Applying for probate can be complex, and you must understand the facts before taking action. Knowing what to expect and the process of grant of probate in Sa can help make the process easier and ensure that your application is successful. Below are some points to know before applying for probate.
1. Know When Someone Wants You to be an Executor
If someone wants you to be their executor, you should get informed. Usually, but only sometimes, this occurs before the will is written. You should make sure to be familiar with essential facts moving forward. You will decide where to set the boundaries of secrecy.
Find the Will where it is. For the majority of estates, you, as the executor, must get a grant of probate from the court. You must present the original Will to do this. Ensure you know exactly where the intention is and how to get to it.
2. Observe the Record
Even those with sound financial judgement are shocked by the labour required to get probate. Larger estates typically require more labour-intensive maintenance. As mentioned earlier, you must also know about the presents the deceased gave over the last seven years of their life.
You must assign a value to every item the deceased owns. The value must be current as of the deceased person’s passing. Maintaining a solid paper trail is essential since it may take a particular interest in this matter.
3. Get an Official Copy of the Death Certificate
Everyone requests to see a copy of the death certificate, as you’ll discover. A photocopy won’t do; you’ll need a genuine government-issued document. Banks, the Land Registry, other investment firms, and a few websites. In due order, you will be able to recover this from the decedent’s estate.
The government now offers a “Tell Us Once” option, saving you from having to contact each agency individually. If the death has already been reported to the registrar, go here; otherwise. Be on the lookout for incoming communication after you begin sending out death certificates and notifying persons of the death. For instance, the DWP or a pension provider could have transferred money after the deceased person passed away and demanded repayment. In due course, this can get reimbursed from the estate.
LPAs, or lasting powers of attorney, are only valid while the grantor is still alive. The LPA will stop working after their death. Even those who serve as both executors and attorneys are subject to this. It might put you in an odd scenario where you must prove your identity and authority as an executor, even if the institution you’re speaking with already knows you. You’ll have to jump through the same hoops.
5. Inheritance Tax Payment
Inheritance Tax Payment, sometimes known as inheritance tax, is payable six months following the month of death. The Inheritance Tax Payment form must get submitted 12 months after the death. Given the limited deadline, many executors still work through the estate when the due date arrives.
If you don’t meet these dates, the estate will be liable for the late payment interest and a penalty. Consider this a cost to the estate as it might not be possible to prevent it.
6. Gifts given in the Seven Years.
As previously noted, you will need to be aware of any presents given during the deceased’s final seven years of life. You can find these in bank statements or other documents. It is crucial because it will factor in the value of some or all gifts when calculating the inheritance tax. It is why having open lines of communication with the Will maker is crucial while they are still alive. If they choose to wait to tell you right away, they should at least explain where you may go to acquire this kind of information.
7. Expert Guidance and Expenses
Many executors begin the process ready to do everything themselves. It is a good choice since it protects the estate for the designated beneficiaries. The executors will frequently be successful. However, many more people will find this burden—combined with losing a loved one—too much to bear. Professional executors, including solicitors, are aware of this and can step in and offer assistance.
Be mindful that expert counsel carries a cost. Be aware that it’s OK to ask questions and bargain for a lower price.
8. The Value Trap and Valuations
The valuation cost may also be high. In the worst scenarios, they also depend on the asset’s worth. As said above, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Everything will need to be appraised, including jewellery, stock, and real estate.
Be especially careful to ensure that valuations are pretty done and accurately depict the estate at the date of death if an estate is above or close to the Inheritance Tax Payment level. For instance, you could utilise estate agency valuations or compare prices of neighbouring similar-sold homes if an estate is much below the Inheritance Tax Payment threshold. If unsure, consult a professional.
9. Safeguarding Estate Assets
As an executor, you are accountable for the assets you leave behind. When a house is vacant, this is especially crucial. Verify that the insurance continuation is not impacted by speaking with the insurance provider. To prevent accidental or intentional harm, you should store precious valuables in a safe place. You might need to secure your property under specific circumstances.
Contact with Professionals: Probate Consultants
Applying for probate can get complicated, but it can be manageable if you know the facts beforehand. Understanding the application for probate in WA, what documents are required and who can use them are two of the many things you must consider when applying for probate. Hopefully, this blog has given you a better understanding of what you need to know before applying so you can confidently move forward in your application process.