Historically when a family member passed away the relatives approached either a firm of solicitors or a bank to obtain probate, administer the estate and distribute assets to beneficiaries. This all changed in 2016 when certain accountancy practices, that were able to prove they had the necessary skills and expertise and which were regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, were given permission to do this.
Vista Partners was one of the first accountancy practices to be granted this permission.
Probate work requires a broad range of skills:
- The tax affairs of the deceased will need to be agreed with HMRC both up to the date of death, and for the period over which the estate is being administered. Inheritance tax returns will require completion, reliefs claimed and any tax calculated.
- An application will be made for Grant of Probate which involves listing all of the deceased’s assets and liabilities, often valuing shares and investments;
- Arranging for assets to be sold, all income due to the deceased to be received and for debts and liabilities to be paid;
- Identifying where potential tax savings can be made through a Deed of Variation;
- Calculating what beneficiaries are entitled to and ensuring those distributions are made;
- Accounting for all of the sums paid into the estate, the payment of tax, expenses and liabilities, legacies paid and distributions to residuary beneficiaries.
As accountants, we are well suited to carrying out work of this nature. We are happy to take on all of the work needed or just a part of it. It is completely up to you. We will tailor our service to your requirements.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss the process of obtaining probate and to gain a full understanding of how we can help.
We will then send you a fee quotation reflecting the amount of time that will be spent in administering the estate. Substantial cost savings can arise compared to the traditional basis favoured by some banks and solicitors where fees comprise a percentage of the estate’s value.