Probate is a big part of estate planning but not many people actually understand the probate process. The law states that any estate over the value of £5k should go through probate but in reality many banking institutions do not require a grant of probate for and estate less than £15k
Probate is the process of finding new ownership for the assets in an estate. After someone dies, if they leave an estate in excess of £5k they should require probate. So the executors need to add up everything in the estate and subtract any debts. They then need to declare if there is any tax payable and fill out a tax return to HMRC declaring the tax or that no tax is due. When HMRC are happy they will issue a clearance certificate to ate the tax affairs have been settled.
Then the certificate and the Will are sent to the probate office when they are happy everything is in order a Grant of Probate will be issued, this gives the executors the authority to call in all the assets of the estate from the banks, and to deal with land registry for property so they can then distribute the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the will.
In our experience the probate process for our clients has presented them with two key problems: 1) the time. On average in this country probate lasts between 9 and 18 months. It can be a lot longer and we often see cases in the media where it has been a lot longer but there are usually special reasons for that. In most case 9-18 months is quite realistic. During this period the estate is locked up in the probate process and the families and beneficiaries do not have access to the assets.
The second problem is Cost. The cost for probate varies and at Richardson tribe we aim to be both competitive in cost and deliver the fastest service possible.