What is probate, anyway?
The probate process is the term used to encapsulate the validation of the deceased’s will and confirm the appointment of the executors. The HMRC probate services will retain the original will, providing a certified copy known as the ‘Grant of Probate’ to the executor[s] in order to grant them the right to handle and wind down the deceased’s affairs.
What does your executor actually do?
The executor is the person or persons who will be responsible for finalising the deceased’s mortal affairs. They will collect all data about the financial position of the deceased, pay over any inheritance tax due under the HMRC probate laws, and distribute the remainder in accordance with either the law or the terms of the legally ratified will. They are personally liable for mistakes made in this process, too, which can make it a daunting process for those who do not work in the legal field. Incorrect distributions, missed tax or unsettled debt can all impact them personally. This is why so many quality legal firms provide probate support services- to help guide the nominated executor through the full extent of their duties and how to best carry them out- and Legal Typing is here to streamline the process and make it simpler and faster. This begins with the filling in of the probate forms. These are the first step to declaring the deceased as passed away, having the will opened and validated, and having the Grant of Probate correctly assigned to the executors.
The four basic steps to probate
The probate process begins with the filing of the probate forms. The court is asked to either appoint the executor in line with the will, or if there is no will, to appoint a suitable administrator. All possible heirs and interested parties will be informed during this process. The hearing also needs to be published in the newspaper and other reasonable steps undertaken to inform potentially unknown family and creditors. This is certainly one place in which a probate support service can be of great use to the grieving parties, ensuring the process is speedy, efficient and focused without seeming callous.
Once this process is finalised, the executor will take inventory of the estate, its debts and assets. Then all relevant debts, funeral costs etc must be paid from the estate. Once this step is complete, the remainder of the estate will be transferred to the beneficiaries in the will, or, failing that, the heirs as laid out by law through the HMRC probate court’s order of succession.
Is probate always needed?
Keeping fully compliant with the law is one key reason to use probate support services. In most cases, probate is needed- if the deceased owns any land or property, or if financial institutions require a deed of representation to be presented. Should these criteria not be met, probate forms may not be necessary to the process of winding up the deceased’s affairs. This does not exempt them from any tax liability or debts due to be paid, however.
As you can see, probate support services are a critical key to streamlining the sometimes traumatic process of winding up a deceased’s estate. Legal Typing is here to assist with the transcription and editing of probate form, and providing a valuable transcription pillar in the probate support process for your legal team. Let us handle the admin, to ensure you are fully compliant and the process is made as simple as possible.
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