Is probate needed if there is a will? Common myths debunked by our probate solicitors

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Going through probate is the last thing that many people want after the passing of a loved one, but unfortunately it is unavoidable in certain instances under UK law.

And when many people are told that probate is required, they envision a manner of different circumstances which may involve a simple process, a long, drawn-out process or one which revolves around a complicated will being the only need for probate at all.

Sadly, probate is rarely as it is seen in soap operas and films, the process can be very different and, like many areas of the law, personal to your circumstances.

At Andrew and Andrew, our team of probate solicitors Portsmouth will help you with this somewhat tricky procedure and will also aim to take as much of the stress of it as possible from your shoulders. We have many decades of experience in this area and can oversee any paperwork or applications linked to probate as needed, until it is completed.

So, back to the depictions from TV and cinema; what are some of the myths about probate that they have helped to create? Our probate solicitors Portsmouth debunk the most common ones below.

Probate only takes a few weeks

No, it doesn’t; the starting of probate and the information required to get through probate can take several months to put together.

In 2021, thanks to delays caused by COVID-19, our probate solicitors Portsmouth now estimate that even in simple cases of probate, the process can take up to a year to complete. Don’t worry; we will be there to help you throughout it!

A will reading is required by UK law

This is not the case at all and is one that is highlighted in films and TV shows.

When a loved one passes, everyone mentioned in the will (the benefactors) will be contacted but they will only receive their assets after all of the bills surrounding the estate have been settled. So, there is no formal sit down in an oak-panelled office to attend!

With a will, probate isn’t needed

If your loved one had assets worth more than £5,000 in the UK, then probate is needed, especially if their will is complex or if they have properties overseas.

If you aren’t sure if you need probate, contact our team for advice today!

A will can be contested by anyone

A will can only be contested successfully in certain circumstances and only by certain members of the deceased’s family.

If you believe that your loved one’s will is a forgery or that they were coerced into making it, then contact our team for advice.

An executor cannot step down

Yes, they can and often do.

An executor is a person selected by the deceased to oversee the management of their estate when they have passed. If this person does not want this position, they can step down and a solicitor is often called to fill the role should this occur. A solicitor can be a reassuring and objective aid at a time when a family is grieving.