Probate lawyers are urging the government to introduce reforms to make it easier for families to access the ‘digital assets’ of deceased relatives. A new report carried out by STEP – the professional body for inheritance planning advisers – highlights the extent of the distress caused by being cut off from digital assets when family members
Probate is the process by which a person’s estate is administered after they die. It is usually carried out by a spouse, a son or daughter or a close relative with the help of a solicitor. It’s a very important role because everything must be done according to the law and in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.
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There are several factors to consider such as did the deceased make a will. There are slightly different approaches depending on whether there is a will.
In most cases, probate or letters of administration will be needed unless the estate is worth less than £15,000 or if it’s jointly owned and passing to a spouse. Your solicitor will be able to advise.
As well as ensuring the deceased’s wishes are carried out, probate will also involve calculating how much their estate is worth and whether there is any inheritance tax to pay.
You may face a penalty if your information about the estate’s Inheritance Tax liability is inaccurate. If tax is due on the estate, you will usually have to pay at least some of it before probate is granted.
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Presentation slides from the webinar ‘Understanding inheritance and property – how to avoid disputes and claims’ which took place on Wednesday 7th July 2021.
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Presentation slides from the webinar ‘Wills and inheritance tax planning – putting the right protection in place’ which took place on Wednesday 2nd June 2021