When a loved one dies, it is likely to be an incredibly stressful period in your life. While you are planning the funeral and wake, the last thing you will probably want to be doing is filling out paperwork or managing probate.
It can seem from a distance that probate is a complicated process, and that would be an accurate assessment in the majority of cases! Probate can be straightforward, but if your loved one left no will, there are uncertainties about the will, or if there were other complications, you may need to seek legal help.
When you come to Andrew and Andrew, our probate solicitor Emsworth will always aim to make this process as straightforward and emotionally bearable as possible. We know that you and your family are grieving and will be more than happy to take on the rather complicated paperwork at this stressful time. Our team is experienced in all areas relating to probate and will ensure that the whole thing is carried out as quickly and smoothly as possible.
In this short guide, our probate solicitor Emsworth will introduce you to what probate is and hopefully, any queries that you have about it will be answered.
What is probate?
Probate is a legal right to deal with somebody’s property, possessions, money or other assets after they die. According to our probate solicitor Emsworth, these things are known colloquially as their estate. If your loved one had a home or other assets, you should not make any financial plans or put their property or other assets on the market until you have gone through probate.
If your loved one left a will and you were named as an executor or have been named through an update to it (which is known as a codicil), then you can apply for probate. However, the person who passed away will normally have informed you if you are the executor of their estate. It’s worth noting that an executor does not have any more right to assets than any other member of the family, and you will only inherit money or other goods if you are also named as a beneficiary in the will.
It’s also worth noting that in the UK, there can be up to 4 executors named in a will.
If your loved one died without leaving a will, the most entitled person will apply to become the administrator of the estate. This is usually the closest living relative such as a husband, wife, civil partner, or children who are over the age of 18. If there is no husband, wife, or children and the deceased’s parents are still alive, then they will be able to apply for probate.
Is it needed?
It is worth noting that probate is not always needed and if your loved one had an estate that is valued at less than £5000, probate is unnecessary.
If your loved one had an extensive estate, multiple properties in the UK or abroad, had stocks and bonds or had stepchildren, then it is likely that you will need to go through the probate process.
Do you need a solicitor to help with probate?
As mentioned earlier, probate is not always needed, so you may not need the help of our team, especially if your loved one’s assets total less than £5000 pounds. However, if you are not sure if you need probate or not, feel free to contact us for advice.