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At a time of bereavement you can rely upon F Barnes solicitors to provide your family with sensitive and sympathetic advice about how best to conclude your affairs and optimise the net value of your estate.

Personal Representatives

The persons responsible for administering the estate are called personal representatives. Where there is a Will the personal representatives will be the Executors named in the Will but if  no Will has been made and there is an intestacy, the Law identifies the people who are entitled to act as personal representatives.  In this instance they will be known as Administrators.

How to obtain a Grant of Representation

The Grant of Representation is known as a Grant of Probate when there is a Will and a Grant of Letters of Administration where there is no Will in existence. The Grant is obtained from the Probate Registry of the High Court and is proof that the personal representatives identified in the document are entitled to deal with the estate. A personal representative’s Oath stating the deceased’s details, the personal representatives entitlement to a Grant and the gross and net value of the assets in the estate must be submitted together with the Will (if there is one) and where the value of the assets exceeds £325,000 an inventory of those assets. If Inheritance Tax is payable it must be settled before the Grant is issued except insofar as the tax is attributable to property and business assets where it can be paid by ten yearly instalments with interest until the sale of those assets.  It is possible for assets in the estate to be used to settle the tax but otherwise short term loans are usually available.

What is involved in the Administration of the Estate

When the Grant is issued the personal representatives will be required to do the following :-

  • Collect in the assets
  • Pay the funeral account and advertise for and settle and pay the debts
  • Conclude the deceased’s income tax affairs
  • Settle any claims against the estate
  • Consider the tax effectiveness of varying the Will or intestacy
  • Obtain clearance from the Capital Taxes Office in respect of any Inheritance Tax liability
  • Account to beneficiaries for their entitlements
  • Retain as Trustees assets to be held on trust for beneficiaries under the Will or intestacy provisions

The responsibility of acting as personal representatives at an emotional time may be unnecessarily burdensome for some. Call our head of wills and probate department  Sangeet Tatem on 01708-745183 or e-mail her at sangeet.tatem@fbarnes.co.uk for an informal and no-cost chat.

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