The Inheritance Guide

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A simple way to unlock probate

Working out the value of the estate

When calculating the deceased’s estate start by making a list of everything the deceased owns which holds a monetary value. Below is the type of assets which should be included in this list:

  • Bank and building society accounts
  • Stocks and shares
  • Life insurance and endowment policies
  • Employer benefits, e.g. death in service benefit
  • Any properties and land owned by the deceased
  • Furniture and other personal effects
  • Investments such as PEPs, ISAs and unit trusts
  • Insurance company benefits, e.g. ‘with profit’ bonds
  • Motor vehicles
  • Art
  • Jewellery
  • Business assets
  • National Savings & Investments products, e.g. Premium Bonds
  • Interest in trusts

You will need to write to asset-holders to notify them of the deceased’s death in order to:

  • Freeze any accounts and stop any incoming/outgoing of funds (prevent any fraud)
  • Confirm all holdings held with the asset-holder
  • Confirm value of the asset at the date of death
  • Provide certified copies of the death certificate, Will (if applicable) and proof of ID.

Each asset-holder will vary in their requirements. Return to the asset summary page and view our library of letter templates for help.

The information collected is required to determine which probate forms are needed when applying for probate. There are specific questions within the form designed to capture information on assets and liabilities in order to value the deceased estate and determine whether any inheritance tax is due. Without this information you will not be able to apply for probate.


Probate forms

If the estate matches any of the below criteria then the probate forms you will need are the PA1 form and IHT205.

  • If the estate is below the excepted estate limit (inheritance tax allowance),
  • or below twice the excepted limit if the deceased was widowed and you are transferring the full allowance from the predeceased spouse
  • or the gross value of the estate is below £1m and the estate has exemptions applied which mean that there is no inheritance tax to pay.

Sound complicated?

There is no need to worry as our system will calculate the above for you and chose the correct probate forms. It will also go a step further by making all the required calculations and populate the probate forms for you.


Assigning assets to beneficiaries

Please use assignments to distribute ‘specific’ assets to beneficiaries.

Example 1: This could be an antique watch left to a child in a Will as a specific gift.

Example 2: A Deed of Variation has been used to legally change the distribution of the estate and a specific asset has been left to someone.


Apply for probate here

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