When someone dies, you’ll need to get the legal right to deal with their property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’). Probate is the legal term used to describe the process of administering an estate.
If the Deceased had a valid Will, the administration will be carried out by their appointed executors named in the Will. If there is no valid Will, then administrators will be appointed in line with the Statutory Intestacy Rules.
You can apply yourself or use a solicitor or another person licensed to provide probate services.
You may be able to apply for a ‘grant of representation’, sometimes known as a ‘grant of probate’.
Most cases follow the same basic process:
- Check if there’s a will – this normally states who sorts out the estate. If there’s no will the next of kin can apply.
- Obtain a Grant of Representation; this gives you the legal right to access things like the person’s bank account.
- Pay any Inheritance Tax that’s due.
- Collect the estate’s assets, for example money from the sale of the person’s property.
- Pay any debts, for example unpaid utilities bills.
- Distribute the estate – this means giving any property, money or possessions to the people entitled to it (‘beneficiaries’).
Administration of an estate involves practical and technical issues, and may seem daunting, especially at a time when you may be experiencing the loss of a loved one. Our advice will ensure that administration proceeds efficiently and sensitively so that distributions to beneficiaries can be made as quickly as possible.
We will explain the procedure and give guidance of how long each stage is likely to take and try to make the process as stress free for you as possible. Jeffcote Donnison have unique expertise in dealing with estate and probate issues for both UK and non-UK based clients.