How to Obtain Probate for The Estate of a Deceased Relative

It would be great if there were a simple way of tying up loose ends. Never more so than when it comes to probate – the process of administering the estate of someone who has died.

In practical terms this involves distributing their assets and meeting their liabilities. But getting to that point not only involves a methodical and incisive approach, but strict rules about what needs to be done, when and by whom.

The starting point is always the Will; this should name the executor of will and the beneficiaries of the estate. Ascertaining who these people, and perhaps organisations, are is a critical first step.

Next is the job of working out the extent of the estate. What are the assets and how much were they worth at the date of death? Similarly, what liabilities did the deceased have when they died? This is a pretty forensic exercise of collating information and arranging valuations of the deceased’s property and any funds that may have been invested.

Then comes tax and an assessment of any money due to be paid to HMRC. If inheritance tax is payable, HMRC form IHT400 will need to be completed and the first instalment of tax paid. A different form (IHT250) applies where no inheritance tax is due.

An Oath For Executors needs to be prepared which the executor should then swear in front of an independent solicitor. When that has been done, and when HMRC has confirmed the tax position, these documents together with the Will must be sent to the Probate Registry.

That marks the beginning of how to obtain probate; the process of officially acknowledging an executor’s duties, and right to administer the estate. Once probate has been granted, the business of collecting in the deceased’s possessions, paying liabilities and distributing, transferring or selling assets can begin.

To find out more, contact probate solicitors Gillhams, Hina Tailor (Partner) on 020 8965 4266 or ht@gillhams.com

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