A Guide to Probate

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Understanding Probate

When we talk about probate, we refer to the process of dealing with someone who has died, and left behind their worldly possessions, known as an estate. It also means clearing any debts they had and distributing remaining assets to follow the instructions of their will.

What is Probate?

Probate is often something you’ll need to speak to a tax professional for. Probate refers to getting permission to fulfil the wishes of somebody’s will. This can also apply to the process of selling or settling someone’s estate.

If you are the person who has been tasked with executing the contents of somebody’s will, there are specific rules you have to follow.

How Does it Work?

The rules surrounding probate will change depending on whether you choose to execute the will yourself, or appoint a professional to do it for you.

When dealing with a complicated estate, it’s sensible to hire a professional. However, if you’re going to do it yourself, there are things to consider. For example, you will need to submit to the relevant authorities, and fill out the necessary applications. Once you have done this, you need to collect all of the assets of the deceased and distribute them according to the wishes stipulated in the will.

You will need to notify all relevant parties of the death of the deceased. This includes banks, building societies, government departments such as HMRC, and settling any debts that they might have. You will also be tasked with paying inheritance tax when necessary.

How Long Does This Take?

When you have completed the documentation, you will receive the grant of probate within eight weeks. However, it can take longer if you need to send other information to confirm grant of probate.

Executing a Will

Generally, the person who administers the probate is considered to be the executor. This person has generally been appointed in the will of the deceased.

In most cases, it will be a family member or a friend. However, you can appoint a professional executor if you wish. They will require paying, so it’s worth considering.

Can Someone Contest a Probate?

The probate process can be contested by other people, which will prevent you from getting permission to begin distributing assets.

There are some situations where a relative may enter a caveat, which is basically where someone raises questions about the legitimacy of the contents of the will.

Final Thoughts

Executing somebody’s will is an important legal matter, and you will be required to know how your responsibilities fall into the situation. Hiring an Expert Kent tax advisors could help you with this.

If you do not want the responsibility of executing somebody’s well, then you are welcome to contact a professional like a Kent accountant for probate services to do it for you. However, it’s important to notice that these people will have their own costs, and this will factor into what you are doing. However, the choice is yours, and many people choose to hire someone to do it for them because it is easier.

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