What is a Grant of Probate?
A grant of Probate is a legal document that needs to be obtained in order to release assets such as property or savings from the Estate of a deceased person. It is obtained by the person who is legally entitled to administer their Estate.
In essence, when a person dies their assets are ‘frozen’ to safeguard them against an ‘incorrect distribution’ to the wrong people. The Grant of Probate service enables a property to be sold or the deceased’s bank accounts and other financial assets to be accessed.
The Grant application includes two forms, the Probate Application (PA1) and a HMRC Inheritance tax form. There are three types of HMRC form used, and which one is used is dependent upon the nature and size of the Estate. They are the IHT205, IHT217 and IHT400.
What are ‘Letters of Administration’?
If the deceased left no Will the document is called the ‘Letters of Administration’. It is however, essentially the same thing. The generic term for both of these is the ‘Grant of Representation’. You may hear these terms when speaking with organisations helping you with practical matters following a death. Many people however use the term ‘Grant of Probate’ to refer to either.
When is a Grant of Probate required?
There are a variety of circumstances where a Grant of Probate may be required. The most common triggers are if there is a property to be sold or transferred, or if there are savings or investments above the ‘Probate threshold’. The Probate thresholds vary between financial institutions and can be as low as £5,000.
How long does it take?
Making a personal application for obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration takes an average of two to three months. There are a number of reasons for this including an average appointment time for your interview with the Probate Registry of up to six weeks. Other than that, Probate Registry and HMRC forms need to be completed and if these are being done for the first time it can be a very time consuming task.
If you want to obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration faster than this, Affinion can help. This can be useful where you may want to gain access to assets quickly, such as selling a property.
Affinion can obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in just 30 working days. There are several reasons we can do this so quickly:
- We specialise in Probate and nothing else, so we are fast and efficient
- We harness the latest technology to speed up the process
- Probate Registries turn around professional applications faster than personal ones
Is there a cost?
- If you apply directly there is a Court application fee of £215.
- If you instruct Affinion Probate to undertake the work for you the total fee is £475 (IHT205) and this includes the Court application fee.
Using a professional will ensure the application is made accurately and quickly. The Affinion service will:
- Provide you with a dedicated Case Manager
- Check the validity of the Will or apply the Rules of Intestacy if there is no Will
- Complete the Probate application form
- Prepare the Oath required to be sworn by the Executors and Administrators
- Complete the Inheritance Tax forms (whether tax is due or not)
- Calculate any Inheritance Tax liability
- Apply for the Grant of Probate
Our specialists appreciate that this can be a difficult time and if you are having to deal with a loved one’s estate, we can help. We will make the experience as stress-free as possible by removing the burdens and responsibilities of the application process from you.
You can call us on 0330 555 8000 or visit our website at www.affinioprobate.co.uk.