Guide to obtaining probate

A brief explanation of the process of obtaining probate or a grant of administration is set out below. This is a guide only and is not an authoritative statement of the law. For more information, or to arrange a house contents or chattels valuation for probate, contact Jeffrey Avery on 0800 567 7769.

If you are named as an executor in a will, or are a relative seeking to administer an estate, you will need to go take control of the assets, pay creditors and distribute the assets in accordance with the will, or the relevant intestacy laws. In order to be able to operate the deceased's bank account, sell his or her property and shares, etc, you will need to obtain the permission of a court to do so. This is known as a grant of administration, or probate. To obtain this, you will need to do the following:

Until you have obtained probate, banks, share registrars, the Land Registry and other relevant bodies will be unable to make any changes or release any funds. In practical terms, this means that you will be unable to obtain money from bank accounts, repay loans, or even pay for a funeral, so the obtaining of probate as quickly as possible makes life much easier for executors, particularly if they are beneficiaries as well. The probate registry takes at least a month to reply to correspondence, so if there is a query, this will significantly delay the granting of probate. It is therefore advisable to obtain HMRC form IHT421 as soon as possible, to prevent any delays from occurring. You should have this available by the time you are interviewed by HMRC.

For more information about our professional services contact Jeffrey Avery on 0800 567 7769.

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