Probate and Deceased Estates
When someone we love dies, we face one of the most difficult times of our lives. Knowing how to deal with the estate, whether Grant of Probate is required and if so how to deal with it can be a lot to cope with.
The administration of an estate can be a time consuming and often complex process and depending on the record keeping of the deceased and the complexity of their estate may take a considerable amount of work.
I deal with all types of estates, from the straightforward to the most complex. Contact me and I will be happy to assess your situation and provide you with an estimate for the work to be carried out.
What is Probate?
Probate is the term commonly used to mean applying for the right to deal with a deceased person's estate. Someone will need to apply for grant of representation to enable them to deal with the person's affairs.
The legalities vary depending on whether or not the deceased left a Will.
If the deceased left a Will.
Executors will be named in the Will and they will be responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased. The executors have to apply to the probate registry for grant of probate which is a legal document confirming that the executors have the legal right to deal with the deceased's affairs. This document is required to deal with the person's property, finances and possessions.
If the deceased did not leave a Will.
If someone dies intestate a relative will need to apply to the probate registry for grant of letters of administration; which gives them the legal authority to deal with the person's estate.
I can deal with applying for grant of probate or grant of letters of administration on your behalf.
Is Probate (or grant of representation) always required?
In certain circumstances it is not necessary to apply for grant of representation. You should always seek legal advice to ascertain if this applies to you and to avoid any legal problems as a result of mistakenly not applying for grant.
As a general rule a grant is not required when everything the deceased owned was held in joint names with their spouse and they are the sole beneficiary.
It is also not usually necessary to apply for grant when the deceased has an estate of low value, for example a bank account containing less than £5000. If the deceased held shares or substantial savings or a property then grant is always required.
Administration of a deceased estate
Dealing with the administration of an estate can be time consuming, depending on the size and complexity of the person's affairs.
The deceased's assets and liabilities need to be ascertained, their debts settled and their position calculated for income tax and inheritance tax. Assets such as savings, investments, shares, property and insurance policies all need to be taken into account to enable the estate to be dealt with properly and the assets distributed to beneficiaries.
Contact me for more information.