What if the only money available is tied up in property and shares for funeral.
And if there is money in banks and one is executor and beneficiary but no probate - where do you put the money? into your own bank> where> would you use it - any of it - to pay for funeral before probate? does every estate need probate>
Not a lawyer. I thought that the only money released from the deceased's bank accounts, before probate was granted was to pay for the funeral and to pay the HMRC. Estates over a certain amount (£10,000? £20,000?) need probate.
Going through this at the moment with Mums estate. Property is involved so we have needed probate. It's actually come through in a matter of weeks for us (we were advised 3 to 6 months).
Mums bank accounts were with NatWest, we had to go in and take ID, death certificate and either the original will or an authorised copy. The bank then began the process to release the funds to me, however, they can raise a cheque from the accounts paid directly to the funeral director so there is no waiting.
It does sound as if you need probate (are you the executor?). It is usually OK to pay the funeral directors, but anything else will need the probate certificate. I would advise opening a separate bank account for the estate and pay everything in to that one.
I found it easier to add my name as executor to the existing account once Probate was granted. Lots of bills had to be paid, house clearance, utilities, EA and sol fees. So the records were all in one place and there was no need to set up new DDs. Also there was money from share dividend still coming in. We are still waiting for overpaid tax to be paid. I also had to pay back some overpaid, state and private pension and some over paid benefit.
Be very wary of paying for anything or disbursing the estate before you are sure there are no more bills to pay. We were asked for money up to 6 months after the death. The care agency had not had all their money from the ILA.
I also got a letter and rather rude phone call about a discrepancy on the Probate form. It really distressed me but it was caused because, by the time the house was sold, the price had jumped by £75,000 in a space of 9 months. Fortunately it was explained to me by a friend who was a solicitor so I was able to explain the discrepancy. However the way I was spoken to was appalling. I had written an explanatory note on a form that had been sent out 3 months after Probate. They just ignored what I had written. Fortunately I kept copies of everything.
When my gran left me and my brother shares we had the option of keeping the shares or selling them. I kept my half so the company put my name on the share account. My brother sold his so he just said to the company (legal and general) he wanted to sell....the shares are sold back to them so they sent him a cheque for what they were worth.
Send the share certificate and death certificate to the registrars. Unfortunately we have found this to Be a long process. First they have to be changed to the Executors name. Then they have to be sold. That took 3 months and we had to pay an indemnity insurance fee if we wanted the money before probate.
Just read about the increase in probate fees. The rise is vast, from £215 flat fee to 1000 if the estate is worth more than £300 000, then 4000 if the estate is worth more than £500 000, then 10 000 if it's over a million. This is going to affect me (insert sad emoticon).
I went through probate for my mums estate last year.
DB and I joint executors and beneficiaries, but I did most of work. Fortunately I could afford to pay deposit for funeral out of personal money, then got a cheque for balance from her bank account, as others have said.
Her Halifax bank account was frozen when we told them of death, all DDs were stopped etc. However, we had alerted everyone immediately, and gas and electric accounts were frozen until we informed them of house sale. DB paid house insurance on renewal, then was reimbursed, similarly I paid water bills, which were put into our names but were negligible.
We were told we couldn't use mums account as executors account, we didnt want hassle of opening a new account with both names on. After a couple of calls to Halifax, I established we could use a dormant account of mine, as long as both DB and I signed the letter instructing Halifax to put money into that account. It had only £5 in when I started using it, I have statements showing everything in and out and leaving final £5.
My DB didnt want any shares, so I had those and he had equivalent cash value. I sent probate and death cert to registrars, with a transfer form and they came back to me within days.
I found the process incredibly straight forward, though it was helped by us consolidating all mums money into Halifax when she became terminally ill a year before she died.
We have had nothing to pay out since final distribution last summer, but DB did get a letter about a refund from British gas. Apparently they shoud have reviewed and increased her DD last winter, didnt, so gave us a refund as they hadn't followed procedures. The letter was addressed to mums estate, but he rang and asked for cheque to be paid in his name, and then sent me half, along with original letter for my records.
Does anyone know how long I need to keep all records for, in case probate office have any queries. I know HMRC are 7 years.
I don't know the answer to that Kath. I kept mum's til now and i did her probate 22 years ago. I'm now v glad i did because I have all the info I need to add her nil rate tax band to dad's tax allowance ( and get an IHT reduction). You don't say whether your dad is still alive. I'd be inclined to file it and keep indefinitely. And thanks for your v useful post.