What Is Probate
Probate is the name often given to the process of administering someone’s estate when they die. When a family member dies, it can be difficult to know where to start with the process of dealing with all the arrangements.
Firstly, the death must be registered within 5 days, after this has been done you are then able to go ahead with funeral arrangements. If no prepaid funeral arrangements have been made, you can cover the cost yourself if you are able, with a view to being reimbursed at a later date from the deceased’s estate. If you are not able to do so, it may be possible to send the bill to the deceased’s bank where they may settle the bill if there are sufficient funds.
The term ‘Probate’ refers to the “Grant of Representation”. This is the official legal documentation that is issued and sealed by a probate registry. This document must be applied for by the Personal Representatives. If a Will has been made, this will be the named executor(s) and if there is no Will, this will be the Administrator(s),
The way in which you would apply for the “Grant of Representation” differs depending on the presence, or lack of, a Will. If there is a Will, the Personal Representatives will apply for a “Grant of Probate, whereas in the absence of a Will the Personal Representatives will apply for “Grant of Letters of Administration”.
If you have been told that you need to obtain “Probate” you will need to complete an Inland Revenue Account, swear an Oath and possibly attend a meeting with the local probate office. However, this can be done by a solicitor on your behalf. The process of obtaining Probate can take anywhere between 2 and 12 months, depending largely on whether Inheritance Tax is payable.
Once you have Probate, you may need to sell or transfer property and shares, close bank and building society accounts and deal with pensions and income tax. You will also need to open an executors account to receive money. You may also need to clear any outstanding mortgage and other debts.
You are entitled to apply for “Grant of Probate” yourself, but many find that the expert advice and guidance of a solicitor at a very difficult and emotional time makes the administration of an estate much less stressful.
The costs of obtaining Probate and administer an estate can vary greatly. At Tollers, we offer a free initial consultation to advise and assist you.
Need assistance with Probate? Talk to Tollers specialist probate solicitors call 01604 258558.