Probate. It’s a bit confusing isn’t it? When do we need it, how do we apply for it?
In this article we’ll look at the basics; a good place to start. What IS Probate?
When someone dies the law calls them “the deceased” and everything they owned (this is called their “estate”) needs to be distributed amongst the various people named in their Will (the beneficiaries). To administer someone’s estate a formal ‘Grant’ has to be given to the Executors authorising them to do so. The Grant must be obtained through a court. This involves the Executors swearing on oath that the person has died, that they believe this is the last Will they made and the value of the deceased’s estate. If the court is satisfied that the Will is genuine then it will place a seal on the Will and issue a ‘Grant of Probate’ to confirm that it is a valid Will. The term “Probate” simply means proving the Will is genuine.
What happens if someone dies without a Will?
If someone dies without a Will, they die “Intestate”. This means that there are no executors and the Administrators and beneficiaries of the estate are determined by the law. This may mean that the people who benefit from the deceased’s estate may not be the people the deceased would have wanted and in many cases someone they wanted to benefit is in fact excluded.
Rather than applying for a Grant of Probate in this case, the Administrators apply for a “Grant of Letters of Administration” to be issued by the Court. The person who is granted Letters of Administration is the person who can legally administer the affairs of the deceased. The administrator is usually a close relative of the deceased (if there is one). In some cases there can be more than one person who has an equal right to be an Administrator.
You may have also heard of a “Grant of Representation”. A Grant of Representation is the collective term for both a Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration.
A bit about us and what we can do for you:-
It is worth remembering that we provide Professional Executor Services. Sometimes it can be difficult to find someone that can take on this responsibility for you and therefore we can become your Executor.
We have a great team of experts in Taunton and Street. They fully understand that loosing a loved one is hard enough without having to go through the stresses of Probate. That is why we take pleasure in taking the responsibility out of your hands and administering the estate for you. We make sure that things are dealt with in a timely manner in order to minimise any stress for you and your loved ones. However, we can do as much or as little as you want us to do. You tell us what you’d like us to do and we’ll do it!
Meet our friendly team of experts:-