If you are dealing with the affairs of someone who has died, you may find that, as an executor, you need to apply for a Grant of Probate. A Grant of Probate is a Court Order which confirms the appointment of the executors named in the Will, and enables them to deal with the estate administration. This will involve collecting in the deceased person’s finances, paying any taxes, sorting out any property and distributing the estate according to the terms of the Will.
How is a Grant of Probate Applied for?
In order to apply for a Grant, executors need to complete an Inland Revenue Account which gives information about the person who has died, outlines the values of their estate, any gifts they have made and enables a calculation of the inheritance tax to be made. A separate Statement also needs to be filed with the Probate Court, along with the Will and any codicils by the executors or those entitled to administer an estate.
What Changes are Taking Place?
The Probate Court has recently required all applications for the Grant of Probate which meet certain criteria to be made online. Although applicants for a Grant of Probate who apply without the assistance of a solicitor have been able to file their application online for some time in certain circumstances, it has only been more recently that solicitors have had to register to lodge their applications online. The Court is now making it compulsory for most applications to be filed online with effect from 2nd November, although the period of grace for paper applications has been extended until 11th January 2021. It is hoped that this will streamline the process and reduce delays to obtaining a Grant from the Court. This will be particularly welcome news for applicants who are unable to proceed with the administration of an estate until a Grant has been obtained.