Estate Planning and Probate
Life is difficult during a berevement, but unfortunately there are a number of things that have to be dealt with. The process can be difficult the more tax that you have to pay and the greater the number of beneficiaries. It is also more colicated if you don’t have a valid will.
Choosing a professional to help you to deal with such important and often sensitive issues can be difficult. Many aspects of planning are non-regulated, meaning anyone can write a will, for example, regardless of training or expertise. We are a firm of Trust and Estate Practitoners (TEP) and with a TEP, you’re in safe hands. TEPs are recognised experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience.
When talking about estate planning, the focus is usually upon Inheritance Tax (IHT), however simple planning such as moving income producing assets between a husband and wife or those in a civil partnership can often be just as valuable in the long term and usually easier to implement.
IHT is often one of the biggest tax bills, but it’s also described as a voluntary tax. There are many things we can do to help you plan. It starts with producing a preliminary estimate of your likely Inheritance Tax liability and tell you whether we recommend you to consider Inheritance Tax planning.
A grant of representation is an order from the High Court that allows the person named on the grant to deal with the estate of the deceased. Where there is a valid will this is a Grant of Probate.
Where there is no valid will, this is a Grant of Letters of Administration. In either case, the key thing is that the person named in the grant is legally responsible, and ultimately personally liable for the estate.
Probate is the process of obtaining
the official approval of a Last Will and Testament (‘will’). It’s a detailed process; banks and solicitors’ charges can be substantial.
When the estate is straightforward anybody can act as an executor (or if no will, the personal representative), which means when a loved one dies and you are an executor you can administer the estate. It can be very time-consuming, but you don’t need a solicitor for most of the process.
However, there are certain complicated circumstances when it might be advisable to use a probate specialist.
You definitely need to use a probate specialist in any of these circumstances:
• If the estate is over the Inheritance Tax threshold and is not exempt from the tax.
• Where there are doubts about the validity of the will.
• Where there is no will and the deceased was married with children and left an estate worth over £250,000.
• Where dependants have been deliberately left out of the will but may have a claim for support from the estate.
• Where the estate contains complicated arrangements such as assets held in trust.
• Where the estate is insolvent
or where there are doubts about solvency of the estate.
• If there are any assets held outside England and Wales you may need a special copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Representation (usually referred to as a sealed and certified copy).
7 reasons to appoint us
Here are 7 reasons to appoint us to deal with the probate process:
- Except in very complicated cases we are very likely to be cheaper than solicitors.
- You already have a relationship with our firm.
- We already understand your business and financial affairs.
- We may have an existing knowledge of your family background and history.
- We may already have information about some of the assets within the estate.
- Our knowledge of Inheritance Tax and other related taxes is at a deeper level, which means you can be sure of getting the very best tax advice.
- And most important of all, we will give you a fixed price based on your particular circumstances and offer you a range of packages so you can choose the one which best meets your needs and budget.
Your Probate options at a glance
Whatever your business you will find one of our probate packages to suit your needs.
To help you identify the best option for you here is a quick overview:
This is the best option for busy people who want a complete solution and the very best tax saving advice. It is our recommended solution for complex estates valued at over £500,000.
This is our most popular option because it takes away all of the hassle.
This option is best for those people where the estate is straightforward, are on a tight budget and the executor simply needs guidance and support but is willing to do much of the process themselves.
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