The Metro newspaper published an interesting and helpful article last Monday regarding the probate process, which included some useful advice and tips designed to make what can be a difficult and stressful process easier.
One of the key points made was the need for those dealing with a loved one’s estate to organise what can sometimes be a considerable amount of paperwork, so as to make the task easier. One good way of approaching this is for everyone to have a properly drawn up will in place and where necessary, leave details of assets and known liabilities so that the family have a good starting point.
Another important area to think about is lifetime gifts and what if any have been made. These can have a considerable impact on the tax position on someone’s death and keeping accurate records during your lifetime can be extremely helpful both in terms of your own lifetime inheritance tax planning and helping those dealing with your estate on your death.
It is also important to bear in mind the inheritance tax position and the reliefs and exemptions that are available and which can save a family considerable sums. It is possible to carry forward a deceased spouse or civil partner’s unused inheritance tax allowances but in order to make the claim, a copy of their will would be required to support a claim. Therefore, it is always sensible to keep these documents, even if the spouse or civil partner died many years ago.
It is sensible to take advice early once someone dies, to ensure that the administration starts in an orderly way and there is a clear direction and understanding of the probate process and tax position, which can be complicated.
Colman Coyle has considerable experience in advising in relation to the preparation of wills, lifetime tax planning and the administration of estates and if you would like to discuss the issues raised here, please contact Patrick Green on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.