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Holding Hands

What is Probate? 

Probate is simply the legal term that is given to the process that is followed after someone has died. It is typically undertaken by the executor named in a will or the administrator (typically a relative) when there isn't a will.  

The probate process involves an application being made to the probate court for the issue of a legal document known as a grant of probate (if there is a will) or a grant of letters of administration (when there is no will). This document is needed to deal with the assets of a deceased person such as collect monies from a bank account, sell shares, or collect monies under a life insurance policy.

Typically in our experience you will need probate to:

  • Close a bank account having a balance over £15,000

  • Collect or transfer shares

  • Sell a property

  • To make a claim under a life policy or a pension death benefit

  • Make a claim by the estate eg. PPI, or care home fees

Applying for Probate : When To Get Help

To obtain probate requires an application being made to the probate court, known as the Probate Registry. The procedure varies depending upon whether you seek help from a solicitor or apply in person. 

Other times you should seek help with probate are:

  • When the original will is lost

  • You need probate quickly

  • Inheritance tax is payable e.g. an estate over £325,000

  • There are issues or problems with the will

  • There is no will and the beneficiaries are children

  • There are problems with the executor or missing beneficiaries

  • The deceased left foreign assets

  • Beneficiaries cannot be traced

If you would like to discuss a probate with one of our legal experts please call 01429 271651 and we will make an appointment to suit you to discuss your matter.

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