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Help With Probate

Understanding the probate process can be very confusing. You maybe wondering:-

  • what is probate ?
  • do I need probate?
  • how much will it cost? and
  • how long will it take ?

Whatever your concerns with probate we have years of experience in helping families with the probate process.

Throughout our site we have provided helpful guides that aim to answer the most common questions. If after reviewing the answers you think you might need some help, call our probate helpline on 0845 568 4000, and we can talk you through the process.

Getting started : Do I need probate ?

In all cases, the starting point is understanding exactly what probate is, together with whether you need it.

Probate is simply the term given to the legal process that is followed after someone has died. This involves handling the Deceased’s assets and liabilities and administering the estate in accordance with the terms of a will, or the Intestacy Rules when there is no will.

To collect the assets of a deceased person, the Executor has to apply for a legal document known as a grant of probate, this document  issued by the probate court is then used to collect assets and pay any liabilities.

If there is no will, the administration is undertaken by the Administrator in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. The Administrator will apply to the probate court for a legal document known as a Grant of Letters of Administration.

Examples as to when probate might be required are to close a bank account, sell shares, or sell a property belong to a deceased person.

Further information on the probate process and when you might need probate can be found by clicking the following links :-

Summary of the Probate Process

If you have been told you need probate, the process falls into four stages:-

  • assessing the assets and liabilities
  • applying for probate
  • collecting in the assets and paying liabilities
  • distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the will or the intestacy rules

Assessing the assets and liabilities is required, because for all probate applications, the rules provide that a inheritance tax (IHT ) return must be completed, regardless as to the value of the estate.

In summary, the IHT returns vary depending upon the size of the estate. There is a short return, called an IHT 205 if the estate is below £325,000 when no tax is payable or a long form called an IHT 400 if Inheritance tax is payable.

Once the assets and liabilities are determined, the application is then made to the probate registry, they are the Court responsible for the issue of the grant of probate. Typically the Court takes 5 weeks to issue the grant of probate and once obtained the estate can then be administered.

If you are wanting more detail on the probate process, the links below provide some more detail on the costs and the timescales involved in the probate process.

What happens when there is no will ?

Understanding the steps that have to be followed when someone dies without a will  (known as Intestate ) can be very confusing. Often it is sensible to seek some legal help. The guide below addresses most of the frequently asked questions.

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