Have you recently suffered a bereavement?
Dealing with someone’s affairs when they die can be complicated and confusing, especially at a difficult and emotional time. We can help support you and provide direction to administer your friend or loved ones’ estate.
Essential Later Life Planning offer free confidential support for probate and can help diagnose whether it will actually be necessary. If probate is required we can provide a free no-obligation consultation, and on behalf of our trusted partner Premier Solicitors, will provide a fixed fee quotation based on the size and complexity of the estate. This means you will agree the cost upfront and there will be no hidden surprises.
Who are Premier Solicitors?
Premier Solicitors is a leading law firm, founded in 2006, offering competitive fixed fees and dedicated to providing a professional and affordable legal service. The Firm is Lexcel accredited, a Law Society nationally recognised quality mark for law firms.
What is an estate?
Someone’s estate is everything that they own; all of their assets (whether real property or personal property) and their liabilities.
Who are Executors and what are their responsibilities?
An executor is a person the deceased wished to deal with the administration of their estate after their death. It is your Executor’s responsibility to:
- determine what property and other assets you owned, as well as your liabilities
- arrange for current valuations of your personal possessions, property, investments, any pension or insurance entitlements due and also any debts and bills
- arrange for the payment of your funeral
- establish Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax liabilities and complete the necessary tax returns to submit to the Revenue
- complete and submit the necessary Probate Registry forms
- arrange the clearance and sale of any property
- collect assets and pay any debts
- arrange for the distribution of legacies and gifts to your beneficiaries
- compile detailed accounts to give to the main beneficiaries
- in the case of minor children being beneficiaries, then your Executor may act as Trustee for ongoing trusts, to hold their monies until they reach 18.
Your choice of Executors and/or the Solicitors they instruct can determine how quickly and efficiently the administration of the estate is progressed.
What is probate?
Probate is the court’s authority, given to a person or persons, to administer a deceased person’s estate and the document issued by the Probate Registry is called a Grant of Representation. This document is usually required by the asset holders (such as banks) as proof to show the correct person or persons have the Probate Registry’s authority to administer a deceased person’s estate.
When is Probate required?
The Probate process is needed when investments, over a certain value, were held in the deceased’s sole name and the banks, building societies and other organisations request a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in order to release the funds held.
The threshold an organisation sets before they request probate is largely discretionary, so can vary dramatically from one institution to another. If the deceased had property in his or her sole name, probate will nearly always be required before the property can be sold or ownership transferred.
Will I have to pay my loved ones debts?
No. However, it is a common misconception amongst people is that when a person dies their debts disappear but this is not the case unless otherwise stated. When a person dies their debts are paid for from their assets at the time of death. If their debt exceeds their available assets then the estate will be insolvent. Sometimes it is not known if an estate is insolvent until the grant of probate has been received. When the estate of the deceased is insolvent, gifts and legacies cannot be distributed to the beneficiaries under the Will. This part of the law is governed by Administration of Insolvent Estates of Deceased Persons Order 1986 (DPO 1986).
Who is a personal representative and what are their duties?
A personal representative is usually the named Executor of the deceased’s Will. When a person dies without making a Will, the personal representative is the person a grant of administration has been given to. It is the duty of the personal representative to pay off all debts of the deceased and if this is not done then they may be liable to pay money back into the estate. In order to avoid this, it is advised that the personal representative should apply for an Insolvency Administration Order.