Factsheet & Questionnaire

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1 Probate Fact sheet & Questionnaire What is Probate? It is very difficult to cope with the financial and business side of things when you are grieving the loss of a relative or friend. However, seeing a Solicitor can help. Wills On the death of a loved one, the first thing you must establish is whether he or she left a Will. If there is a Will, it should guide you as to who the deceased wanted to act in dealing with his affairs, i.e. the Will should appoint an executor. It is possible to appoint more than one executor and up to four can take out the Grant of Probate. A Will can also sometimes provide guidance on funeral wishes. Please provide the following documents:- Death Certificate Original Will (if not held by Charles Lucas & Marshall) or whereabouts of original Will Any Lasting Powers of Attorney or Enduring Powers of Attorney (if not held by Charles Lucas & Marshall) Executors Executors are the people the deceased has appointed by Will to deal with the administration of the estate. This involves establishing all assets and liabilities in the estate at date of death, applying for Grant of Probate, settling all debts outstanding, including Inheritance Tax, if any, and distributing in accordance with the terms of the Will. If one appointed executor does not want to act, then he can renounce, as long as he has not intermeddled or been involved with the estate administration in any way. Alternatively, he can have "power reserved" to him, which means that if the appointed executor taking out the Grant of Probate does not complete the administration (because he is taken ill, etc.), then the executor to whom power is reserved can step in and continue the administration. It is the executors duty to administer the estate in accordance with the deceased's wishes in his Will. He must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. If there are assets held in the deceased's name, which are over 15,000 in value, then a Grant of Probate will be needed. Sometimes a Grant is not necessary, e.g. if all the assets are joint and pass to a surviving spouse. The Executor must also complete any necessary inheritance tax returns or accounts and settle the deceased's income tax affairs to date of death. Please provide the following information about the Executor(s):- Executor 1: Full name (if different from the Will)

2 Confirm if address in the Will is correct or was correct Current address (if different from in the Will) address or telephone number Executor 2: Full name (if different from the Will) Confirm if address in the Will is correct or was correct Current address (if different from in the Will) address or telephone number If there are more than 2 Executors please provide the same details of each additional executor on a separate sheet Grant of Representation The Grant is the official authority that banks and financial institutions will need to pay out the deceased's assets to the executors, for distribution by them to the beneficiaries. Valuing Assets In order to obtain the Grant all the assets in the estate, as well as the liabilities, will need to be valued as at date of death. An account or return of information will need to be prepared for HM Revenue and Customs for Inheritance Tax purposes. The assets will include property, contents, bank and building society account balances, ISAs, stocks and shares, life policies, National Savings investments including Premium Bonds, etc.

3 Please provide the following information about assets in the estate:- Freehold or leasehold property:- Address of any property owned by the deceased Whereabouts of the Title Deeds (if not held by Charles Lucas & Marshall) or please provide the Title Deeds if in your possession Details of buildings and contents insurance name of insurance company and date of renewal If you have instructed an Estate Agent to value the property please provide their name or, if not, would you like us to instruct an Agent? Details of all utilities to the property such as electricity, gas, water, council tax. Please provide copies of latest bills/statements... Bank/Building Society Accounts/ National Savings investments:- Please provide copies of latest statements or details of the name of each institution with whom each account is held and account number of each Please provide any passbooks For premium bonds please provide the Premium Bond Certificates and/or other Income Bond Certificates if available Shares:- Please provide any Share Certificates Please provide latest statement from Stockbroker, if any, of name of Brokers

4 Life Policies:- Please provide original Policy or details if no Policy document available Cash:- Details of any cash found Personal Chattels:- A professional valuation may be required this can be discussed If any chattels are specifically referred to in the Will, do you have them or know of their whereabouts? Business:- Details Income:- Details of income received by the Deceased, such as state retirement pension, other pension, income from employment, National Insurance Number and contact details of pension administrator If the Deceased completed a Tax Return address of Tax Office and reference If an Accountant dealt with the Deceased's tax affairs please provide name and address Liabilities These will include the funeral account and associated expenses, e.g. death certificates, funeral buffet, etc., as well as any debts like household bills, credit cards It may be possible for the funeral account to be paid direct from the Deceased's own bank account prior to Grant of Probate being issued and, if possible, we can arrange this. The liabilities will be paid from any funds owned by the deceased as at date of death. These will be settled before any bequests mentioned in the Will are paid.

