When a loved one dies, you might hear the term ‘probate’ being used. So what is it?

If you’ve been declared the executor of the will by the deceased, you’ll become familiar with the term and its processes in the months that follow the family member’s death. Therefore, you must have a complete understanding of the legal procedure of probate and the steps that it incorporates.

Probate refers to the legalities that must be addressed after a person dies, and refers to how their assets are distributed.

Going through this process alone is ill-advised as handling these legal affairs can be distressing and draining. From obtaining a grant and collating assets to settling debts and distributing what’s left, you’ll need the support of a probate solicitor in Portsmouth, which is where our lawyers at Andrew & Andrew can assist. If you call us we can make this turbulent time easier.

If you want to learn more about the intricacies of probate, read on. We’ve listed a basic step-by-step breakdown on what to expect.

File a petition

If you’re declared the executor of the will, you’ll first need to be granted permission by the courts before you can proceed in meeting the terms written in the will.

First, you’ll have to submit the relevant documents to the probate registry, after that you’ll be granted a hearing to hear whether the grant has been accepted or declined. Other parties are invited to this court date if they do have any objections.

At this time, it’s also crucial that you supply a will if there’s one and it’s valid, and a death certificate.

Not supplying the right documents can be the reason for you being rejected, having a probate solicitor in Portsmouth will prevent this from happening.

Give notice to relevant parties

Once the grant is approved, heirs, beneficiaries and creditors must all be informed that the estate is in probate. Sometimes, an announcement in the newspaper is necessary.

Draw up an inventory of assets

Bank accounts, stocks and bonds, and valuable personal items must be collated, appraised, and presented to the courts at this stage.

Handle bills and debts

This step involves a lot of sleuthing, so be sure to perform a thorough investigation, looking through the deceased’s cheque books, and bank account.

Any money that is owed to the estate must be collected, while all outstanding bills must be checked and a decision made on how or whether these will be paid.

It’s also necessary to file tax and a final tax income claim on behalf of the deceased.

Distribute what remains

Once the debt has been cleared, and creditors paid off, what remains of the estate will be distributed to beneficiaries, as outlined in the deceased’s will.

Close the probate

Once everything is completed, you’ll submit all records of everything to the courts and ask for the probate to be closed.

Do I really need a probate solicitor in Portsmouth?

We can’t stress enough how tricky this whole process is. We provide the valuable assistance you need so that you can complete the probate process without running into any obstacles and problems, so that you can fully commit to the grieving process.