Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Probate?

Probate is the process of dealing with someone’s estate after they have died. It involves collecting in all of the person’s assets, settling any debts and using what’s leftover to pay the beneficiaries as directed by the will. If there isn’t a will, the rules of intestacy will determine who receives the person’s assets. Whether you need probate depends on the value and contents of the estate. Usually It depends on the value and contents of the Estate you are administering as to whether you need probate. But generally, if there is a property, a substantial shareholding or cash assets of more than £25,000 you will need to obtain probate. Before the next of kin or Executor named in the Will can distribute the estate, they may have to apply for Probate. Only when Probate has been granted through a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration can the next of kin or Executor start to deal with your assets as per your will.

Whose responsibility is probate?

Probate is the role of the executors named in the will.

Do executors and administrators have personal liability?

Executors and administrators are personally liable to the beneficiaries for any mistakes they make in the administration of the estate, for example not paying all the debts and other liabilities before distributing the estate, paying assets to the wrong people, or not settling creditors’ demands in the correct order. Other problems could include going ahead with distributing the estate assuming there is no valid will when there is one, or using a will which is proved to be invalid.

What is a Grant of Probate?

A Grant of Probate is the document that is issued to you by the Probate Registry and confirms your right to administer the deceased’s estate. This includes cashing the estates' assets and distributing them as outlined in the Will.

Do I need to use a Solicitor for Probate?

You don’t need to use a solicitor, but it often helps to ease the burden after someone close has passed away. Probate can be a lengthy and time-consuming process, which can take many hours of administrative work and it can take up to a year to complete the whole process. Also if you make any mistakes when carrying out any of the many required Estate administration duties, you could be held legally and or financially responsible. Most Probate solicitors take a percentage of the value of the estate as their fee. However, we can fix the cost of using solicitors to manage Probate ahead of time so that the process is completed in a timely manner and with expert support at a low cost.

How long will Probate take?

Probate can often take anywhere from 6 to 12 months. It could take longer if the estate is complicated. Probate does require some laborious and highly detailed administration work.