Trusts

When a person dies it is necessary for someone to wind up that person’s estate, i.e. their money, possessions, property and debts, by collecting what is due to the deceased, paying the debts including any inheritance tax to HMRC and passing anything that remains to those entitled to it.

It is the executors who are entitled to wind up the estate and how they do it will depend on whether the deceased has left a valid will or a codicil appointing an executor who is still living.

To prove a right to wind up an estate one obtains, i.e. “takes out” from a probate registry, a document called Probate. Both probate and letters of administration are sometimes referred to as the Grant of Registration.

Any number up to four of the people within each group specified above or any four executors may take out the grant together but people from different groups may not be mixed.

To have entitlement to wind up an estate, a person must be of full age and of sound mind.

For probate you may conduct one of the following:

1. Do it yourself
2. Employ a solicitor
3. Employ the services of a probate practitioner

Each course has its advantages and disadvantages and the costs involved will be related to the knowledge and experience of the route chosen.

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