What is Probate?

Technically, “Probate” means applying for the court’s permission to deal with a person’s estate after they have died. It is the process of sending the original Will to the Probate Registry and submitting a tax return form to HM Revenue and Customs dealing with the Inheritance tax position.  Even if there is no inheritance tax due, a form still needs to be completed to show the revenue what the estate consists of and the value.  If there is no Will, then the person applying needs to complete  a Statement confirming that they are the rightful person entitled to the estate.

The Probate Registry will then issue the Probate document. If the person left a will, you’ll receive a ‘Grant of Probate”. If there was no will, you’ll receive “Letters of Administration”.

However, the term Probate is more commonly used to describe the entire process of dealing with someone’s estate including gathering in the person’s assets (closing bank accounts for example), paying off any bills and settling debts and paying inheritance tax (if applicable). Once this has been done, it is necessary to distribute whatever is left in line with the terms of the person’s last will, or the intestacy rules if there is no will.

Price Slater Gawne can assist with the Probate process. If you would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors regarding Probate, please contact a member of the Price Slater Gawne team on 0161 615 5554, by email to info@psg-law.co.uk or by visiting our Altrincham office.