Here for you
Losing a loved one can be an extremely emotional and difficult time. In addition to this, somebody has to deal with their estate i.e. collect in their money, property and possessions, pay any debts and then distribute the estate to those entitled to it. This process is what is referred to as ‘probate’. Our dedicated team of experts will guide you through the process.
What is probate?
Losing a loved one can be an extremely emotional and difficult time. In addition to this, somebody has to deal with their estate i.e. collect in their money, property and possessions, pay any debts and then distribute the estate to those entitled to it. This process is what is referred to as ‘probate’.
Technically, 'probate' refers to getting legal permission to carry out the wishes within someone's will, but the term also applies to the whole process of settling someone's estate.
What is a Grant of Probate and who applies for it?
There are actually two types of grant: probate and letters of administration. Probate is granted when the deceased left a valid Will, and is granted in favour of one or all of the executors named in that Will.
Letters of administration are granted where the deceased did not leave a Will (they died intestate) to their next of kin or the executors named in their Will are not able or willing to take on the role.
For all practical purposes, the two types of grant are identical.
Once the grant is issued, this is the legal authority required by the banks, land registry, share registrars etc. to prove that the named executors or administrators are the people legally entitled to deal with the deceased’s assets.
Do I need Probate?
There are circumstances where a grant is not needed.
If the deceased had a small estate (normally containing no property and a small amount of money) it's unlikely that a Grant of Probate will be required to deal with their assets. Different banks and building societies have different thresholds for Probate, with some agreeing to release up to £50,000 without Probate, while others set the limit at £5,000.
If the deceased held all their assets jointly with another person, a Grant of Probate may not be required to deal with these. This is because jointly owned assets will automatically pass to the surviving owner on the other owner's death. This applies to joint bank accounts and property owned as joint tenants (but not to property owned jointly as tenants in common).
How long does Probate take?
This will depend on how complex the estate is and the assets involved – if there are complicated assets, such as multiple properties, shares, and accounts, it is likely to take longer than if the deceased owned a single bank account and very few other assets. Every estate and every Will is different.
On average, probate takes between nine to twelve months to complete. However, other complications can cause the process to take considerably longer, such as if the Will is contested, or the deceased did not keep clear records of all their assets. It is not unheard of for the process to take several years to wrap up.
Why instruct Kieran Clarke Green Solicitors?
Applying for probate is time consuming and can be an arduous and daunting task involving a lot of paperwork.
Being an executor of someone’s estate comes with a lot of responsibility. It is essential that you fully understand your duties when looking after the affairs, as you could be financially liable if any mistakes are made.
Our team can guide you through each of the stages of probate/administering an estate. For example, they can:
tell you if you need to apply for probate
value the estate
submit inheritance tax forms to HMRC
apply for a grant of representation for you
collect the assets of the estate
make sure the estate is distributed accurately
We offer a full range of services to help in the administration of estates, from simply obtaining a grant of probate to full administration of an estate. See our Probate Fees for more information.
Wills, Probate & Estate Administration Team
Experienced and Strategic
Our team has many years experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to probate and estate administration. All work is supervised by Emma Leek, Director and Head of Private Client department.
Get in Touch
Thank you for visiting our website. If you’d like more information and for one of our team to get back to you, get in touch today.
Registered Office: 36 Clarence Rd, Chesterfield, S40 1XB
Kieran Clarke Green Ltd trading as Kieran Clarke Green Solicitors. Registered in England and Wales No. 9928406.
Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 627285