When it comes to succession, protecting the assets of the deceased is a fundamental principle. This means that until the inheritance is legally established, the executor cannot access the assets and distribute them. If you choose to distribute the estate before this process is complete, you may have to pay any outstanding debts or taxes yourself if there isn't enough money or assets left in the estate to cover them. In some cases, couples may have joint bank accounts or mortgage credit company accounts. In this situation, if one of them passes away, all of the money will go to the surviving partner without having to go through probate or letters of administration.
The bank may require a death certificate in order to transfer the money. As an executor, it is best practice to wait 10 months from the date that the will was granted before distributing the estate. This document, known as a grant of probate, gives you legal authority to manage the estate. It is issued by a court and must be signed by an authorized representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The personal representatives are ultimately responsible for any debts that remain unpaid if the estate is distributed too soon. To obtain probate or letters of administration, you must sign an online statement of truth and submit all relevant documents to the probate registry. If it turns out that the estate is insolvent - meaning there isn't enough money to pay all debts, taxes and expenses - then you must follow the rules of intestate succession if there is no valid will.
This means that how much each surviving family member receives will be determined by law on the date of death. Inheritance tax may also need to be paid before probate or letters of administration are granted. You must declare the value of the deceased's estate - including their money, property and possessions - to HMRC. Additionally, any potential claimants have six months from when the will was issued to file a lawsuit under the Probate (Provisions for Relatives and Dependents) Act 1975. Once all expenses and debts have been paid, you can start distributing the estate according to either the will or intestate succession rules. If there isn't enough money in the deceased's estate to pay their creditors, then those creditors cannot recover what they are owed from anyone else - including surviving family members. Finally, if an organization holds money on behalf of a deceased person and it is less than a certain amount, they may be willing to return it without requiring probate or letters of administration. As an expert in succession, I recommend that executors wait 10 months from when the will was granted before distributing any assets from an estate.
This document gives you legal authority to manage it and ensures that all debts and taxes are paid before any money is distributed. Additionally, inheritance tax must be declared and any potential claimants must file a lawsuit within six months from when the will was issued.