You and the Law 13th September 2011

Quick exit

I am leaving my house to my sister, as executor.  What procedure should she follow to allow her to sell my house quickly, and how long does it take to obtain probate?  I don’t want the property standing empty.  LS

It is usually possible to obtain a grant of probate within about two
months, depending on the nature of the assets in the estate and whether any
inheritance tax is payable.  Your sister could obtain the forms she will need from the nearest probate registry or office in person, and if your affairs aren’t complicated it shouldn’t take too long to complete them.  An interview will follow, after which she will be sent further forms to apply for the Grant of Probate.  Once these are completed and the probate fee is paid she should be sent the Grant within about three weeks.  She will then be in a position to complete the sale of your property if a buyer has been found.

Generous dad

One of my daughters is planning to move house with her husband and I wish to give £20,000 towards the purchase. Can you let me know what the
implications will be?  I have been told I will be liable for a tax bill as I
am only allowed to give her £3,000. 

You can give your daughter £20,000 without any problem. You’re either
confused about inheritance tax or capital gains tax or both.  Capital gains tax may be applicable if you have to sell an asset to raise the money, and inheritance tax could come into play if you die within seven years of making the gift and your estate (including the £20,000) is valued at more than £325,000 (or £65 0,000 for a married couple, or the nil rate band at the time).  But otherwise the gift will be tax free.  My only concern is that, should the unthinkable happen and your daughter was  to divorce, your son-in-law would be entitled to a share of your money.

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