Probate or Estate Administration? What's the difference?

Probate or Estate Administration? What's the difference?

Probate or Estate Administration? What’s the difference?

by | Will Basics 101

When someone dies in the UK, what happens to their legacy?  We hear the term ‘probate’ a lot in connection with handling the affairs of the deceased, but what is the difference between probate and estate administration?  The Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW), to whom I belong, gives the following advice.

What is probate?

Probate refers to the Grant of Probate, also known as Confirmation in Scotland and sometimes referred to as the Grant of
Representation or Letters of Administration.  It is required by law when the deceased owns property (including any houses, buildings or land) or if a financial institution (such as a bank) requires a Grant of Probate to release funds.  Although, probate is not required if the estate is less than £5,000 in value or assets were held jointly so will pass to a surviving spouse or
partner.  If Probate is required, the Grant of Probate must be obtained before an Executor (if a Will has been left) or an Administrator (if they died intestate) can start to gather in the assets associated with an estate.

What is estate administration?

Estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal and tax affairs after they have died. This includes everything from bank accounts, belongings and property to debts, pensions and Inheritance Tax. It can sometimes be extremely complex depending on the estate and the wishes left in the Will. Surprisingly, approximately 60% of the UK population do not have a valid Will. If there is no Will, it is classed as an intestate estate and the assets will be distributed in line with the rules of intestacy, rather than the family wishes. If this is the case, it is likely to make the estate administration process more complicated.

Need assistance?

If you are an executor or involved in administering an estate, there is help available with the myriad of administrative tasks involved with the deceased legacy.  I can recommend specialist firms who can assist with services including:

  • completing all Inheritance Tax forms
  • applying for Probate or Confirmation
  • Income Tax work for the year of death
  • valuing assets, property valuation and sale
  • specialist building insurance
  • setting up Trusts in a Will
  • postal redirection
  • registering unregistered properties
  • arranging for pets to be re-homed
  • cancelling or transferring utilities
  • settling all liabilities
  • distributing funds to beneficiaries and producing estate accounts.

The IPW also has a Bereavement Support Team who can assist you at this time.  Contact me now for more information:  [email protected]

 

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