The Process of Selling a Probate Property in West London

Selling A Probate Property In West London

Selling A Probate Property In West London.

Ever heard of the term ‘probate’? It’s a process you may have to go through at some point in your lifetime, and it’s a useful thing to know about. In simple terms, it describes what happens when someone is listed in a will who takes ownership of the property of the deceased.

If a will already exists, executors will take on this task. Of course, wills are not always made, and in this case, the closest living relative would be delegated this important responsibility.

If you’re about to go through the probate process yourself, London Estates can help. Just make sure you don’t attempt to sell the property or make any grand financial plans before probate is actually granted.

How The Process Of Probate Works

It usually takes between nine and twelve months to pass through the entire process. If you are listed as an executor on a will, here’s what you’ll need to do.

1. Register the death. You’ll have five days to do this if you live in England, Northern Ireland or Wales. For Scottish residents, it takes a bit longer (eight days). Once you receive a death certificate, the process can then begin.

2. Inform beneficiaries and organisations. You’ll need to contact utility companies, insurance companies and banks the deceased had products with. This is important as it closes their account and ensures no extra charges are incurred. As you’re doing this, you’ll also need to inform beneficiaries if they are entitled to a proportion of the estate, and you’ll need to do this fairly quickly.

3. Submit the right forms. You’ll need to submit inheritance tax and grant of probate forms, which can be done electronically. You may also need to submit the actual will if required, and this will need to be done traditionally, via post. The amount of information you may need to include can be overwhelming. However, checklists are available online, to ensure you don’t leave anything important out. Accuracy is essential, as the process will only be delayed if anything is missing. 4. Pay inheritance tax. You may have a bill due before you are able to access the final assets. As such, you may need to take out a loan to cover the cost. Do this as soon as you can, as you don’t want to delay the process.

5. Pay outstanding debts. The deceased may have a credit card, car hire purchase or mortgage arrangement still in place, and these will need to be paid off by you. Luckily, if the value of the estate isn’t enough to cover remaining debts, it’s sometimes possible to make an arrangement with creditors.

6. Claim any other pay-outs. If the deceased had a life insurance policy or funeral insurance, you may be able to claim a pay-out. Any potential pay-out can then cover some costs towards the funeral or the final inheritance tax bill.

7. Distribute the assets. Once all liabilities are paid, it’s then time to distribute the final amount to other listed beneficiaries. In the case when a beneficiary has passed away, their share is normally put back into the estate and distributed among the remaining beneficiaries. However, wills can sometimes specify that in these circumstances, the share can be invested somewhere else.

How To Apply For Probate

You might be tempted to complete the probate process yourself, and there are a few advantages in doing so. Of course, it’s cheaper than using a solicitor or professional probate service. Plus, it gives you a degree of control, as you can manage the whole process and make your own decisions.

On the flip side, you may experience some problems with this DIY approach. Chances are that you won’t have the level of knowledge needed to complete all the paperwork needed, like filling in inheritance tax forms or preparing accounts.

There are also some pretty severe legal implications if you get anything wrong. For example, if you fail to act correctly, you can be sued by beneficiaries. There’s also the risk of incorrectly valuing the estate and being held liable for this.

Considering all this, we always recommend using a solicitor or professional probate service when faced with this task. Try not to be put off by potentially high fees, as they’re usually worth the investment in the end!

Here are some of the main reasons why you should always use a solicitor or probate service.

1. Probate solicitors have all the legal knowledge, expertise and skill to properly navigate the process and be fully compliant.

2. Probate solicitors are fully insured, so if something does go wrong, you won’t have to deal with the consequences.

3. Probate solicitors work with several different parties if a dispute does arise. In short, this means that problems can be dealt with much quicker, which prevents executors getting into legal trouble.

4. Probate solicitors deal with the distribution of funds from the estate. What this means is that they will check beneficiaries before handing over any money, so that any potential problems such as bankruptcy, can be avoided.

5. Probate solicitors may be able to offer other useful services connected with the property. For example, the sale of the property may be dealt with by their conveyancing department, if they happen to have one. For executors, this reduces the risk of delays and ensures a good level of service.

Selling A Probate Property In West London

You will need to go through the probate process if you are listed as an executor on the will of a recently deceased relative. While this may seem overwhelming, it’s actually quite simple and usually involves:

? Registering the death

? Communicating with different organisations and beneficiaries

? Paying outstanding liabilities

? Completing relevant paperwork

? Distributing the final assets While it is possible to complete the process yourself, we do not recommend this. The amount of paperwork to complete can be overwhelming, and if you’re not clued up on inheritance tax or accounts, you’ll probably struggle. On a more serious note, make a mistake and you could land in hot water. The only way to avoid these pitfalls is by using a professional probate solicitor.

They’re fully insured, plus, normally offer other useful services, like conveyancing, which can save you time during the process.

London Estates would be happy to help with probate. Contact us today for a free, 100% confidential chat about probate.

Written by John Rigg

Source London Estates

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