What is Probate & Estate Administration?
Probate and estate administration is the financial and legal process which takes place after someone has died. The purpose is to make sure that debts owed to the deceased are collected, amounts owing to creditors are honoured, all relevant taxes are identified, calculated and paid and any remaining assets in the estate are then distributed to the appropriate beneficiaries.
J.A.D. Associates Limited are 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. As licensed practitioners for probate work and as trusted local tax professionals we are best placed to assist you with your probate and estate administration needs: we can take care of the numbers, taxes, form-filling and paperwork for you.
Using J.A.D. Associates Limited to apply for Probate
We can help you in a variety of ways:
- Obtaining a grant of probate – assisting the executors or administrators to obtain the “grant” in order to deal with the deceased’s estate.
- Identifying the assets and liabilities of the estate – this can include bank accounts, credit cards, pensions, properties, shareholdings, insurances, utilities, taxes, etc.
- Valuing the assets of the estate – valuing assets in accordance with the IHT Act 1984 and claiming all reliefs (spouse exemption, charitable gifts etc) and transferable nil rate band if applicable.
- Completing the IHT forms – Identifying the correct forms to submit depending on whether or not the estate is excepted.
- Estate accounts preparation – drawing up financial statements showing incomings and outgoings of the estate and ensuring that assets are distributed in accordance with the will (or as deemed by law where the deceased died without leaving a valid will)
- Income tax returns – preparing final self-assessment tax returns if the deceased had income not taxed at source such as self-employed earnings, overseas income or a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability.
Why use J.A.D. Associates Limited?
If the deceased was a client of ours you can be assured that we knew a lot about his or her financial circumstances. Our relationship may have involved preparing annual company or business accounts; completing tax returns; meeting up on a regular basis to discuss business and financial affairs; and developing an understanding of his or her background and family. This is all vital information when going through the probate process. Furthermore, we can simplify the process as we are likely to have the details of their finances, assets and business dealings. This can save significant time and money when it comes to preparing the necessary paperwork for the Probate Office and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Not an existing client?
Probate and estate administration is largely an accounting and taxation exercise which, of course, is what we do all the time. If the deceased engaged the services of an accountant during their lifetime to assist with their business and/or taxation affairs we are happy to work with that accountancy firm if they are not licensed to provide probate services so that, between us, we can extract the financial and legal information required.
Traditionally, banks and solicitors have charged a percentage of the value of the estate to carry out any probate work. In some cases the percentage has been as high as 4% for even the simplest estates.
Our fees will be charged on the basis of time spent on the deceased’s affairs, unless we have agreed a fixed fee in advance. However, our understanding of financial documents means we are likely to spend less time gathering all the relevant information, therefore keeping the costs to a minimum. This is especially relevant where the deceased was an existing client.
Helping to keep the tax liability to a minimum
As Chartered Accountants we have the knowledge required to handle the tax affairs of the deceased. We can deal with the intricacies of inheritance tax (IHT), income tax and capital taxes, and our experience may also help to minimise the amount of tax that needs to be paid from the estate, by identifying where reliefs can be claimed.
As well as calculating the tax liabilities of the deceased’s estate, we can also work with any of the beneficiaries to set in place plans to minimise their future tax burdens.
A confidential, personal service
Last, and by no means least, we aim to provide a discreet and compassionate service. We fully appreciate how difficult a time this is for the family and we will provide our services to take away as much of the administrative burden as possible.
The Next Step
We try to complete the probate process as quickly and smoothly as possible. We also aim to keep the costs of administering the estate as low as possible.
Require more information?
If you would like more information or would like to speak to us direct then call us on 01634 375222. Or if you would prefer, ask us a question online.