Dealing with the Estate of someone who has passed away can be a very difficult and emotional task, especially, if the deceased was a close family member. If you have been appointed an Executor of an Estate it is very important to fully understand what is involved in order to ensure Probate can be obtained as quickly as possible with a view to dealing with the deceased’s Estate swiftly and efficiently.
All Executors must apply for Probate
All Executors named in the Will must apply for Probate jointly. If one of the Executors decides they do not wish to act as Executor, e.g. due to ill health or they live abroad, they can renounce their right by signing a Deed of Renunciation. If there are no other Executors named in the Will then the Court will have to appoint an Executor.
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Finding a Solicitor in Manchester to assist with applying for Probate
In order to obtain Probate, there are a number of rigid steps that need to be followed. You can instruct a solicitor in Manchester to assist you with the Probate process or you can apply personally at the Manchester Probate Registry Office.
Main Steps when applying for Probate in Manchester
The main steps are as follows:
- Obtain the death certificate
- Notify utility companies, banks, etc. , of the death so that accounts can be closed
- Find a Solicitor (or, this can be done immediately, if preferred)
- Collate documents to take to the initial appointment with your solicitor
- Collate all other documents relevant to the Estate which your solicitor will have requested during the first meeting, i.e. those relating to assets owned by the deceased before they passed away or any debts the owed.
- Inform the solicitor of the companies that have not been notified of the death so they can be written to
- Go through H M Revenue and Customs tax return with the solicitor and the relevant Oath.
- All Executors to sign the above tax return, Oath and any forms for the release of funds/closing of accounts that may be required
Your solicitor will then submit the application for the Grant of Probate at the Manchester Probate Registry Office along with a fee. The fees are approximately £40 for the Grant of Probate plus £1 per extra copy.
Once Probate has been obtained, your solicitor will start to deal with the assets, and finalise the Estate.
Paying InheritanceTax on the Estate
It is important to be aware that any Inheritance Tax due on the Estate must be paid within 6 months of the date of death. If it is not paid at the correct time interest is charged. If a full tax return is being submitted (form IHT 400) then HM Revenue & Customs will write and confirm the amount of tax due on the Estate. Probate will not be granted until IHT is paid. Tax can be paid in annual instalments where property or land is involved.
You can apply for Probate personally in which case it must be done directly at the Manchester Probate Registry Office. You will need to make an appointment with them in order to do this. You will be interviewed and asked to produce all relevant documents.
Solicitor's Fees for Probate in Manchester
Fees for Probate work will depend on the solicitor in Manchester you have instructed. It is the policy of some firms to charge a percentage of the value of the Estate while others charge on an hourly basis. Charging on an hourly basis means that there will be uncertainty as to what the final bill will be whereas at least where a percentage of the Estate value is being charged, you will have a firmer idea of what the final costs will be. If additional work is involved or the Estate is more complicated than the solicitor initially thought, then it is likely you will be charged more. It is therefore important to inform the solicitor of all relevant matters from the outset so as to ensure there are no unexpected matters further down the line, resulting in additional work.