Grant of Probate Process

If you are an Executor or Administrator, and have obtained probate, collected all the assets, and paid any liabilities, you should be read to distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of a will, or under the Intestacy Rules..

When to distribute assets?

Deciding when to distribute the estate assets can be a difficult issue – often an Executor is best advised to await a period of some 6 months from the issue date of the grant of probate before distributing the estate, the reason for this is that if a will fails to make adequate provision for them they can make a claim under an Act of Parliament called The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – Executors should be aware of it because it allows six months from the date of the death for a claim to be made against the estate. For this reason, it is important that executors should be very careful not to distribute the estate before six months have elapsed from the date of death in case someone does make a claim under the Act. If that claim were to prove successful and you had distributed the estate in the meantime you may end up personally liable to the claimant.

Make Sure all liabilities have been paid

It is an obvious point but always make sure all liabilities have been paid. Have to checked carefully that all known creditors have been notified ( eg.via a Statutory Notice), has all Inheritance Tax been paid ?

Once you are ready to distribute, the estate accounts, should be drawn up, these should show :-

  • assets
  • liabilities
  • income
  • distribution account

Once drafted, the accounts should be sent to the beneficiaries for approval and confirmation that the estate is ready to be distributed. The estate can then be administered and everyone paid.

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