The Probate Process

Here are some definitions you may find useful when following the Probate process

Pre-Grant of Probate: The estate administration process leading up to obtaining the Grant of Probate.
Grant of Probate: Court document confirming authority under the Will to administer the estate.
Heritage assets: Assets which may be eligible for a special reliefs from Inheritance Tax.

A typical estate administration consists of the following key stages:

Initial Advice Meeting

This will be a meeting with one of our specialist lawyers to discuss the terms of the Will, or how the estate passes if there is no Will, the assets and liabilities of the estate, the duties of the Executors and what needs to be done to administer the estate, potential claims against the estate and to identify any Inheritance Tax issues. We will tell you in the meeting if Inheritance Tax or other issues may require further advice. We will follow up the meeting with a written report of the advice given.

Pre Grant of Probate

This stage typically includes:

  • Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identifying the type of Grant you will need to confirm your authority and advising on the steps to obtain this
  • Obtaining the relevant documents and information required to apply for the Grant
  • Preparing the application for the Grant and completing the relevant HMRC forms
  • Making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtaining the Grant
  • Advising you on Inheritance Tax Matters and reliefs and if the estate is liable to Inheritance Tax calculating the tax due
  • Advising on funding of Inheritance Tax and steps that may be taken to reduce the tax.
Post-Grant Administration

Once the Grant has been obtained the estate will need to be administered. This includes:

  • Collecting the assets including sales where appropriate
  • Payment of debts including any balance of Inheritance Tax
  • Payment of legacies
  • Interim payment to remainder beneficiaries
  • Settlement of Income Tax affairs to the date of death
  • Settlement of the Income and Capital Gains Tax affairs for the period of the administration
  • Agreeing the Inheritance Tax position and obtaining clearance from HMRC
  • Preparation of Estate Accounts
  • Final distribution.