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When is Probate required?
We know how difﬁcult a time it is when we lose someone close. We offer a sensitive service designed to remove the burden of dealing with the estate. When someone dies, you need to be able to deal with their assets and possessions (their ‘estate’) and distribute them according to their wishes. You might need to apply for a ‘grant of representation‘, which is known as ‘probate’. You can either apply for yourself, or use a lawyer to apply for you.
The first step is to check and see if the person who died left a Will. If there is, this will usually name who should deal with their estate. If there is no Will, the person’s next of kin can apply for probate.
If the application is accepted, they will have the right to deal with the person’s assets including their bank accounts, savings accounts, property etc. They will be responsible for paying inheritance tax, collecting together assets (including the proceeds of sale from any property the person owns), paying any debts and finally distributing the estate.
When might probate not be required?
Probate won’t be required if the entire estate passes to a surviving spouse automatically where the assets (e.g. bank accounts) were in joint names.
Sometimes probate is not required if the estate is very small. However, you’ll find that each financial institution has their own rules and limits. However, probate will always be required if the estate includes land, property or shares.
Quite often you may be told by others in authority that “probate isn’t needed”. Our experience is that this is usually not the case as they are simply not privy to all the facts and are taking things on face value. Our advice is to contact us in the ﬁrst instance and we will be pleased to advise.
How we can help
April King’s team offer a friendly and professional fixed fee service. We will explain the processes for Probate and Estate Administration to you and provide initial advice and guidance, completely free of charge. This will help you to make the necessary decisions about what you should do next. If you use our team to deal with probate on your behalf, our panel of independent probate solicitors will take care of all legal and estate administration processes on your behalf for a competitive fee.