We entirely appreciate the death of a loved one can be a very upsetting, stressful and difficult time for a person and having to deal with a persons estate can add to the difficulties that may present. We appreciate not everyone feels they are able to administer a loved one’s estate, which is why we are here to help.
When a person dies, someone will have to deal with the deceased persons estate and, more times than not, they have to apply for Probate. The Personal Representative (PR) of the estate is the person who applies for Probate.
There are two types of Probate namely:-
The PR is responsible for establishing the value of the estate as at the date of death, reporting the same to HM Revenue & Customs and paying any inheritance tax due. If full disclosure is not made, then the PR is at risk of penalties from HM Revenue & Customs. The PR must also obtain Probate if necessary.
After obtaining Probate the PR must sell and collect in all the assets of the deceased and pay the creditors of the estate before distributing any money to the beneficiaries. The PR must identify the beneficiaries of the estate, whether by the deceased’s Will, or under the Intestacy Rules. The PR must also prepare an Estate Account which documents all payments received by the estate, and paid out by the estate, showing the balance which is to be distributed to the beneficiaries. HM Revenue & Customs are permitted to ask for sight of the Estate Account for inheritance tax purposes.
Provided there are no claims on the estate the PR is then free to distribute the estate in accordance with either the Will or under the Intestacy Rules.
A PR can be personally liable to creditors of the deceased and we always advise to follow the statutory procedure which enables a PR to discover any unknown creditors/liabilities of the estate. Following the statutory procedure protects them from such claims in the future.
Family members can also make a claim on the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 if they believe insufficient provision was made to them under the Will, or they believe they have a claim under the Intestacy Rules. If a PR distributes the estate too soon, they will be personally liable for such claims.
Therefore, the role of a PR is a very important, with many potential pitfalls, and if you require any help and assistance please contact us.
A FREE APPOINTMENT
A free half an hour appointment in respect of Probate advice with no obligation to instruct us.
ADMINISTRATION OF THE ESTATE
We can handle the entirety of the administration of the estate, from attending the deceased’s property and sorting out their belongings, establishing the value of their estate, completing the inheritance tax forms, paying any inheritance tax due, applying for Probate, paying the creditors of the estate, preparing the Estate Account and distributing the monies to the correct beneficiaries. Alternatively, if you wish to be involved in the administration of the estate then we can assist you on certain aspects of the administration.
Our fees average between 2% to 3% of the gross value of the estate. If a percentage of the estate is not appropriate in the circumstances, then our hourly rate is £120.00 plus VAT.
The Court of Protection’s role is to protect a person’s interest if they no longer have sufficient mental capacity to make their own decisions.
The Court of Protection appoints Deputy/s to deal with the person’s financial affairs. The Court of Protection rarely appoints a Deputy/s in respect of a person’s health and welfare.
Therefore, if you need to help a loved one with their bank accounts, selling property, moving them into a Care Home etc, and you have not been appointed as an Attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney, you will need to make an application to the Court of Protection.
To be a Deputy/s you must be over the age of 18, cannot be bankrupt, and must be able to prove to the Court that you are the suitable person/s to deal with the Deputyship. The application is made via paper application and you rarely have to attend Court unless there is a dispute.
If you are appointed as a Deputy/s you must ensure all the person’s affairs are dealt with, and kept separate, from your own affairs.
Once the Court of Protection is satisfied that the person/s applying is suitable, an order will be granted enabling the Deputy/s to handle the person’s financial affairs and, occasionally their health and welfare needs.