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Background

Our client ‘Mr B Reeve’ found himself as ‘Personal Representative’ following the death of a close relative. This relative had lived a very quiet, private life and, as far as anyone knew, had no Will (intestate). ‘Mr Reeve’ suddenly was in the position of having to sort out the estate of someone he knew little about who had lived hundreds of miles away.

How GWA helped

Since 2014 qualified ICAEW accountants have had the authority to carry out non-contentious probate in England and Wales, provided they are licensed to do so. Previously you would have had to use a solicitor for this service.

GWA was able to provide full probate services to ‘Mr Reeve’ at a fraction of the cost he had been quoted by a legal firm. As very little information was known about the deceased’s affairs the first thing we did was to carry out a Fact Finding mission to assess his assets and liabilities. This included putting announcements in the local papers to try and make contact with any creditors, sorting through the correspondence found in his house and writing to banks, pension companies etc, tracking down the title deeds to his property as well as more mundane things such as notifying his car insurers. We also used the Certainty National Will Search Service to ascertain whether there a Will registered.

Once we had all the necessary information, we completed the appropriate HMRC’s IHT forms and applied for Probate. Once the Grant of Probate was obtain, we distributed the Estate in accordance with the applicable intestacy rules.

We respect the privacy of everyone who comes to GWA for advice. So while this case study is true, we have changed client names to maintain business and financial confidentiality.
This information should be taken as general guidance only. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should seek professional advice.

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