we’ll start progressing our part of dealing with the estate.

 

Preliminary Stages – leading to application for the Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration}

This phase of work we undertake will usually include:

  • Locating a valid Will, or establishing intestacy;
  • Identifying the executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
  • Obtaining full details of the estate’s assets and liabilities including any lifetime gifts made by the deceased;
  • Organising any necessary valuations;
  • Liaising with all parties to collate relevant documents and information relating to the estate.
  • Calculation and advice on Inheritance Tax liability and reliefs and strategies available to mitigate liability;
  • Advice on funding payment of Inheritance Tax to HMRC;
  • Preparing the application for Grant, completing and submitting relevant HMRC forms;
  • Submitting application for the Grant.

 

Administration of the Estate – following Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration)

Once the Grant has been issued by the Court, we shall:

  • Collect in the assets of the estate;
  • Coordinate the sale of assets as appropriate;
  • Organise payment of the debts and liabilities including any outstanding Inheritance Tax;
  • Prepare interim Estate Accounts as appropriate;
  • Arrange necessary tax returns to HMRC and payment of any Income and Capital Gains taxes due;
  • Finalise Inheritance Tax position with HMRC;
  • Prepare final Estate Accounts;
  • Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.

If you’ve any queries about any aspect of the Probate process please call us on 01284 767766 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. There’s no obligation. Or email Nicola Clayton on nicola.clayton@atkinsthomson.com. Nicola is a Senior Associate solicitor and she’ll always be happy to help.

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