Inheritance Tax is too complicated. It needs to be simplified

Inheritance Tax (IHT) has been described as ‘fiendishly complex’. A new report by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) offers 11 recommendations for simplifying it. When even the chancellor describes a tax as “particularly complex”, it’s a sure sign it … Find out more »


Step-sisters’ inheritance hangs on whose parent died first

Which of two step-sisters receives a £300,000 inheritance rests on a judge’s opinion of whose parent died first, in a cautionary tale for parents yet to draft a Will. In October 2016, John Scarle, 79, and Ann Scarle, 69, both … Find out more »

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The death of a loved one can be very overwhelming and so we have included some frequently asked questions to help you quickly find the information that you need:

What is Probate?

Probate is the term used in England and Wales for applying for the right to deal with someone who is deceased’s Estate which is often also referred to as administering the Estate. Different terms are used depending on whether or not the person in question left a will.

What do I do when someone dies?

Visit the Information required for Estate Administration page for a checklist of documentation and requirements needed when someone dies

How long does it take to get money from a Will after someone dies?

This can vary according to the complexity of each Estate.  The Probate Practice will endeavour to make this process as quick and efficient as possible.  An average case takes between 3 – 6 months

What happens if I am owed money by someone who has died?

Personal debts can be repaid from the Estate of the deceased if the loan was put in writing. Dealing with business debts can be complicated and it is best to seek advice from us on this matter

What are the legal requirements to ensure that a Will is valid?

  • It must be made by a person who is 18 years old or over
  • It must be made voluntarily and without pressure from any other person
  • It must be made by a person who is of sound mind meaning ther person is fully aware of the nature of the document and aware of all the assets stipulated and the identity of the people who will inherit these assets
  • It must be signed by the person making the Will in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the Will (witnesses must not be beneficiaries)

Although a Will is legally valid even if it is not dated, it is advisable to ensure that the will also includes the date on which it is signed. As soon as the Will is signed and witnessed, it is complete.

Why should I use the Probate Practice to deal with Probate?

The Probate Practice is managed by a group of highly experienced Chartered Accountants who are specialised probate accountants. We are part of  Nyman Libson Paul, a respected firm of Chartered Accountants established in 1933.

Please visit our glossary of probate terms by clicking here