WHAT IS PROBATE?

WHAT IS PROBATE?

Probate [Latin for Proof] is the legal process to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they pass away whereby a will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that it is the true last testament of the deceased.

You need to apply to get Probate. Before applying, you must check that it’s needed and that you’re eligible to apply. You also need to estimate and report the estate’s value to find out if there’s UK Inheritance Tax to pay. Inheritance Tax in Cyprus was abolished on the 1st January 2000.

Only certain people can apply for Probate. Who can apply depends on whether or not there’s a will.

If there’s a will, executors named in it can apply.

If there’s not a will, the closest living relative can apply.

You may not need Probate in the U.K. if the person who died:

  • only had minimal savings
  • owned shares or money with others – this automatically passes to the surviving owners unless they’ve agreed otherwise
  • owned land or property as joint tenants with others – this automatically passes to the surviving owners. In Cyprus property owned jointly does not automatically pass to the survivor.

Probate in Cyprus is particularly expensive. Generally, lawyers charge circa 5% + VAT of the GROSS estate + disbursements which obviously means that even with an estate of say €100,000, fees are likely to be in excess of €6,000.

We highly recommend that a family member or friend is appointed as executor rather than a lawyer. That person, perhaps with our assistance, conducts a “beauty parade” at the appropriate time to obtain competitive quotes to assist with the Probate submission.

We are currently assisting a number of clients with Probate applications both here in Cyprus & in the U.K. We are able to act as not only a conduit between executors in one country dealing with Probate in another but also in assisting in the Probate process in engaging with lawyers, estate agents, financial advisors, etc.

We also assist in potentially endeavouring to avoid having to go through Probate by creating Trusts and transferring shares in properties and even motor vehicles during a client’s lifetime.

For further information or assistance or to discuss a particular scenario, please contact me, Wayne Barnett FCA; MIPW; STEP Affiliate on 26600780 / 99147650 or email wayne.barnett@maplebrookservices.com.




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