The Willwriting Partnership

0161 7054382

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Probate, not probation!

When a person dies, someone has to deal with what they own. Such a person is called a personal representative. If they are appointed by means of a valid Will or Codicil, they are known as executors. When they are not appointed this way, as in the case of someone who dies intestate, the personal representatives are known as administrators.

In either case they will normally have to obtain official documentation from the High Court (Probate Registry) to confirm they are the ones with the legal authority to deal with the assets of the estate of the deceased.

In the case of executors, once they have ‘proved’ the Will, they will be given a Grant of Probate (Probate). Although by the Will an executor has full authority to act from the moment the deceased dies, Probate officially confirms that they have the right to deal with the estate of the deceased. Where a person dies intestate, usually the relatives of the deceased will apply to become administrators. In this case however, the personal representatives have no authority to act until the grant of Letters of Administration’ have been issued.

The Personal representatives will have to deal with the following matters: -

  • Establishing whether there is a Will or not, and if there is, whether they have been appointed as executors.
  • Establishing the nature and value of the assets of the estate
  • Establishing the debts of the estate
  • The preparation of a summary of the assets and liabilities of the estate
  • The calculation of any Inheritance Tax liability and preparation of the documents required by H M Revenue and Customs
  • Payment of the Inheritance tax
  • Attendance at the Probate Registry to swear the papers
  • Receipt of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
  • Provision of proof of capacity to act (Probate or Letters of Administration) to organisations holding assets of the deceased and collect in the assets
  • Sale of any property of the estate unless otherwise directed by the Will
  • Payment of the debts of the estate
  • Payment of any legacies.
  • Hand over of any bequests
  • Distribution of the remaining estate or investment where the residue is placed in Trust.

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