Probate is the legal process of sorting out a person’s property, money and possessions after they’ve died; also known as Confirmation in Scotland. There are a few stages in getting a Grant of Probate that a lot of people are unaware of, which is why we are providing you with this step-by-step guide to ensure you can distribute the person’s will as they wanted.
First, it’s worth noting that the only person who is able to get a grant of probate is the executor; the person(s) named in the will to deal with the probate.
Step One – Obtaining death certificate and signing probate documents
The first thing the executor must do is obtain the death certificate of the deceased, which is issued when death is registered. Once you’ve obtained this, you need to establish your executor authority and therefore need the original will. If there is more than one executor then they must all sign probate documents. It’s usually agreed that one person takes on the main role. In a lot of cases, a joint executor may be a solicitor, which will normally carry an executor’s fee.
Step Two – Assessing the property value and Inheritance Tax
The next stage of the process is assessing the total value of the property and whether it’s liable for inheritance tax. Currently, property is tax free up to £325,000, and by 2020 the threshold will increase to £500,000. In addition, if the deceased is a spouse, the threshold will go up to £1,000,000. The rate of inheritance tax is 40% on anything above the threshold that affects you. For more information on inheritance tax, please visit the official Government page here.
Step Three – Obtaining PA1 Grant of Probate form
Now you have assessed the property, you must obtain a PA1 Grant of Probate form from your local Probate Registry. If the property is worth under £325,000, you’ll need a 205 inheritance tax form or a 400 inheritance tax form if inheritance tax is payable. In Scotland, you must apply for Confirmation through the C1 and C5 forms and send them to the Sheriff Court.
Step Four – Sending Probate documents to the Probate Registry
Once you’ve filled out the correct forms you must return them, the original will and death certificate to the Probate Registry and pay a fee of £215. After this you’ll need to attend the Probate Registry for interview and swear an executor’s oath.
Step Five – Paying any Inheritance Tax and receiving Grant of Probate
The final step is to pay any inheritance tax due, which can be done in instalments if the assets are tied up in the property. Once this has been paid or agreed upon with instalments, Probate Registry will send you your Grant of Probate. We recommend you request multiple copies. Now you’ve received the grant, you can administer the property and distribute assets and money according to the will.
If you need any help with the process of obtaining a Grant of Probate, please feel free to contact us on 01403 738777.