Frequently asked probate questions
Probate Helpline 0844 756 3882

We regularly answer lots of probate questions through our probate helpline, if you have a question that you would like some help with, call us on 0870 740 1637 or e-mail us. Listed below are some of the most recent questions we have helped clients with :-

Resealing Probate In the UK : what is this ?

In the UK we have the Colonial Probates Act, this means that if a country is a signatory to this, then the foreign grant of probate ( or the equivalent legal document appointing someone to adminster the foreign estate ) maybe resealed in the UK following an application to the probate registry. This procedure is used if the deceased died abroad but still left UK assets. Example Countries include, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. We have dedicated team that assist clients across the UK and abroad with such applications, see our foreign probate section.

Probate Process : Does an Inheritance tax return have to be completed in every case ?

An Inland Revenue Inheritance tax return must be completed in every case. If the estate is under the Inheritance tax threshold of £325,000, then an IHT 205, must be completed. For estates above £325,000, a full inheritance tax return called an IHT 400 must be filed with the Inland Revenue, who in turn send a receipt in the form of IHT 421.

Probate Process : I am an Executor and want to sell the Deceased’s property do I need probate ?

To sell a Deceased’s property you will need a grant of probate, as this provides evidence of the Executors entitlement to sell the property. We regularly help Executors obtain probate quickly in house sales and if you need help with probate call us on 0870 740 1637

What is a Grant of letters of administration ?

If no will exists then the Deceased person will have died Intestate. This means that the Estate will be distributed according to the Intestacy Rules, which provide a set order of entitlement as to who will inherit the estate. The person that administers the estate is known as the Administrator under the Intestacy Rules . To collect and distribute the Deceased persons assets, the Administrator must apply to the Probate Registry for a legal document known as a Grant of Letters of Administration.

How long does Probate take ?

We are frequently asked how long probate takes. The length of time typically depends upon the size of the estate and the assets to be collected. The estate administration typically starts with the various assets and liabilities being quantified and dependant upon the financial institutions response this can be undertaken relatively quickly. Thereafter, the Inheritance tax returns need to be completed and any tax paid, this then allows the application to be made made for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, after which the assets can then be collected and any liabilities settled. We find that most cases generally take between 8-12 weeks, however if Inheritance Tax has to be paid or Stautory Notices placed ( notifying potential creditors ) probate can take upto 3-5 months.

Solicitors Probate Costs and Fees : How do they charge?

<text-align=”justify”>The traditional method of charging fees by Solicitors for probate, is by a fixed hourly rate and percentage of the estate. Typically, the percentage can be between 05.% and 3% and takes into account, the nature of the estate assets. Given the uncertainty caused by this method of charging, we adopt what we believe to be a much fairer, transparent way of charging for probate work. We therefore at the beginning of the case, provide a clear and simple fixed fee, the quote will confirm the likely costs incurred, with a guarantee that our costs will remain at the quote provided. We also don’t charge any fees until the conclusion of the case, until the executor or administrator has received the funds from the estate. The only other fees charged relate to the probate registry who charge a fee of £215 for a personal application and £156 for a solicitors application.</text-align=”justify”>

Executor Duties : I am an executor no longer want to act what are my options ?

The role of an Executor is very important when administering an estate. For this reason, it is often the case, an executor will often appoint a Solicitor to act on his or her behalf. Typically, an executor has a number of options. Firstly, they can renounce probate, which means that the executor would have no involvement in the probate process whatsoever, secondly they can ( if there are a number of executors ) agree to `power reserved `this means that whilst they are not named on the grant of probate issued they can re-enter the probate process should they wish at a later date, or thirdly the executor can appoint an attorney to apply on their behalf.

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