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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 be considerate and supportive at this difficult time and cost you considerably less than a probate solicitor.

We will help you get probate – get in touch:

    What is probate and what does it involve?

    When a person dies, a lot of paperwork is often required. Obtaining grant of probate is the administrative process that needs to be undertaken by the executors of a deceased’s estate. It provides the executors with the legal right to distribute the estate assets in accordance with the deceased’s wishes, but before probate can be obtained it is necessary to calculate and pay any inheritance tax liability arising on estate assets. Along with completing inheritance tax forms and calculating the inheritance tax due, this often involves preparing tax returns and calculations both to the date of death and also for the period of administration of the estate and paying income tax and capital gains tax due.

    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.

    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.

    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. We offer a full probate service for clients, which includes:

    • Preparing estate accounts;
    • Calculating the tax position to the date of death and for the period of administration of the estate;
    • Completing inheritance tax calculations and submitting inheritance tax returns;
    • Agreeing inheritance tax liabilities with HMRC and arranging payment;
    • Obtaining grant of probate;
    • Collecting in and distributing estate assets in accordance with the will.

    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.

    What steps are involved to obtain grant of probate?

    In order to apply for probate, it is necessary to firstly ascertain the inheritance tax position and the income tax position to the date of death. This involves obtaining details of all the deceased’s income in the tax year of death and their assets on the date of their death, checking the position based on the deceased’s will (or the intestacy provisions if there is no will) and calculating any inheritance tax liability. Only once this has been done can the probate application be made.

    It is often, but not always necessary to prepare a tax return for the period to the date of death, in order to calculate, pay and deduct from the value of the estate any outstanding tax liabilities.

    Only once probate has been granted can the estate be distributed in accordance with the deceased’s wishes in their will, or if there is no will, in accordance with the intestacy provisions.

    There will be a period of time which elapses between the date of death and the date on which the estate can be distributed. During this time the estate assets may produce income, such as bank interest, dividends, rental income etc. In this case it will be necessary to prepare estate accounts and a tax return for the period of administration, and to pay out of the estate assets any tax liabilities which arise.

    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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      31 January 2021 - Submit your self assessment tax return and pay tax due

      Don’t forget the deadline for sending in your self assessment tax return and making tax payments. You may be able to agree a Time to Pay schedule with HMRC depending on your circumstances and pay in instalments. Talk to us and we can help you prepare your tax return and advise you on the best options for deferred payments.