The terms ‘probate’ and ‘estate administration’ are commonly misused. Whilst they are both associated with the process of handling an individual’s estate after they have passed away, they each have their own definitions. The more frequently used term of the two, ‘probate’, is incorrectly used to refer to the entire process of dealing with a deceased person’s estate. However, ‘estate administration’ is the more accurate term that best describes the entire process from start to finish.
It’s important to remember that the probate and estate administration process can involve a lot of time and effort; those who choose to undertake the responsibility are also personally liable for any mistakes made during the process. Due to this, many instruct a professional to complete the entire process, relinquishing themselves of the legal and financial responsibility.
Probate, formally known as a ‘Grant of Probate’, is a legal document often a requirement in England and Wales for the Executor(s) of a deceased person’s estate. In Scotland, the process is referred to as ‘Confirmation’. Once granted, this provides the Executor(s) with the legal authority to administer the deceased’s estate.
Financial institutions often require a Grant of Probate to access bank accounts, release funds, settle debts, and sell assets. However, probate is not always necessary, as individual financial institutions and organisations set probate thresholds.
Probate is not usually required if assets were held jointly or the estate is less than £5,000; jointly held assets will usually pass to a surviving spouse or partner. If probate is required, the Grant of Probate must be obtained before an Executor (if there is a Will) or an Administrator (if there is no Will) can gather the assets associated with an estate.
Estate administration involves dealing with a person’s legal and tax affairs after they have died. This involves far more than simply obtaining a Grant of Probate, which is one task in the wider estate administration process. Whether or not there is a Will, estate administration is required after every death and can be extremely complex.
As every estate is unique, the tasks involved may vary according to the make-up of the estate. However, this could include:
• Obtaining a Grant of Probate
• Dealing with Inheritance Tax forms
• Completing Income Tax work
• Ensuring the family tree information is correct
• Closing bank accounts and paying any debts
• Dealing with shares and investments
• Selling property and assets
• Dealing with specialist legal work
• Contacting beneficiaries
• Producing accurate estate accounts
The tasks and processes involved in estate administration are rarely straightforward; at a time when financial matters are the last things on our minds, the complex requirements can be difficult to deal with. Following an extensive appraisal of the varied alternative providers on the market, Funeral Experts has partnered with Kings Court Trust, to provide probate and estate administration services.
With probate and estate administration as their sole expertise, Kings Court Trust can advise on any situation. Whether you only want support with the probate application process or you would like to hand the entire process over to professionals, they have a variety of solutions available to support you in your time of need.
Kings Court Trust are award-winning providers of probate and estate administration services and can complete this complex process for you, the benefits of using Kings Court Trust are:
What have clients said about Kings Court Trust?
“Response times were fantastic. I felt at ease with the whole process which at this unfortunate time was one less thing to worry about. Probate came within the time advised. I cannot imagine finding a better service elsewhere. I would highly recommend them.” – Trustpilot review.
Interested to find out more? Get in touch with Kings Court Trust today by completing the form below: