How to Apply for Probate in 6 basic steps
Here we provide a brief guide on how to apply for Probate in 6 simple steps.
Establish if there is a Will. This will appoint Executors who will have the authority to deal with the estate. Otherwise, the person or persons due to inherit under the Rules of Intestacy will have the authority.
As well obtaining the Original Will, you will need date of death valuations of all the deceased’s assets and liabilities. This will help you determine the estate value and whether it is taxable or not. You will need to obtain probate valuations for all properties that form part of the estate
Complete the appropriate Inheritance Tax forms and calculate the amount of Inheritance Tax there is to pay, if applicable. Submit the forms to the Probate Registry with your Grant of Probate application. The Grant will give you the legal right to deal with the deceased’s affairs i.e. bank accounts and property.
The process is slightly different for taxable estates. Complete the appropriate Inheritance Tax forms and submit them to HM Revenue and Custom (HMRC). Arrange payment of the Inheritance Tax or at least the initial amount. Submit the Grant application to the Probate Registry when you are in receipt of the IHT421 from HMRC. The IHT421 is acknowledgment from HMRC that the Inheritance Tax has been paid.
All the relevant Inheritance Tax forms can be obtained by calling the HMRC Inheritance Tax helpline. Click here for the contact details.
NOTE – The Original Will is retained by the Probate Registry and will not be returned to you. The reason for this is that it then becomes a public document.
Pay the Inheritance Tax, if applicable.
If the estate is taxable and there are sufficient funds in the bank account, the bank will usually pay the Inheritance Tax direct to HMRC upon receipt of the completed IHT423.
If there are no liquid assets, the Personal Representatives will have to pay the Inheritance Tax. Whether that is from their own funds or by taking out a bridging loan. If the Personal Representatives use their own funds then they can claim it back from the estate.
Collect in the estate assets. This means closing down bank accounts and collecting in funds from life insurance policies, selling shares, etc. The Personal Representatives will also now have the authority to deal with any properties that form part of the estate. The beneficiaries can either decide to sell or transfer the properties.
Settle any debts the deceased had, such as utility bills, mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc.
Prepare the Estate Accounts and once approved by all Executors and beneficiaries, distributing the estate.
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