FAQs about probate answered by our probate solicitor

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When you lose a loved one, the last thing you want to do is faff with paperwork relating to their estate.

And, if complications surround their will, it can be tough to know when and if you need to apply for probate or even what that process entails. For these reasons and many more, when a loved one passes, it is always advisable that you seek legal representation and advice.

At Andrew & Andrew, we have been helping people with probate for over 60 years. Our probate solicitor Emsworth will help you manage any legal complications that can arise following the passing of a loved one and can offer empathy and support at these most difficult times.

The following are some of the most common questions that our probate solicitor Emsworth receives. So, we decided we would answer them here to save you some time!

Do I need a solicitor?

Legally, no. There is no need for you to use a probate solicitor Emsworth for issues relating to probate unless:

  • the will left behind is complicated and involves the managing and valuing of properties overseas, along with stocks and bonds
  • some of the beneficiaries named within the will are not blood relatives (such as step-children)
  • the estates’ value is estimated at being higher than £5,000
  • inheritance tax is expected on estates worth more than £325,000
  • your loved one died without leaving a will or there is likely to be issues surrounding the will that was left

If you are unsure if you need a solicitor to oversee the process, then contact our team.

How long does probate take?

Probate can usually be completed in around 6-9 months.

However, the process can take longer if complications surround the will or the will is contested by other family members.

What are the duties of an executor?

If you have been named as an executor of the estate in the will, then some of your duties will include (but not be limited to):

  • obtaining a grant of probate if required
  • collecting the assets in the estate (cars, homes, etc.) and having them valued
  • paying inheritance tax as needed
  • paying outstanding debts on the estate
  • ensuring that any remaining assets are distributed amongst the beneficiaries named in the will

Can I contest probate?

Yes you can, provided that it is based on the will not correctly reflecting the deceased person’s wishes, the executor or administrator not managing the estate properly or if you believe that the will was drawn up and signed when your loved one was incapable.

If you wish to contest a will, please contact our team for advice.

Can a will be changed after the person who left it has died?

Yes, it can be altered either by the executor or the administrator. However, this can only be done if the beneficiaries agree, should they be left financially worse off by the alteration.

The aforementioned questions are for informational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice. If you need help with any aspect of probate, talk to our team at Andrew & Andrew.