Probate is needed when sorting out a dead person’s affairs. However, in many cases, people aren’t sure what it is, how to get it, and if it is even necessary.
Losing a loved one is a difficult time. And, for families faced with the daunting prospect of administering an estate, it can be even harder. But knowing what Probate is, and what it could mean for you, can reduce the burden.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process for dealing with the distribution of a person’s estate after they have died. An estate can include things like money, property and possessions.
Probate makes sure that everything passes on in line with the wishes of the deceased and that the right amount of tax is paid.
To start the Probate process, a Grant of Representation (Grant) is required. If there is a Will, this is called a Grant of Probate. If there is no Will, this is called a Grant of Letters of Administration.
How do you get a Grant?
The Executors (named in a person’s Will) apply for Probate by completing and filing the relevant court forms. If no Will is in place, they can apply under the rules of intestacy.
What are the duties of Probate?
There are many duties and obligations under Probate, including:
· Interpreting the Will correctly
· Ensuring the Will is carried out correctly
· Identifying all of the assets of the estate
· Identifying and settling the liabilities of the estate
· Establishing how much the estate is worth
· Ensuring that the estate is appropriately managed
· Preparing tax returns for Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax.
In some instances, Probate can get contentious and lead to unwelcome and stressful family disputes.
Do you need Probate?
If someone you love has died and has left an estate worth over £5,000, Probate will be required.
Do you need a Probate solicitor?
It is possible to apply for Probate without a solicitor but expert advice can be extremely valuable. Probate can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. What’s more, without legal expertise, errors and delays are not uncommon.
If you are an Executor and you make a mistake, you could be held personally liable. So we would always recommend professional advice to make sure you are protected.
To help you through the Probate process, speak to one of our expert team by calling 01634 353 658 or email [email protected]. We can take over the responsibility for you and make sure everything is carried out in line with the law, and the wishes of the deceased.