What is probate ? Specialist Advice
When someone dies a legal process has to be followed, in order to administer a Deceased Persons estate. That process is known as probate and will typically be undertaken by the named Executor in a Will or the next of kin (known as the administrator) if the person died Intestate.
Probate ends with the Probate Registry issuing what is known as a Grant of Probate.This a legal document which once issued enables the Executor to collect the Deceased persons assets.
For example, if the Deceased had cash assets over £15,000 then a Bank or building society will always require a Grant of Probate to release assets, similarly if the Deceased had a property then probate will be required to sell this.If you need probate - we can help call us now.
When someone dies a legal process has to be followed, in order to administer a Deceased Persons estate. That process is known as probate...
It is standard practice for all banks and building societies to request grant of probate or letters of administration (if there is no will) if the date of death...
A grant of probate is always required to sell a property if it was owned in the sole name of a Deceased. The reason for this, is that the grant provides evidence...
A lot of Death Benefits or Life Insurance policies are written in Trust, this means that the policy will have a nominated beneficiary meaning that the policy...
Typical Probate Questions
When helping families with probate, we frequently get answered the following questions, remember if you need assistance call our probate helpline on 0845 269 3571
Is there a limit on which probate is required ?
Sometimes probate is not always required. this typically arises when assets pass to the surviving spouse via survivorship or when the assets held by the deceased in his/her sole name are less than £5,000. Typically, most banks will require probate when the assets held by them exceed £15,000.
How long does probate take ?
Times vary as much often depends upon the size of the estate, the assets and liabilities or whether inheritance tax is payable. In very straightforward cases when there is simply one asset or when probate is required to sell a property we are able to get probate issued within 3-5 weeks.
How much does cost in the UK ?
If you are seeking some assistance with probate we can help. Unlike most solicitors we don't charge hourly rates instead we charge a simple easy to understand fixed fee, which is deferred until the end of the case. Prices start at just £500 plus vat.
How long does probate take ? I need to sell a house can it be obtained quickly ?
There are lots of stories online about how long probate takes. It most cases we can obtain probate relatively quickly ( under a month ) as often in many cases, the estate will not involve inheritance tax while details of the Deceased's assets will be known at the date of death. If you need help obtaining probate, we can help. We have a specialist team that are able to obtain probate quickly if you need to sell a probate property urgently etc. Call our helpline now for help, or e-mail email@example.com
What happens if the Deceased has died and did not leave a will?
If someone has died without a will, then their estate will be subject to the Intestacy Rules. These rules confirm who inherits as well as who can administer the estate
Will a copy of the will be sufficient to apply for probate ?
It is important to appreciate that the original will, must be obtained prior to making an application for probate. Unfortunately, if the original of the will, is lost this means that as an executor you should always seek legal help. Whilst an application to admit a copy will can be made, there are very strict rules on this and the Courts will always require an Affidavit confirming the reasons for the loss of the original as well as the signed agreement that those prejudiced by the copy will are in full agreement to the copy will being admitted. if the original will is lost and you need legal help call us now.
Can anyone be a witness to a will ?
No there are very strict rules governing who can witness a will. The witness to a will must be an independent person and not someone who is a beneficiary under the will. If a beneficiary witnesses the will, this then means that the gift fails and doesn't not pass to the beneficiary. Both witnesses must sign the will, when witnessing the Deceased's signature
What happens to a power of attorney when someone dies - do you still need probate ?
If the Deceased left a Power of Attorney ( officially called a Lasting Power of Attorney ) this comes to end when someone the Donor dies. Thus, the power of attorney cannot be used to collect any assets and the bank together with other financial institutions must be informed of the Donor's Death and probate administered in the normal way.
When does the Executor get the authority to administer the estate ?
If you have been appointed an executor by a validly executed will you become an executor the minute the person who has made the will dies. This is because a will is said ‘to speak from death’ and your appointment as executor takes place at that moment. You immediately acquire some authority and with it some responsibility. The fact that it may be necessary at a later stage to apply to the court for Grant of Probate does not alter the fact that you are already an executor, the Grant of Probate is merely the legal confirmation of that fact. Since your appointment as an executor is effective under the will from the moment of death this is why you have to make a decision as to whether you want to continue to be an executor.
I am unhappy with a will how can I stop probate ?
If you are unhappy with a will, call our contested probate team, and we can advise you on the correct steps to contesting a will. Probate can be stopped by the issue of what is known as a Caveat which is issued following an application to the probate registry. Once issued the will cannot be admitted to probate.
Do I need probate to sell a property ?
We are frequently asked by families as to whether probate is required to sell a property. the short answer depends upon how the property is owned. If the property was owned by the Deceased alone then a Grant of probate will definitely be required, as the buyers will need evidence of the Executors right to sell the property.
We have a separate covering probate properties, see probate properties
I want to see a copy of a will : The executor is refusing
It is important to appreciate that a will becomes a public document once probate is issued. This means that anyone can apply for a copy of the will and probate from the probate registry. If you are unhappy with the will and may feel that you want to contest the will, it is always sensible to seek legal advice to explore your options. firstly, you could issue a caveat which is often useful in ensuring the release of a will from an executor, alternatively you may apply for what is known as a Standing search from the probate registry which means that once probate is issued you are automatically sent a copy of the probate and will. Only wills in which probate are issued become public knowledge, thus if assets passed via survivorship or were under £15,000 then probate may well not be needed.
What is resealing probate ?
If you have obtained probate in a country recognised under the UK's Colonial Probate Act this means that the foreign probate and will can be resealed by the probate court's in the UK, enabling the overseas probate to be used in the same as an grant issued in the UK. Example countries in which their probate can be resealed in the UK are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Grant of Representation ? is this the same as a Grant of probate ?
Understanding the terminology used throughout the probate process can be confusing. In essence the term Grant of Representation applies to the legal document issued following someone's death by the Executor when there is a will, this is known as a Grant of Probate or by an Administrator when there is no will, who is issued with a Grant of Letters of Administration