What is.... probate?

19 December 2011

Probate was one of the top 10 ‘what is...’ searches for 2011 according to Google research.

Probate is a term used to describe the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs. If a will is in place when someone dies there will be named executors who will need to apply for a grant of probate. The grant is a legal document which confirms the executor’s right to access funds, sort out finances and collect and share out assets left by the deceased.

When applying for probate an inheritance tax form also needs to be completed, even if the value of the estate is lower than the tax threshold. Probate will only be grated once any inheritance tax due has been paid. Inheritance tax is then payable within six months of death (or over 10 years if the estate is tied up in other assets such as property).

After probate has been granted and any inheritance tax due paid the estate can then be distributed according to the terms of the will. 

Back to index