• Rhoda Cooper

Getting to grips with probate

Updated: Feb 21



It is not a subject we like to dwell on, but sooner or later a family member, loved one or a close friend will sadly pass away.


There are many formalities that need to be taken care of at such times and many people choose to hire a solicitor to carry out the work for them. However, did you know that there is now an alternative professional available to you? Since 2015, Accountants have been authorised to carry out probate work by the Legal Services Board.


Finch Tax together with sister company Finch Probate Limited who are authorised and regulated as a CILEX-ACCA Probate Entity (authorisation number 3001255) can undertake all the probate and estate administration processes for you.


Why you should use Finch Tax for estate administration


1) The financial and taxation aspects of winding up someone’s estate can be very complicated and unsettling for anyone who does not have experience of this. As Chartered Certified Accountants, we have extensive knowledge of working with HMRC in all areas of tax. We know what questions to ask, what information to provide and what calculations need to be made. Not only does this take the burden away from you, but it can also speed up the process, enabling the tax affairs to be concluded sooner. This means the estate accounts can be drawn up and any assets from the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries sooner.


2) We can do as much or as little of the estate administration work as you want us to. Some people are happy to handle the administration aspects of the process and only require us in to oversee the financial and taxation elements. In doing so, this can help to keep the costs to a minimum. However, you also have peace of mind that the more specialist areas have been dealt with by an expert, who you can then call upon should HMRC or any other authority have any questions.


3) We have experience in dealing with Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning and all aspects of Taxation and we can draw upon that knowledge to draw the matter to a close, sooner rather than later. We work with all sizes of estate, from small and simple estates with only one or two beneficiaries to large and complex estates with multiple beneficiaries and complex tax planning structures in place. However, one thing is consistent regardless of how big or small the estate is, we aim to keep the amount of tax the family/estate needs to pay to a minimum.


4) Unlike many estate administration practitioners, who link their fees to the value of the estate, we only charge for the work we undertake. Before we start the assignment, we find out as much as we can from the appointed executors, or whoever is dealing with the deceased’s affairs in the absence of a Will. From those discussions and depending on how much work you want us to do, we can provide you with a fixed fee quote. This gives you reassurance that there will be no nasty surprises once the estate administration process has been completed.


How we can help you

There is a set process for carrying out estate administration, which is as follows:

  • Reviewing the Will, codicils and legacies to ensure that they are valid

  • Ascertain who the beneficiaries are

  • Identify the composition of the estate

  • Value the estate

  • Prepare any tax returns

  • Apply for the grant of representation (this reserved legal activity is carried out by Finch Probate Limited)

  • Liaising with HMRC and the Probate Registry

  • Administering the estate

  • Preparing estate accounts

  • Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries

We can carry out the whole process for you or provide advice and support on the more specialist areas. Regardless of how much involvement you would like us to have, our aim is to complete the process as timely, efficiently and cost effectively as possible. Further details of our Estate Administration service can be found here.


Free Consultation

We would be happy to assist you and your family during this distressing time. We provide a free personal consultation to understand your circumstances, from which we can give you a quotation for how much we will charge, depending on what work we are required to do.


If you would like to book a free consultation, please contact us on 0116 216 7681 or email hello@finchtax.com.


We are here to help when you need it most.


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