Case Study 2 - Joan’s Story
We had a call from a 78 year old lady whose brother had died. Her brother was single and did not have any children. She too was not married and had no children to help. She had been given our details from her niece whose mother’s estate we had dealt with 2 years previously. I went to meet the sister of the deceased at his house in London. She was very uncertain about what her brother had in the way of assets but the location of the house meant that it was valued at £1.2 million.
The estate consisted of: -
- The property (1.2 million)
- A huge amount of contents
- Council Tax
- Thames Water
- Nationwide account
- Legal & General pension
- Prudential pension
- State pension
- Equitable Life insurance
- Driving license
As there was evidently going to be a large Inheritance Tax liability, the sister decided that the house would have to be sold. We were engaged to administer the estate and a fixed fee was agreed.
Our fee covered the following aspects: -
- Sorting through papers to establish his assets
- Obtaining written valuations of all assets including savings, house, contents etc
- Drafting and swearing the obligatory oath
- Completing Inheritance Tax forms
- Calculating Inheritance Tax due and paying the first instalment (a saving of £30,000 was negotiated and agreed with HMRC)
- Applying to the probate Registry for the Grant of probate
- Calling in all assets
- Arranging for the house to be cleared and contents auctioned
- Arranging for the property to be sold including conveyancing
- Paying outstanding Inheritance Tax before interest was applied
- Paying final utilities
- Paying back overpayments
- Making an interim distribution to the sister
- Obtaining clearance from HMRC regarding Income Tax
- Obtaining clearance from DWP regarding state pension
- Providing comprehensive estate accounts
- Making final distributions
During the administration period the sister received weekly feedback via telephone and called us if she was in doubt about anything. We made 14 visits to the house to assist the sister with the process. This was all included in the fixed price at the outset.
We received a call from one of two brothers in their 40’s who had both moved to Australia. They had returned to Bedfordshire to care for their father in the last few weeks of his life. After picking up one of our probate booklets at the funeral directors, a free advisory meeting was set up with the two brothers at their father’s home. At the meeting the reasons for probate and the process were clearly explained and the brothers ...
We were contacted by a man in his 20’s whose father had passed away without a will. His parents had divorced and he had not seen his two elder brothers for some time and he did not know how to contact them. He was unsure what was involved with his father’s estate as he had become estranged from him after his parents divorced. He had seen our booklet at the funeral directors who told the son that we had recently completed...
We were called by a barrister whose father had recently died. He had heard of our service and was keen to have a meeting. Although he obviously had a good understanding of probate, he practiced in another area of the law and wanted Valued Estates to do everything on behalf of his surviving mother as quickly as possible...
We were called by a past client for the fifth time. His mother-in-law had died at Christmas in a care home. The children had recently sold their parents’ house to pay for the care fees. Unfortunately, she had died after only a few weeks at her new home. Probate was required as the proceeds from the house sale had resulted in large amounts of money being spread around several institutions in order to maximise the income available...