Using an accountant for probate
When a loved one passes away, the family often needs time to grieve. Yet with the amount of paperwork involved, there can sometimes be so much going on that processing feelings is left until much later. By engaging the services of an accountant, however, you release some of that administrative burden, and can focus on emotionally coming to terms with the death.
Traditionally, only solicitors have been permitted to manage the estate of a decedent, but since 2014, accountants have had the authority to deal with probate as well. There are several advantages to choosing a Kent accountant for probate services instead of using a solicitor or trying to manage the process yourself. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Familiar accountants already know the estate
If the deceased was using an accountant to manage their financial affairs, the accountant is already likely to know how much money is in bank accounts and pensions, and the nature of any succession plans. This makes the gathering of information for a probate application much easier.
- They’re experts in tax
Accountants deal with tax day-in, day-out, and are familiar with calculating tax liabilities. They also know the deadlines and regulations set by HMRC. As such, choosing an accountant to help with the management of the estate will ensure the correct tax returns are submitted on time and with the correct calculations.
- It can be more cost effective
Solicitors often get accountants involved for the taxation aspects of the probate process, so you could save yourself some fees by approaching an accountant directly. Since administering an estate is largely a financial exercise, accountants are specifically trained for these duties and can be more efficient at carrying them out, especially if an estate is complex. As such, you could save time and money.
- Funds are distributed accurately
When it comes to the distribution of funds, you want to ensure it’s done accurately. Solicitors are, of course, able to do this, but if you’re considering doing it yourself, you may want to rethink. Distribution of inheritance is a huge responsibility, and must be done correctly and in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. The executor has a legal obligation to get it right, and is personally liable if a mistake is made. Getting the help of an accountant is therefore highly recommended, since they have both the experience necessary and the liability insurance to ensure assets and money are shared out properly.
- Probate takes less time
Once the funeral is over, many people want to feel a sense of closure so they can move on with their life. However, all the time administration work is required, it’s difficult to achieve this. With the help of Kent tax advisors or accountants, the probate process can be completed as quickly and smoothly as possible, leaving you free to focus on the present and the future.
In addition, getting an accountant to act on your behalf as Executor ensures that should queries arise in the future, they can be dealt with by a professional rather than by yourself.
Speak to a professional accountant for probate services today to find out more.