If you’ve been appointed executor of someone’s estate, you might want to keep reading. Prestige Tax and Trust Services explains what happens when probate is granted.
Grant of probate
The role of an executor is to administer a person’s estate after they’ve passed away. However in order to carry out this duty, you’ll need to apply for a grant of probate, also known as a grant of representation, from the UK Probate Service. This only applies if you live in England or Wales, as you have to apply for ‘confirmation’ instead if you live in Scotland.
If your application is successful, you’ll receive the grant through the post ten working days after completing the final step of the process. This is when you swear an oath to the probate office that the information you’ve provided in your application is true, to the best of your knowledge.
At this point the onus falls on you to administer the deceased’s estate, and the first thing you need to do is release their assets. In order to achieve this goal you should send a copy of the grant to organisations that hold the deceased’s assets, e.g. their bank. They should release any assets to you, so you can transfer them into the executorship account.
Once you’ve released the deceased’s assets, you’re legally required to pay off any debts they owe e.g. outstanding tax, from the estate before you administer it to the beneficiaries. You should place a notice in the Gazette to ensure creditors are given the chance to claim anything they’re owed by the person who’s passed away, from their estate.
Distribute the estate
After you’ve taken action to pay off the deceased’s debts, you’re required to distribute their estate as detailed by their will. If they haven’t left a will, you should distribute the estate as detailed by the law. Then you need to prepare the estate accounts, which must be approved and signed by both you and the main beneficiaries. We should also note that beneficiaries may be required to pay income tax on the assets they inherit which generate income for them.
Prestige Tax and Trust Services
Serving as the executor of the estate of someone who’s passed away can be a difficult task. If you need some help, come to Prestige Tax and Trust Services. Our probate team has the knowledge and expertise you need to carry out your duties effectively.