Probate

We can advise you what to do when somebody dies

What is Probate

When someone dies, you will need to obtain the legal right to deal with the deceased’s property, money and possessions otherwise known as their ‘estate.’

Probate image

England and Wales

You may need to apply for probate, known as a ‘grant of representation.’

You can apply yourself or use a person licensed to provide probate services.

Most cases follow the same process:

  1. Check if there is a will - this normally states who sorts out the estate. If there is no will, the next of kin can apply.
  2. Apply to get a ‘grant of representation’ i.e. probate - this gives you the legal right to access things like the person’s bank account.
  3. Complete personal tax affairs and pay any Inheritance Tax that’s due.
  4. Collect the estate’s assets, for example money from the sale of the person’s property.
  5. Pay any debts, such as unpaid utilities bills.
  6. Distribute the estate - this means giving any property, money or possessions to the people entitled to it, known as the beneficiaries. Probate can sometimes be known as:
    • Grant of representation
    • Letters of administration or
    • Letters of administration with a will.

When Probate may not be needed

You do not normally need a grant if the estate either:

  • passes to the surviving spouse or civil partner because it was held in joint names, for example a savings account.
  • doesn’t include land, property or shares.

You should contact the organisation holding the money, for example the bank or building society. They may ask for proof of death, for example the death certificate after the death has been registered.

Each financial institution has its own rules - you may still need to apply for a grant of probate.

About Griffiths Marshall (Probate) Ltd

Griffiths Marshall (Probate) Ltd is authorised 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 accountants, we are already very well qualified and experienced in dealing with IHT tax calculations, completing and filing tax forms and are often in the best position to assist.

At a time of bereavement, we can advise you what to do when a family member or loved one dies, whether they have left a will or not.

As part of our probate service, we will deal sympathetically and efficiently with the administration of the estate and relieve you of the worry and responsibility.

We know you will have many questions, especially if you have not had to deal with probate before. Below we have answers to some of the questions that you may have:

A. Up until October 2014 this was the case. However, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) have now been approved by parliament to license firms to deal with probate.

A. No, individuals within a firm of accountants need to go through the appropriate training and testing to become accredited and the firm has to be authorised by the ICAEW to provide this service.

A. Four of our partners have obtained the necessary accreditation and are authorised individuals, namely Chris Bourne, Ian Price, Steve Humphries and Greg Lewis. This service is provided through Griffiths Marshall (Probate) Ltd, a company authorised by the ICAEW.

A. No, not unless the will is contentious – this is where the there is a dispute involving inheritance and the validity of the will. If this is the case, we can refer you to a local Solicitor.

A. Yes, the initial meeting with us is free, if you would then like us to help, you can appoint us to act for you.

A. As accountants, we are already very well qualified and experienced in dealing with IHT tax calculations and completing and filing tax forms. Where we have been involved with the deceased tax affairs, we are often in the best position to assist, having an in-depth knowledge of financial affairs, including estate and tax planning. We see probate as a natural extension to this service.

This can result in probate being granted in a more timely and cost-efficient manner than if using a solicitor.

A. This varies from estate to estate. We have fixed fee options for obtaining the grant and completing the tax return and then time-based work for administering the estate. We believe our pricing to be fair and we will be upfront and clear about our costs at the time you appoint us.

A. No, you will remain as the executor, Griffiths Marshall (Probate) Ltd will be your representative.

A. Yes, this is a service we offer. Please contact us for further details.

Delivering that little bit extra

To discuss your requirements further, please contact us on Gloucester 01452 520000 or Lydney 01594 843635.