Fixed Fee Probate in Bedford & St Neots
To settle someone’s estate a Grant of Administration from the Probate office is needed. Many people appoint friends and family members to act as executors without realising that the work involved can be onerous and cause undue worry.
Many appointed friends and family members end up seeking legal advice often paying FAR TOO MUCH for this advice, leaving family and beneficiaries with less than you hoped. By appointing us you can remove these worries and problems for your friends & family.
What Does Probate Involve?
The Probate Process Explained
The Probate process often involves a lot of complicated legal, tax and financial work which can be broken down into different areas of work.
Identifying The Assets
The value of the Estate needs to be determined by identifying all the deceased’s assets (property, investments and possessions) which sometimes involves identifying assets that the family were unaware of, and also determining all their liabilities such as debts ranging from loans to utility bills.
Verifying Estate Entitlement
Entitlement to the Estate needs to ve verified under the terms of the deceased’s Will, or in accordance with Intestacy laws if they died without a Will, and obtaining the necessary identification documents for those beneficiaries.
Taxes & Grant of Representation
All taxes need to be paid including Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) where applicable, and/or submitting the correct Inheritance Tax return (required whether or not there is tax due), and applying to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation, being a document that gives the legal authority to administer the deceased persons Estate.
Sell Assets & Settle Liabilities
After the Grant of Representation has been issued by the Probate Registry, the adminsitrator needs to liquidate (sell) the deceased’s assets, settle their liabilities, and pay the final Estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any further Inheritance Tax, any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the Estate.
Accounts need to be prepared documenting all payments into and out of the Estate, showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries.
Distribution of Assets & Funds
Providing there are no challenges to the Estate or other complicating factors preventing distribution at this stage, the final phase will involve transferring any assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain and distributing the balance of the Estate funds to beneficiaries.
Very Competitive Fixed Fee Probate
(For Full Estate Administration)
With No upfront Costs to the Executors
The Dangers of DIY Probate
If a friend or relative dies leaving a Will naming you as their executor, the responsibilities can be onerous. The role of an executor involves a great deal of work and responsibility. You must ensure that their estate is properly administered, and the beneficiaries receive everything that they are entitled to. You may be tempted to save on the costs of instructing a solicitor and do everything yourself. If you are familiar with their affairs and feel their estate is likely to be straightforward, you may feel that there is no real need to obtain expert advice.
A true recent case of Harris v HMRC illustrates the dangers of going it alone.
Mr Harris was appointed as a personal representative of a large estate. He decided not to instruct solicitors and instead deal with the estate himself. The estate assets were substantial, and Inheritance Tax was due to the Revenue.
Mr Harris completed all the necessary paperwork, obtained the Grant and arranged for the sale of the deceased’s home. The deceased’s brother was the beneficiary of the estate and due to receive the proceeds. Mr Harris paid over all the money to the brother, on the understanding that the brother would settle up with the Revenue himself. The brother then left the country without paying anything and has not been heard from since.
The Revenue pointed out to Mr Harris that, as executor, he was personally liable to pay the tax bill and the Court agreed. Although he himself had not received any money from the estate, Mr Harris was landed with a tax bill of almost £350,000.
Had he chosen to instruct specialist probate solicitors, they would have ensured matters were dealt with properly and he would have avoided this unfortunate outcome.
The moral is that no matter how straightforward an estate may seem at the outset, obtaining the correct specialised advice in probate matters is money well spent and is a legitimate expense of the estate.
At RWA, ‘Full Estate Administration’ means we do all the work and take the worries and responsibilities away from you.
We work with leading firms of specialist lawyers who are members of ‘Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners’ www.step.org (STEP) for a fixed fee.
For a free, no obligation discussion get in touch. A consultation can be arranged at your convenience in your home within the Bedford and St Neots area, or by telephone. Simply call us 01480 290060 or fill in the form below.