5 Please provide copies of all bills outstanding at date of death such as funeral account, nursing home fees (if applicable), utilities, credit cards. Inheritance Tax The amount which can pass without incurring Inheritance Tax, for deaths after 5 th April 2009, is 325,000 (possibly more if the deceased was a widow or widower). However, if assets are passing from one spouse to another, there will be a spouse exemption and no Inheritance Tax will be incurred. If the Deceased had a spouse who has already died it may be possible to transfer some/all of the nil rate band to the Deceased. If Inheritance Tax is due to be paid, then a proportion of it will need to be paid before you can apply for the Grant of Probate (depending on the nature of the assets). If the Deceased has inherited any money in the last few years please provide details as this may affect the inheritance tax calculations. Inheritance Tax Planning A Solicitor may be able to advise on some possible steps that the family could take to mitigate Inheritance Tax. Sometimes, with careful planning, the Inheritance Tax can be eliminated completely, depending on the value of the estate. Also, sometimes post-death Inheritance Tax planning may be possible by redirecting some of the deceased's assets depending on his Will and the value of the estate. If there are assets like private company shares or an interest in a business, a Solicitor may also be able to assist you further with some Inheritance Planning involving the same. Lifetime Gifts HM Revenue & Customs will also require details of any gifts of over 3,000 in value made per annum by the deceased in the last 7 years before the date of death. Please provide the following details about any gifts made by the deceased in the last 7 years before their death and which exceed 3000 in any one year:- Date each gift was made

6 Amount of each gift, if cash, or item gifted... Name of beneficiary of the gift and relationship to deceased, if any... Realising Assets Once the Grant has been issued, then the assets can be realised. Some of the assets may be very straightforward to cash, e.g. closing a bank or building society account. Others may be a little more complex, e.g. arranging transfer of assets, such as freehold or leasehold property, or stocks or shares. Once assets have been transferred and cashed, all estate liabilities must be paid from the proceeds before the estate can be distributed. This includes settling any Inheritance Tax liability. Will Bequests Once all of the estate's liabilities have been discharged, then any gifts mentioned in the Will can be paid and items distributed. Gifts of money made in a Will are called "pecuniary legacies" and gifts of items like jewellery, car, etc. are called "specific legacies". Please provide the following information regarding the Beneficiaries the Will:- Please state if any of the beneficiaries have predeceased the Deceased Full names of any beneficiaries that are not correctly named in the Will or have changed their name.. Current addresses of any beneficiaries that are different from the Will...

7 Dates of birth of beneficiaries under 18 Obtaining Probate can be very straightforward. It can also be quite difficult if the nature of the assets are complicated, if there are many beneficiaries, if there is a defective Will, or if Inheritance Tax planning may be required. A Solicitor can assist with these matters and highlight key issues for you. When seeking the advice of a Solicitor it would be useful to take to him or her a list of addresses for all parties mentioned in the Will, copies of death certificates for any persons named in the Will who have passed away before the testator, details of all assets and liabilities in the estate even if you are unsure if they are valid. Any reference made to spouse includes civil partner. Copyright Charles Lucas and Marshall July 2013

8 For details of who to contact for more information or to arrange a meeting: Charles Lucas & Marshall 28 Bartholomew Street Newbury Berkshire RG14 5EU Telephone (01635) Charles Lucas & Marshall 28 High Street Hungerford Berkshire RG17 0NF Telephone (01488) Charles Lucas & Marshall Brooklands 48 Newbury Street Wantage Oxfordshire OX12 8DF Telephone (01235) Charles Lucas & Marshall Eastcott House 4 High Street Swindon Wiltshire SN1 3EP Telephone (01793)

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