Probate and Estate Management
Probate and estate administration are the terms associated with the process of handling an individual’s estate after they have died. It is apparent to us at Oaktree Will Services that the two terms are commonly misused by many, despite them being defined differently.
When it comes to probate, the more frequently used term of the two, there is a lot of confusion about what it means and what is included in the probate process. On the other hand, estate administration is the term that more accurately describes the entire process of dealing with a deceased person’s estate.
What is Probate
Probate, referring to the ‘Grant of Probate’ in England and Wales, or ‘Confirmation’ in Scotland, is required by law when the deceased owns property (including any houses, buildings, or land) or if a financial institution (such as a bank) requires a Grant of Probate to release funds. It is important to remember that financial institutions and organisations set their own probate thresholds. Therefore, obtaining a Grant of Probate may not be necessary to access funds. Additionally, probate is not usually required if the estate is less than £5,000 in value or if assets were held jointly, as they will pass to a surviving spouse or partner.
If probate is required, a Grant of Probate must be obtained before an Executor (if there is a Will) or an Administrator (if there is no Will) can start to gather in the assets associated with an estate.
What is Estate Administration
Estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal, financial, and tax affairs after they have died. It involves far more than obtaining a Grant of Probate, which is just one potential element of the wider process. Estate administration can be extremely complex and is required after every death, whether there is a Will or not.
In order to complete the estate administration process, there are a number of tasks that need to be carried out, including:
Obtaining a Grant of Probate
Closing bank accounts and paying any debts
Ensuring the family tree information is correct
Dealing with shares and investments
Selling property and assets
Dealing with Inheritance Tax forms (if applicable)
Completing Income Tax work
Dealing with specialist legal work
Producing accurate estate accounts
These are just some of the tasks that may be involved. However, every estate is different. While some people decide to administer a loved one’s estate themselves, this can take a significant amount of time and effort, leaving them personally liable for any mistakes made during the process. On the other hand, those who do not want the financial and legal responsibility may choose to instruct a professional to help them complete the entire process.
Whether the estate is simple or complex, dealing with the death of a loved one is rarely straightforward. That’s why Oaktree Will Services have partnered with the Kings Court Trust, our preferred provider of probate and estate administration services.
Most of us are not used to dealing with the complex requirements of estate administration, especially at a time when financial matters are the last thing on our minds.
Kings Court Trust is the leading specialist estate administration provider in the UK and, like us, they place their clients at the very heart of everything they do.
Estate administration is their sole expertise, and they can advise on any situation. Whether you only want support with the probate application process or would like to hand the entire process over to the professionals, Kings Court Trust has a variety of solutions available to support you in your time of need. There are numerous benefits of instructing the award-winning providers to complete this complex process for you, including:
Clear and transparent pricing. They work on a fixed fee basis, unlike many other estate administration providers.
Paying your inheritance quickly. Wherever possible, Kings Court Trust will make interim payments to all the beneficiaries, so you don’t have to wait until the end of the process.
Removing the legal burden off your shoulders. In full estate administration cases, Kings Court Trust can take on the responsibility and liability so that you don’t have to worry.
Receiving a personal service. You’ll be assigned a dedicated Personal Estate Manager who will keep you updated throughout the entire process and answer any of your questions.
Get in touch today
If you are looking for help and advice about Probate or Estate Administration, then we would love to help.