Why Obtain a Grant of Probate?
When a loved one passes away, managing their estate becomes essential, and this responsibility falls upon the Personal Representative.
If the deceased left a Will, they likely named an Executor to handle their affairs. In such cases, obtaining a Grant of Probate becomes necessary, granting the Executor the official authority to administer the estate.
For those who pass away without a Will (intestate), the Probate Registry needs to appoint an Administrator through a Grant of Letters of Administration to oversee the estate's affairs.
Certain situations, such as the absence of a named Executor or the Executor predeceasing the deceased, might require an Administrator to step in. In such instances, a Grant of Letters of Administration with Will annexed is sought.
Collectively, these Grants are referred to as Grants of Representation.
Responsibilities of an Executor
An Executor's duties encompass:
- Confirming their role as the designated estate administrator.
- Reviewing the Will for any funeral instructions or associated documents, like a Letter of Wishes, which may outline specific posthumous desires. Collaborating with the deceased's family to honour these instructions can be part of their role.
The Grant of Probate is crucial for the Executor to interact with financial institutions, government bodies, and other relevant entities involved in estate matters.
Determining the estate's value at the date of death includes assessing various assets, liabilities, and potential tax obligations. Overseas assets and their values must also be considered.
The Executor's responsibilities extend to identifying any Trust memberships, reviewing joint holdings, and understanding any gifted assets within the last seven years.
Roles of an Administrator
The responsibilities of an Administrator mirror those of an Executor, necessitating the acquisition of a Grant of Letters of Administration to execute similar tasks.
Choosing an Administrator
Typically, a close family member, such as a spouse, children, or parents, assumes the role of Administrator. In cases of intestacy, legal precedence determines the inheritance order, excluding divorced or dissolved civil partners and unmarried cohabiting partners.
Probate Fees and Inheritance Tax
Current proposals indicate an adjustment in Probate fees based on the estate's value. Inheritance Tax considerations also impact the process, especially regarding the Residence Nil Rate Band introduced in 2017.
The necessity of obtaining a Grant of Representation differs based on various factors, such as the type of property or the status of shared accounts or holdings.
Legal Instruments: Deeds of Variation
In specific circumstances, legal instruments like Deeds of Variation or Deeds of Family Arrangement and Variation can be used to alter Will terms within a certain timeframe post-death, subject to beneficiary consensus.
Funnell and Perring: Your Probate Support
Funnell and Perring are committed to guiding and supporting you through the probate process. Our experienced team can manage the entire administration or assist with securing the Grant of Representation, ensuring compliance and accuracy in every step.
We offer tailored services, including comprehensive estate administration or obtaining Grants only, based on your preferences and involvement.
Feel free to reach out to discuss your probate queries or entrust us to handle the administration on your behalf. We're here to assist you in navigating this intricate process with ease and efficiency.
At Funnell and Perring, we recognize that the process of probate extends beyond legalities. Emotions, family dynamics, and personal circumstances are crucial considerations during this period. Our team offers empathetic support, understanding the complexities and sensitivities involved in
managing an estate after a loss.
Beyond obtaining Grants or administering the estate, our commitment extends to assisting you with any queries or legal matters that may arise post-probate. You can rely on us for ongoing support and guidance.
Estate Planning Beyond Probate
In addition to probate services, we provide comprehensive estate planning guidance. This encompasses setting up trusts, creating lasting powers of attorney, and ensuring effective management of assets, aligning with your long-term objectives.