Probate, although difficult, is a really important part of handling someone’s estate. When someone passes away, it can be an emotional time, especially if the death was unexpected. Our team can connect you with a lawyer to provide a practical approach and ensure your inheritance is efficiently distributed.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the name given to the process of applying for a grant of probate and distributing the contents of an estate. It is the way in which the people responsible for the estate, the executors, are granted the authority to deal with the assets (property, finances and belongings).
The executor is also responsible for keeping to deadlines, paying tax and legacies, establishing the identity of all beneficiaries, issuing tax certificates and mediating between family members who disagree. Failing to meet deadlines can result in hefty fines.
While probate can be applied for by an executor themselves, some people will choose to instruct a solicitor simply because it’s easier, especially if the estate is complicated.
Getting The Grant
The first step when someone passes away is applying for a grant of probate. The grant gives an executor authority to administer the deceased’s estate. It allows the executor access to things like the deceased person’s bank accounts and private affairs.
There are many steps involved in applying for the grant of probate, which range from registering the person’s death, to paying inheritance tax on their estate.
You should know…
Probate is a long process. It will normally take up to 10 months from start to finish to receive a grant of probate, and longer if there are things like overseas properties or businesses involved.
Conversely, smaller estates, such as those worth less than £10,000 may not require probate at all.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Imagine your parents opened multiple bank accounts, didn’t keep records of where any of their finances were, and had dabbled in stocks and shares, antiques and owned a business.
Most people wouldn’t know where to start in this scenario.
It’s a lawyer’s job not only to know the probate process, but also to ensure all of the things you don’t know that you don’t know are covered.
They will remove the stress of balancing finding out about the deceased’s affairs, and daily life, while also preventing you from being fined if you forget to meet one of the probate deadlines set.
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