Where there's a Will...
Everyone1 needs a hobby; something to stave off the boredom. I could have done without this particular one. I've known it was coming my way, of course, since my brother John and I agreed to be executors for my mother in 1977. By 2010 she was so frail I registered my Power of Attorney, sold her house, and moved her to the Winchester care-home. I've been handling her affairs since then.
This will be my last duty.
Step #1: Obtain a Grant of Probate / Pay any Inheritance Tax
- I confirm my legal right to handle the estate by making an Application for Grant of Probate (Form PA1) to the Probate Registry in Winchester, where I also swear my Oath. Fee? £215 plus
another 50p per Official (sealed) copy of the Grant of Representation needed for Step #2.
- My brother can still be a potential Executor2 by specifying him as having "power reserved" to him on my Application
- He must write an officially-witnessed letter to me stating that to be his wish, so I can show why the Court should grant probate to me when he's also a named Executor
- Having valued the estate (it's safely below the current £325,000 IHT threshold, so no tax is due) I submit the "short" form IHT 205 to the same people.
Step #2: Collect the estate's assets
- I shall send Death Certificates and Sealed Grants of Representation to each institution. Monies received will go straight into the new bank account opened for this purpose.
Step #3: Pay any debts
- The Funeral director's bill is the only outstanding debt. (I run a tight ship.)
Step #4: Distribute the estate
- My brother John and I are bequeathed the estate "in equal shares absolutely".
Rest in Peace, Mother. We had our differences over many years, but you still gave me Life in the first place. I thank you for that.