What is a Probate?
The Latin verb “probate” means to test or scrutinize, while the English word “probate” implies “to prove.” The executor of the will submits a probate application to the High Court for the court to formally recognize them as the administrator. And someone close to the will-maker or a trustee company like Public Trust could serve as the executor.
- The purpose of probate is to ascertain the following:
- That the will is believed to be the deceased’s final document.
- The people requesting probate are, in fact, the will’s executors.
- That they will respect the law and carry out the deceased’s wishes.
The court registrar issues the grant of probate and provides a document saying there is proof that the will submitted is authentic and that the named executors are qualified to handle the administration once the High Court has determined everything is in order.
How to Apply for a Probate?
If you are applying for probate on your own, there are five basic steps. A probate lawyer can assist you with taking care of the following if you hire them. The next of kin will obtain a “grant of letters of administration” rather than a “grant of probate” if there isn’t a will. The application procedure is the same.
Given below are the five steps of the probate process:
Registration of Death
You must record the death before requesting probate. Within five days after the death, this must be completed. To do this, get in touch with a registry office; it will go more quickly if you utilize the one closest to the place where the deceased was found dead. It is worth investigating to see if a hospital has its own registry office. You will obtain a death certificate, often known as a certificate of death registration.
Investigating the Value of the Estate
You must determine the estate’s valuation to comprehend the decedent’s assets and make judgments regarding inheritance tax. Make a list of the deceased person’s belongings and assign a value to each. To get accurate appraisals of other assets, get in touch with appropriate banks, building societies, insurance companies, and other organizations. Stocks, obligations, and any life insurance benefits are all included in this.
Any shared property must be listed and valued. These are possessions that the deceased person shared with another individual, such as a house purchased in two people’s names. Calculate these assets’ open market sale price, then divide that price by two.
An estate’s valuation must consider gifts made seven years before death. Gifts in money are simple to appraise. Gifted items should be valued based on their open market sale price projection.
Organizing Inheritance Tax
Estates worth more than £325,000 must pay inheritance tax. You must arrange to pay inheritance tax using an IHT400 form if the value of the deceased’s estate, including gifts made in the last seven years, exceeds £325,000.
You will still need to fill out an inheritance tax form (IHT205) certifying this even if the estate’s worth is below the threshold.
Filing of the Probate Application
- After determining the estate’s value, you must submit the probate application (the PA4P). There are numerous forms to fill out during this round of the probate process.
- Call the probate and inheritance tax helpdesk for telephone assistance if you need help filling out the documents.
- Online or paper applications for probate are both acceptable.
Pay Probate Fees
If the estate is worth more than $5,000, applying for probate will cost you £215. If the value is less than $5,000, probate is free. Each additional copy of the probate document you order costs £1.50. It will be quicker to settle the will if you have many copies so that you may transmit them simultaneously to various organizations.
The High Court typically processes applications in four to six weeks. However, this time may increase depending on the intricacy of the application and the volume of cases being heard there.
You must submit an application for probate to the Wellington High Court by its unique format and procedure requirements. Typically, you won’t need to let anyone else know you’re requesting probate.
Although applying for probate is not as difficult as it may appear, it does take time, and each step must be completed correctly. In the long run, properly organizing your probate will relieve stress during a trying period.
Starting the procedure of settling the decedent’s estate is then possible after receiving the grant of probate. This also entails making payments to the proper beneficiaries by Will’s provisions (or the rules of intestacy if there is no Will).