Make a Will Online with GlossLegal

Probate > Will Writing Service Glossary

Probate - On death all assets in a person’s sole name are frozen until a Grant of Probate has been obtained. This is a document issued by the High Court confirming the authority of the Executor(s) to administer the estate.

First Stage - pre-Grant (Prepare Probate Papers)

  1. Ascertain details of the value of the assets (account balances, valuation of investments, property etc.) and the extent of the liabilities.
  2. Prepare Inheritance Tax Return and raise initial tax, where applicable.
  3. Prepare Oath of Executors.
  4. Arrange to have probate papers signed and sworn by the Executors, and submitted to the Inland Revenue/Probate Registry.

Second Stage - post-Grant (initial steps)

  1. Register the Grant of Probate with Banks, Building Societies and companies concerned.
  2. Arrange to close accounts, transfer or sell investments and/or property etc.
  3. Pay debts.
  4. Pay legacies and transfer specific gifts.
  5. Make interim distributions to the residuary beneficiaries.
  6. Agree Inheritance Tax liability with Inland Revenue, and obtain clearance.
  7. Agree Income Tax liability for period to date of death.

Third Stage - post-Grant (complete the administration)

  1. Prepare and submit Income Tax returns for the period after date of death.
  2. Prepare Estate Accounts.
  3. Make final distributions.

Probate Timescale

First Stage: Much depends upon the speed with which the various institutions reply to the initial correspondence. If there are any foreign assets, for example, this will inevitably lead to delay. Can typically take from 6 to 12 weeks.

Second Stage: Step 1 to 5 can usually be dealt with relatively quickly (unless there is a property to sell), often within 4 to 8 weeks. Finalising matters with the Inland Revenue will depend upon the complexity of the estate. It is not unusual for this to take up to 2 years, and can take longer.

Third Stage: Once again depends upon how quickly matters can be finalised with the Inland Revenue. Subject to this, preparing the accounts and making the final distributions should not take longer than 12 weeks. The administration of most estates is completed in between 9 and 18 months.

back to Will writing glossary Pointer