Probate Services

Changes to regulations means that you can now use a trusted family accountant to provide probate services. York-based accountancy firm Garbutt + Elliott is ideally placed to offer the new service, and your family will be in better hands as a result.

Explaining the probate service, Robert Peel, private clients senior manager, said: “In the past we have often been approached by private clients looking for guidance in making their probate application, and it is wonderful to now be in a position to help our clients with what is often a sensitive matter.”

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process whereby a will is ‘proved’ in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased. It was previously the responsibility of solicitors.

Recently the government opted to deregulate certain aspects of the legal profession to increase competition, meaning that licensed accountants can offer probate services. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is now an approved regulator for accountants licensed to undertake this work.

How can accountants help?

There are several advantages to using Garbutt + Elliott’s probate service: the firm has detailed knowledge of clients’ finances and assets, so is well placed to act quickly and efficiently. Using Garbutt + Elliott is likely to be more cost efficient, due to both its inherent knowledge of the clients’ tax and financial affairs, and its expertise in completing the necessary tax forms.

What can be done?

Garbutt + Elliott can act as executor, calculate the value of the estate for inheritance tax purposes and prepare the inheritance return as well as agreeing liabilities with HMRC. Accountants can also prepare tax returns to the date of death, agree tax liabilities and repayments, open bank accounts, administer the collection of assets and payment of liabilities, and arrange for beneficiaries to receive their inheritance.

In short, the mantra to remember about probate is to think of it as your last tax return – and you wouldn’t get a lawyer to do that.

For more information please contact Robert Peel at – 01904 464 100