If you have loved a lost one, one of the first questions you need answers to when dealing with the difficult process of probate is “How much does an estate have to be worth to go to probate UK?”. In this article, we look at the probate rules and answer this question so that you know what you need to do to comply with the probate rules.
What Is Probate
Probate is the process of collecting in the assets of a deceased’s estate, paying off the liabilities (debts, mortgages etc) and then distributing the estate to the beneficiaries named in any valid Will, or if there was no Will, in accordance with the laws on intestacy (dying without a Will).
It ensures that family members do not simply help themselves to the assets from the estate and also that if any Inheritance Tax is due, that this is paid before the estate is distributed.
How Much Does An Estate Have To Be Worth To Go To Probate UK?
It is not always the amount of the estate that determines whether you have to go to probate.
Even if the estate is not worth a lot and there is no need to pay Inheritance Tax (see below), you may still need to apply for probate.
There are usually only two scenarios when you do not have to go to probate, which are:
- One half of a partnership (for example, a husband, wife or civil partner) passes away, and all of the assets were owned jointly, meaning that they all pass to the remaining partner, so no probate is required.
- The total value of the estate is less than £5,000.
However, it is always worth checking with Gov.uk even if you fit the circumstances above just to be certain that you do not need to apply for probate.
The next question is whether Inheritance Tax is payable, in which case you will need to apply for probate.
When Do You Have To Pay For Inheritance Tax
Generally, the limit for Inheritance Tax is £325,000, but in some circumstances, this can increase to £500,000.
If one partner in a marriage passes before the other one, when the remaining partner passes they can use the available allowance from their estate too, meaning that the threshold for them to pay Inheritance Tax would rise to £650,000 or as much as £1,000,000 if you leave your property to your children and your estate is worth less than £2 million.
Applying For Probate
When you complete the probate application forms, you will have to provide values for each aspect of the estate to show that Inheritance Tax is not due, or to quantify how much is payable if it is due.
How Can Solicitors Near Me UK Help?
If you have any further questions, we can connect you completely free of charge with specialist probate solicitors to answer them.