This is a companion piece to an earlier post ‘How to D.I.Y. and Do Probate Yourself’. We explain two core activities in more detail.
Let’s assume someone died, you found their will and it nominates you as executor.
You accept the nomination out of affection for the friend you lost, register the death and are ready so start implementing their final wishes. But wait: you need official permission from the authorities. That includes making arrangements for inheritance tax. However your first major hurdle is valuing the estate.
Preparing an Application for a Grant of Probate
The core steps in fulfilling your appointed role as executor involve plenty of ‘paperwork’, although nowadays you can at least do it online.
1… Download Form PA1P which is the official probate application form. You can complete it and file it safely on your computer. It will take you a while to locate all the assets, and complete all the details. This information will make administering the estate easier, so it’s worth doing a thorough job.
2… Value the estate as best you can, making sure you list all the assets, and subtract all debts and liabilities from the total value. Your goal is to establish whether the net result is below £325,000 or not, because that’s the point where inheritance tax becomes payable.
3… Download form IHT205 (no inheritance tax) or form IHT400 (inheritance tax due). Complete all the fields on the applicable one and save it in a safe place before you lodge. Here a few important considerations you should know:
A – You can’t apply for a grant of probate without an inheritance tax clearance from the HMRC tax authority
B – You must complete the IHT2015 form even is the estate is small because this is the only way to kick start the process
C – You have to make arrangements with HMRC to settle any tax due on an IHT400 form before they will issue a clearance
D – You can’t sell any assets in the estate: however you should be able to transfer money in a bank account if you send this form to the provider
E – Your only remaining option is to advance the inheritance tax in full, or in installments from your own funds. Many people resign their executorship at this stage and leave the problem with the Probate Office
4… If you make your peace with the HMRC and receive a clearance, you can send your probate application to your local probate office, and take a well-deserved break while you await the result.
Once You Are Past the Paperwork, You Can Get On with the Task
You now have the necessary authority to dispose of the deceased’s assets after settling debts according to the conditions of the will. We provide a probate house clearance service for people who find it painful to clear a dear-departed friend’s home, and dispose of the personal bric-a-brac they treasured while they were alive.