01 February 2022

A year ago I reported to you that the online probate system was up and running and working relatively well. Unfortunately the last year did see huge delays and ‘stopped’ applications sitting at the Probate Registry for months, but now the Probate Registry do seem to be issuing Grants of Probate relatively quickly. There is also a reduction in reporting requirements to HMRC for deaths after 1st January 2022 where the estate was worth less than £325,000 (known as an ‘excepted estate’), or if it is an exempt estate (eg passing to spouse or charity) under £3m (previously £1m). So it is more straightforward than ever to apply for a Grant of Probate yourself.

However you may need assistance from a solicitor for related matters. For example I regularly advise clients on Deeds of Variation, the most tax effective way to make gifts out of any inheritance you are receiving. I also deal with the HMRC reporting requirements if an estate requires the residential nil rate band, Business Property Relief or Agricultural Property Relief, or if there is inheritance tax to pay. I also administer estates from start to finish, which clients may appreciate if they are bereaved, or if the estate has a number of beneficiaries or a variety of assets. My colleagues also deal with house transfers and sales after a Grant of Probate has been issued.

If you would like advice on any of these matters please contact Christine Butterfield on 01935 216205