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Frequently asked questions
What is an Estate?
Someone’s estate is everything that they own; all of their assets (whether real property or personal property) and their liabilities.
Who are the Executors and what are their responsibilities?
An executor is a person the deceased wished to deal with the administration of their estate after their death.
It is your Executor’s responsibility to:
• determine what property and other assets you owned, as well as your liabilities.
• arrange for current valuations of your personal possessions, property, investments, any pension or insurance entitlements due and also any debts and bills
• arrange for the payment of your funeral
• establish Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax liabilities and complete the necessary tax returns to submit to the Revenue
• complete and submit the necessary Probate Registry forms
• arrange the clearance and sale of any property
• collect assets and pay any debts
• arrange for the distribution of legacies and gifts to your beneficiaries
• compile detailed accounts to give to the main beneficiaries
• in the case of minor children being beneficiaries, then your Executor may act as Trustee for ongoing trusts, to hold their monies until they reach 18.
Your choice of Executors and/or the Solicitors they instruct can determine how quickly and efficiently the administration of the estate is progressed. Through our fixed fee probate service, MGF Wills and Estate Planning can assist in how the administration of an estate is progressed, and can progress matters on a timely basis, in order to maintain low costs and high client satisfaction.
What is Probate?
Probate is the court’s authority, given to a person or persons, to administer a deceased person’s estate and the document issued by the Probate Registry is called a Grant of Representation. This document is usually required by the asset holders (such as banks) as proof to show the correct person or persons have the Probate Registry’s authority to administer a deceased person’s estate.
When is Probate required?
The Probate process is needed when investments (typically over £5,000) were held in the deceased’s sole name and the banks, building societies and other organisations request for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration in order to release the funds held.
How soon can a Grant of Probate / Grant of Letters of Administration be obtained?
We can prepare all the necessary papers within 5 working days of receiving full information about the estate from the Executor/ Administrator , and we can then obtain the Grant within 10 working days of the Executor/ Administrator signing and returning the duly signed papers to us.
What is an Insolvent Estate?
A common misconception amongst people is that when a person dies their debts disappear but this is not the case unless otherwise stated. When a person dies their debts are paid for from their assets at the time of death. If their debt exceeds their available assets then the estate will be insolvent. Sometimes it is not known if an estate is insolvent until the grant of probate has been received. When the estate of the deceased is insolvent, gifts and legacies cannot be distributed to the beneficiaries under the Will. This part of the law is governed by Administration of Insolvent Estates of Deceased Persons Order 1986 (DPO 1986).
Who is a personal representative and what are their duties?
A personal representative is usually the named Executor of the deceased’s Will. When a person dies without making a Will, the personal representative is the person a grant of administration has been given to. It is the duty of the personal representative to pay off all debts of the deceased and if this is not done then they may be liable to pay money back into the estate. In order to avoid this, it is advised that the personal representative should apply for an Insolvency Administration Order. A personal representative or a creditor can apply for the IOA by way of a petition at court.
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