Most estates do need to go through probate after a person has died, regardless if there is a will or not.

Probate can be a really complex legal process, therefore legal guidance is necessary. At Andrew & Andrew, our experienced and thoroughly trained probate solicitors in Portsmouth can help you sort out the estate of a loved one as instructed in their will or as the law dictates if no will is present.

When is probate necessary?

Whether probate is necessary or not, depends on the following two criteria:

  • The way in which the estate and assets were held;
  • The value of the estate and the assets.

If a family member has passed away and you are trying to understand if probate is required, our probate solicitors in Portsmouth can help. Firstly, they will ask you to gather all the necessary legal documents as well as create a detailed list of all the assets they owned. Then, Andrew & Andrew probate solicitors in Portsmouth will help you confirm whether the estate and the asset were held in the deceased’s name or whether other names were involved (joint ownership).

Joint assets will automatically be transferred to the co-owner as dictated by the Right of Survivorship. If the co-owner has passed away as well, probate will be required. If the assets are held in the deceased’s name only, you will need to determine their exact value in order to establish whether probate is necessary.

How does the value of the estate and the assets affect probate?

In general, probate is not necessary if the value of the estate is less than £5,000. However, different banks have different minimum thresholds for probate, therefore it is always worth checking. If the deceased’s estate and assets are worth more than £5,000 and claimed sole ownership, then undergoing the probate process is inevitable.

How can a will change things?

Having a will is not important for probate, but most of the time, a will will clearly assign the executors. These people can accept or refuse this responsibility and it is their job to ensure that the estate will eventually be distributed to the beneficiaries.