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Probate services

Navigate the complexities of probate with your trusted tax advisor.

Our probate experts will work with you to obtain grant of probate and calculate inheritance tax liabilities.

We will always provide you with a fixed fee in advance of carrying out any work.

We will help you get probate – get in touch:

    What is probate and what does it involve?

    When a person dies, unless all their assets are held jointly with another person, it will be necessary to obtain grant of probate. This will give the executors the legal right to distribute the estate assets in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. 

    Before probate can be applied for, the inheritance tax position needs to be determined. This is often the most lengthy part of the process as it involves determining the value of all the estate assets, both gross and net, submitting inheritance tax returns to HMRC, agreeing the position, and arranging payment of any inheritance tax liability. 

    It may also be necessary to prepare income tax returns for the deceased to the date of death, and for the estate to declare any income or gains received during the period of administration.  

    A suitably qualified firm of tax advisors like RJP can provide a full tax and probate service to obtain grant of probate and prepare all inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains tax returns and calculations, and can also provide tax planning advice. By administering the complex inheritance tax and probate paperwork on your behalf, the entire procedure can be dealt with by one professional. Apart from making things easier for you, this means a notoriously long-winded process can be completed more quickly, which also saves costs. 

    Intestacy

    Probate is only granted for estates where the deceased left a valid will. Where there is no will, it is an intestate estate, for which it is necessary to apply for a grant of letters of administration. The process is the same as applying for grant of probate, and the inheritance tax and income tax position remains the same. 

    Do I need to employ a specialist for probate?

    It is possible for a layperson to apply for grant of probate, but it can be time consuming and administratively and technically challenging, coming at a time when you are likely to be under greater stress. Given the type of work involved, there can be a number of practical and financial benefits to using an appropriately qualified tax advisor or accountant.

    Probate Fees 

    We do not charge on a percentage basis based on the value of the estate, but on a fixed fee basis according to the work you wish us to undertake. This may cover some or all of the following services: 

    • Contacting banks, building societies etc to determine the value of the estate assets at the date of death; 
    • Preparing income tax return(s) to the date of death of the deceased, to determine any income tax liabilities or refunds due; 
    • Calculating the estate inheritance tax position, completing all relevant inheritance tax returns and submitting to HMRC; 
    • Dealing with any queries raised by HMRC;
    • Arranging direct payment of the inheritance tax liability where appropriate; 
    • Obtaining grant of probate. 

    Following an initial conversation with you, we will provide a fixed fee quote for the above work as required. The fee will typically range between £1,500 plus VAT and £6,500 plus VAT depending on the complexity of the estate and the level of support required. 

    Estate Administration 

    Once grant of probate or letters of administration are received, the executors or personal representative are legally responsible for distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the will, or in accordance with the intestacy provisions where there is no will. 

    This involves collecting in all the estate assets, paying all debts, preparing a tax return if relevant, paying any tax due for the period of administration and distributing the net assets in accordance with the legal requirements. 

    We are very happy to carry out the estate administration on your behalf and we will provide a fixed fee quote in advance for this work. The fee will typically range between £1,500 plus VAT and £3,500 plus VAT depending on the complexity of the estate and the assets concerned. 

    Benefits of having your accountant or tax advisor deal with inheritance tax and probate

    An accountant or tax advisor is well placed to deal with the tax calculations, paperwork and numbers involved in preparing estate accounts and dealing with tax calculations – after all, it is what they do every day. The aspect that has traditionally been viewed as more legal in nature involves the probate application itself; this can now be done online and no longer requires an oath to be signed in the presence of a solicitor. Collecting in the estate assets and distributing them in accordance with the will has been a reserved legal practice until recent years; however it is now recognised that a qualified accountant or tax advisor, regulated by their professional body and licensed to undertake probate work, has an equally high level of professional integrity to undertake this work.

    A further advantage in asking your tax advisor to obtain probate could be the close working relationship you will already have with them. Most people have an accountant who regularly advises them, but they might not have a solicitor too. Your accountant or tax advisor is someone you can trust, who knows you well and who will act on your behalf with sensitivity at what can be a very difficult time.

    Your tax advisor may already have a good understanding of the deceased’s assets and tax liabilities, which enables the entire process to be dealt with quickly.

    RJP is qualified to undertake probate services

    RJP LLP is licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.  

    Combined probate and inheritance tax planning

    RJP also offers a combined probate and inheritance tax planning service if you are in the unfortunate position of having to conclude the financial administration associated with a loved one who did not leave a will or conduct inheritance tax planning; the same situation should not arise again. Our service is designed to let you swiftly complete probate and put measures in place to minimise the amount of inheritance tax your family will be liable to pay.

    Do you need legal advice?

    There are circumstances in which legal advice is required to obtain probate; such as where the validity of the will is in doubt, or its provisions are contested. RJP LLP is licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.

    We will help you get probate – get in touch:

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