Following the death of a loved one the prospect of administering their estate may seem daunting and the legal process intimidating. A common question relates to the term Probate which from time to time can be misunderstood.
Probate itself is a formal approval of the Probate Registry to administer the estate of the deceased. To signify Probate has been granted the court issues a sealed document in the name of the executors for production to banks, building societies or other financial institution who may be holding assets. Solicitors selling or buying a property belonging to a deceased person will require sight of a sealed grant before completing a sale. Probate is issued following an application accompanied by a sworn application and HMRC inheritance tax return.
There are exceptions where a grant of probate is not necessary usually where the assets are less than £15000. Some major high street banks and building societies will subject to a receiving a signed indemnity from the executors or beneficiaries release funds to the estate. It is worth noting the amount may vary depending on the size of the institution and their policy with regard to small estates.
In the case of a person who dies intestate (without a Will) the process is the same in so far as it is necessary to file a tax return and apply by means of a sworn oath. However in the case of intestacy the application is made by the person or persons having the legal right to deal with the estate and known as the Personal Representatives. In the case of an intestate estate it is not uncommon to refer to the process as Probate but the correct term is a Grant of Letters of Administration.Talk to our legal team
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