It is a common misconception that assets are released as soon as someone dies. This generally will not happen without a document called a Grant of Probate.
How does it work?
When someone dies, the people responsible for managing your affairs are your Executors and named in the Will.
In the case of the deceased leaving no Will, this is called ‘Dying Intestate’. When someone dies Intestate the laws of intestacy decide how the deceased’s estate is divided. Someone must act as an administrator to undertake the role of the Executor.
The Grant of Probate is applied for through the Probate Registry and the document confirms who is eligible to deal with the deceased’s estate.
It is normal practice for this to be completed within 6 months of the date of death, leaving it longer may lead to fines from HM Revenue & Customs (The Tax man) and stress between the Executors and Beneficiaries.
Where a Will is present, Probate will be granted to the Executor(s).
In the case of no Will, it becomes a Grant or Letter of Administration, which is granted to the administrators.
What do you need to do?
Before the application, the Executor will find all information regarding assets at the time of death.
This process will include speaking to family, writing to banks etc. It may also be worth gaining a valuation of any properties.
This includes any assets they may also be held abroad.
This information allows the Executor or Administrator to calculate if any inheritance tax is due, this information needs to be passed onto HMRC.
The Executor then swears an oath, pays a fee, submits the original Will, and evidence that any inheritance tax due has been paid and an account of what the deceased’s estate comprised of. This is given to the Probate Registry.
In roughly eight weeks, if everything is in order, the Probate Registry will issue the Grant of Probate, allowing the release of assets.
LCS can either assist with this process or we can complete all the work for you, thus removing additional stress for your loved ones.
Prior to this, you must ensure that you have a valid Will in place that accurately reflects your wishes.
Don’t hesitate. Contact LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250 to ensure that you have put your affairs in order, before it is too late.