Probate Questions: Everything in Joint Names – do I need Probate?
My father is recently deceased. As his son I had power of attorney over his affairs and all financial assets are in our joint names. There is a will and I am the executor.
I need to know if there anything official I have to do before settling her estate which does not involve any property.
We have registered her death and carried out a funeral.
Answer to Probate Question.
As long as there is no conceivable possibility of Inheritance Tax being due, you may be OK.
Are you the sole beneficiary?
If so, then just presenting the death certificate to all concerned may be enough. This will normally remove the deceased persons name from the account leaving you as the sole owner. Having said that:
Doing would mean that there were no assets left to be disposed of in the Will thus disinheriting anyone else mentioned in the Will, as long as everything is in joint names, which may not go down too well!
There will be some assets which are not joint – e.g furniture etc etc.
You can make gifts to the other folk to make up for their loss and avoid claims that you took advantage of the power of attorney, and if IHT is a concern for you, those gifts would best be arranged through a Deed of Variation (we do them at modest cost).
Hope that helps – see also the Probate Guide attached.