When do you need probate in the UK? FAQS answered by our probate solicitors


Has a loved one recently passed away and you aren’t sure what to do?

Did they pass suddenly, without a will stipulating how they wanted their assets to be managed?

If either of these situations seems familiar, it is time to contact our team at Andrew and Andrew.

At Andrew and Andrew, our probate solicitors Portsmouth can help you sort through the legal technicalities that follow a loved one’s passing, and will assist you should any problems arise in the process, such as a family member contesting the will. We pride ourselves on our clarity and expertise, and, at such a stressful time, we will aim to take as much of the weight of this process from your shoulders as possible.

What is probate and what are some of the areas that it covers? Our probate solicitors Portsmouth provide the following guide.

What is probate?

In Wales and England, probate is a term used to describe the legal and financial areas involved in managing the property, possessions and money (also known as assets) of a person who has passed away.

There are many reasons why you would need to apply for probate (and why you wouldn’t), but for the sake of this article, we will focus on the reasons why you may need to contact our team about this process if someone who is close to you (and related) has passed away.

Asset value

In the UK, if your loved one left an estate (such as money, property or stocks) that is estimated at being worth more than £5,000, then it is likely that you will need to contact our probate solicitors Portsmouth.

If your loved one owned properties abroad, it is wise to talk to our team about probate, as we also specialise in probate based property law.

Will legality

It is commonplace for people to contest the legality of a will, especially if the person who left the will may have coerced into making it.

If you feel that your loved one may have been talked into making changes to their will, feel free to contact our team about contesting the will. Conversely, if you have a family member who wishes to contest your loved one’s will, we can support you in this area too.

No will

This is by far the most common reason that people apply for probate in our experience.

If your loved one passed away without leaving a will, then you may need to apply for probate in order to distribute their funds as their next of kin; be aware, that you may not need probate if their assets are less than £5,000 in value.

If it is requested

Our clients are often surprised to learn that a financial institution associated with their loved one (such as a bank or a private pension) asks for letters of probate.

This can be common, as these documents are often legally needed so that the bank or pension scheme can release your loved one’s funds to you following their passing.