What is probate?
Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died, principally settling any debts and distributing their assets in accordance with their will. The process entails assessing the total value of estate and whether it’s liable for inheritance tax; applying to the probate registry for a grant of probate; paying any inheritance tax that’s due; and finally, administering the estate by gathering in assets, paying off any debts and distributing to the beneficiaries. Dealing with the death of a close family member or friend is never easy. But resolving their financial affairs, too, can add extra stress into the equation. If you choose to handle the estate administration yourself, it can be easy - and expensive - to make mistakes. It is well worth considering taking professional advice that can ease you through the process and claim all available inheritance tax reliefs.
What do I need to consider?
- Is there a will and who are the beneficiaries?
- What do I do if there are doubts about the validity of the will?
- Who are the executors?
- Who needs to be informed of the death and what happens next?
- Are there any the tax implications?
- What are the deadlines?
- What if there are disputes over the distribution of the estate?
- Should a professional advisor be appointed and how much will this cost?
Why use an accountant for probate work?
Until recently, solicitors were the only professional advisors allowed to carry out probate. Now the market has been opened up, allowing licensed accountants to handle estate administration on your behalf - taking an extra weight off your shoulders at an emotional time.BSR Bespoke accountants in Tunbridge Wells are ideally placed to advise, due to our knowledge of the available IHT reliefs. What's more, if your family member was a client, then we'll already be familiar with their financial affairs and may also have been involved in their estate planning - two big advantages when it comes to handling probate.
How can BSR Bespoke help?
We can deal sensitively and efficiently with both simple and complex estates for our clients and their families. We charge on the basis of an agreed and fair hourly rate, which can be much more cost-effective than using solicitors or banks, whose charges are often based on a percentage of the value of the estate.