639/645 Wimborne Road, Winton, Bournemouth BH9 2AR 01202 528818
3a Runnymeade Parade, Ringwood Road, Bransgore BH23 8NJ 01425 674595
An Independent and Traditional Family Funeral Director
Everything the deceased used to own i.e. money, property and possessions solely in their name is known as their estate.
Immediately following their death, the deceased's estate is put into the temporary custody of personal representatives who are referred to as executors under a Will, or administrators if no Will exists. It is the responsibility of these personal representatives to calculate the value of the estate, then pay from the estate all the deceased's debts, taxes and expenses (including the funeral expenses). Only when this is done can the remainder of the estate be distributed amongst the beneficiaries listed in the Will, or to the next-of-kin according to the rules laid down by the Law of Intestacy if no Will exists.
Unless the total value of the estate is small*, the personal representatives need authority to release any funds from Bank or Building Society accounts or to enable the transfer of ownership of any property and possessions. The credentials they require are obtained by applying to the Probate Service (visit www.justice.gov.uk) for a Grant of Probate for executors or Letters of Administration for administrators.
It is not always necessary to employ a solicitor or probate specialist to assist in winding up the monetary affairs of the deceased. Form PA2 from the Probate Registry Office gives advice for this situation and can be downloaded from the link below.
* If the deceased's estate is worth less than £5000 there is usually no need to go apply for probate. However, certain banks or building societies may still insist on seeing a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration before releasing monies. Similarly, insurance companies may require seeing the appropiate document when a policy needs to be paid into the estate rather than direct to a beneficiary. Finally in cases where the deceased has given away any substancial assests in the last seven years, then Inheritance Tax may be due and probate required.