The Probate Process
After someone dies, it is necessary to decide whether a Grant of Administration will be required. It is first important to see whether the person who has died held a valid Will.
If a Will is held then a Grant of Probate may be required to deal with their affairs, this allows the specified executor legal authority to deal with banks and other organisations, as well as sell or transfer property on behalf of the deceased.
Probate is not always required in every case, it will depend upon the size of the Estate that has been left and where the assets are held.
If Probate is required for the Estate, then you will need to decide whether to instruct a Probate Solicitor, or whether you can complete the Probate process yourself.
If the deceased left a Will then an Executor should be named, they will then be responsible for administering the Estate. If no Will has been made then the rules of intestacy will determine who should take on the role of the Administrator.
Probate usually involves a significant amount of legal, administrative and tax work, which can be complicated and time consuming. If you decide to carry out this work yourself, it’s important to note that you could be held financially and legally liable for any mistakes that you make, even if these are genuine errors.
If you’re not confident in carrying out the work required, then you should instruct an experienced and knowledgeable Solicitor to take on the responsibility of the Probate work for you.
Many people find it hard to grasp the legal process whilst dealing with the emotional turmoil of losing a loved one. A Probate Solicitor is completely independent and has no emotional ties, they are also knowledgeable in dealing with a wide variety of complex cases.
It will also benefit you to enlist the services of a Probate Solicitor if the case has issues that may turn out to be problematic, for example:
- The validity of the will is being disputed and/or dependents were left out of the will (and are likely to query this)
- The deceased died without a will
- The estate is vast and/or there are complex details, such as trust funds
- The estate is bankrupt
- The estate involves foreign property/assets or the deceased resided outside of the UK
- The estate is still receiving a regular income
- The value of the estate is on the boundary of the Inheritance Tax threshold
The Rogers & Norton Wills and Probate team have a wide breadth of knowledge in dealing with all types of estates from the large and complex to simple and well planned.
If you have any queries or issues concerning anything that we have discussed, then do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the matter. The Wills and Probate team are able to see you for an initial meeting for half an hour for £75 inclusive of VAT to aid your understanding of the process and to see whether you can benefit from any further assistance.