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Probate Services

Probate is the whole process of administering an estate when someone dies. In simple terms this involves organising their money, their assets and all liabilities and outstanding debts. Probate also refers to getting permission to carry out the wishes within someones Will.

If there is a Will in place for the deceased, a person will be named, known as the executor and will follow the wishes stated by the deceased. Probate is needed before any administration of the deceased’s estate can start.

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How does Probate work?

Probate is the legal right to deal with someone's property, money and possessions (their 'estate') when they die.

The executor(s) named in a person's Will, is responsible for Probate. An executor(s) is usually a family member or friend. However, some people appoint professional executors to carry out the process on their behalf. Even if you have appointed family members or friends, they can get professional help if needed. By delegating some or all of the work associated with Probate to an experienced and qualified probate provider.

To apply for Probate, the executor that is appointed under the Will has to value the entire estate and apply to the Courts to obtain the Grant.

What is the Probate Process?

Probate takes at least a few months to complete. In most cases, the entire Probate administration process will take around 12 to 18 months. The Probate process involves three main stages:

Apply for a Grant of Probate

You need to complete the application for a Grant of Probate, the legal document giving you authority to deal with the estate. This involves collecting in current values of all assets and liabilities and notifying a number of organisations. Once you have gathered all the necessary information you can apply for the Grant. Extensive guidance notes are available on the government website.

Executors are personally responsible and financially liable for any errors or omissions in completing the application. In addition they are also responsible for any subsequent tax returns for Income Tax and Inheritance Tax. Most importantly, any paperwork must be completed accurately and correctly.

Dealing with financial responsibilities

Once the Grant of Probate has been issued, you will need to:

  • Collect any assets
  • Complete tax returns and pay any relevant taxes
  • Pay any debts remaining on the estate
Other beneficiaries who are waiting for their inheritances will need to be kept advised. Any work should be done quickly, efficiently and professionally. Non-professional executors can charge for out-of-pocket expenses but normally there is no provision for any fees to be paid.

Paying the beneficiaries

Once all the deceased’s debts and tax liabilities are paid, a full set of estate accounts is prepared. You can then distribute the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the deceased’s Will. This includes setting up any relevant trust arrangement, either at Land Registry or through a trustee bank account or trustee investment.

Alternatively, you may ask a professional to do some or all of the work for you, for a fixed fee. This way you know you won’t have to pay any more than the fee quoted. Avoid open-ended ‘time fees’ as these are based on hourly rates, typically ranging from £200 to £400 per hour. There will be no limit on the amount of time charged.

ECARG Probate Service includes:

ECARG Financial Solution have extensive experience in dealing with all matters related to Probate and Estate Planning.

  • Our Senior Estate Planning Consultant will obtain the information required for the application.
  • If applying with a Will, we will ensure that the Will is valid and will be accepted by the Courts.
  • If there is no Will, we will gather the relevant information on the family tree to see who can apply and who will benefit from the Estate.
  • Prepare any additional documents, such as letters, that are required to be sent.
  • We will prepare and post all of the documents to HMCTS to being processing your application on your behalf.

Book A Call Today

Our team will guide you through the Probate process and estate administration with a tailored service

As a beneficiary or executor of a will, you can trust our team to guide you through the entire estate administration process. We understand the importance of this process and will provide you with tailored advice and support every step of the way. Our team will carefully consider the unique requirements of the estate to ensure that everything is handled properly.

Our role is to advise and protect you from any potential pitfalls and to support and take the strain away. You choose how much involvement you would like us to have, and what help you require.

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Not sure where to start with Probate?

Our specialised Probate team can provide professional advice and guidance following the death of a loved one.

Frequently Asked Questions on Will

How do I know if I need to apply for Probate?

The first step is determining who the nominated executors are that have been appointed under the Will. It is the executors duty to determine the assets held by the deceased along with obtaining date of death values. This in turn will establish whether or not the Grant of Probate is required.

Do I still need to apply for the Grant of Probate if the deceased left a Will?

Yes. Even in the instance where a deceased did or did not leave a Will, the Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration if the deceased died intestate) will still need to be applied for.

How long does Probate take?

Overall, Probate can take between six to twelve months, and in instances where the estate is of high value and complex, may take longer.

There are many factors that impact on the length of time the Probate process can take, and there is not a definitive answer that applies to all cases.

The estate holds a property, can I sell it whilst Probate is in process?

Unfortunately, you are unable to sell the home until the Grant of Probate has been issued. You can, however, list the property on the market. Contracts cannot be exchanged, so the buyer would need to be aware and prepared to wait.

Is there a time limit on applying for Probate?

There is no time limit for applying for probate.

How do I know if the Grant Only service or the Full Estate Administration service is appropriate?

Many executors come to the decision of whether to proceed using our Grant Only service versus the Full Estate Administration service based on the complexity of the estate, their own personal commitments and time constraints. It can also depend on the degree of involvement that they wish to retain.

Often than not executors can find themselves moving full steam ahead with attempting to apply for the Grant of Probate themselves, and finding themselves in muddy waters when the estate becomes far more complex due to the type and degree of assets held, and when inheritance tax falls due on the estate.