Recognition of UK probate grants
With regard to probates, the UK only has three jurisdictions:
- England and Wales
- Northern Ireland
Hence, for a deceased person who was domiciled in any of these jurisdictions but had assets in another, one grant is required. The grant is obtained in the jurisdiction where the deceased died domiciled and will be recognised across the UK.
With a grant of representation from England and Wales clearly denoting the deceased domicile, the personal representatives of the estate can deal with any assets in any of the jurisdictions. For recognition to happen.
- The deceased must have died domiciled in any part of the three jurisdictions
- The grant has to be issued from the jurisdiction of domicile
Can probate issued within the UK states be resealed?
A general misconception is that irrespective of where grants are issued in the UK, they can be resealed. The fact is that they cannot. In fact, there is no need for a reseal to be done. The Administration of Estates Act (1971) allows all North Irish Grants and Scottish Confirmations to be recognised in English and Wales(only if the deceased died while domiciled in these jurisdictions).So, simply explained, North Irish Grants and Scottish confirmations are treated just like the English and Welsh grants without the need of approaching the probate registries.
Grants obtained from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not recognised in England and Wales, since they are not part of the UK, and cannot, therefore, be eligible for resealing. Such cases will require that a new application for grant of probate be made for any estates in England and Wales.
So what is the procedure or probate application in the UK?
In Scotland, a Grant of Conformation is similar to a grant of probate. It is the legal document that will provide the administrator/Executor with the power to act on behalf of the deceased. This is a mandatory document required by insurance companies, banks, and other financial institutions in the fulfilment of your duties as the executor.
Must I apply for Scottish Probate?
For small estates, confirmation is not a prerequisite. This applies when the value of the estate does not surpass £30,000
How do you apply for probate in Scotland?
A representative of the deceased will make the application by completing the C1 inventory form together with the accompanying paperwork
Testacy and intestacy in Scotland
Executors in Scotland are referred to as Executor-datives (male) and Executrix-datives (female).They are the deceased’s representatives and are tasked with the valuation of the assets. They can only distribute assets to the entitled parties only after six months have lapsed to provide time for companies to claim anything from the estate. For estate cases, the executor can handle the matter without any legal aid.
In case there is no will, the next of kin has to make an application for confirmation. In this case, a petition to have an executor-dative appointed is lodged at the Sheriff Court. The distribution of the assets will be determined by The Succession Act 1964 (Scotland
In Northern Ireland, after the deceased has passed away, you may require a Grant of Probate if the deceased left a will. Alternatively, a Grant of Letters of administration may be necessary if the deceased died without a will. The two are official documents that provide the rights required to deal with the estate of the deceased.
Is a grant mandatory?
If the deceased leaves any of the following, a grant is needed:
- £10,000 or more
- Insurance policies
- Stocks or shares
- Property or land
In the above cases, the relevant institutions will need to ascertain the grant before any transfers can be effected, Nonetheless, if the estate is small, some institutions may decide to release the money (for insurance and banks).
You may not need a grant if:
- The deceased left less than £10,000.
- Everything the deceased owned was jointly owned and therefore automatically passes to the surviving owner (if that is the case).
Applying for Probate in England and Wales
In England and Wales, when the deceased dies without a will, executors apply for probate. On the other hand, if there is a will, the next of kin puts forward an application.
The process comprises of four steps:
- Completion of the probate application form
- Completion of the Inheritance Tax form
- Sending the application to the probate registry
- Swearing an oath.
The application fee is changing in May 2017 (new probate fees). Currently, if the estate’s worth does not exceed £5,000, the fee is not applicable but this threshold will soon rise to £50,000 with major increases in probate fees for estates valued over £50,000.
The following have to be filled:
- Form PA1- the application form
- IHT 400-Inheritance Tax Form if the estate is valued less than £325,000
- IHT 205-Inheritance tax form if the estate is valued less than £325,000
Is it possible to reseal Probate in The Republic of Ireland?
No! The Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK and neither is it a beneficiary of the Colonial Probate Act. It should never be confused with Northern Ireland which constitutes the UK. Therefore, a Grant of Probate from the Republic of Ireland, though very much similar to the UK, it cannot be resealed. Hence, a fresh application must be made for the representative appointed by the Irish courts to start the application process.