The death of a loved one is one of the most stressful things a person can go through.  Whilst grieving, it can be difficult to get to grips with all that is required to settle a person’s estate.  We are here to take the stress of probate away.


What is probate?

Many people have not heard of probate, or know what it means.  Probate is the word normally used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the estate of a person who has died.

Before the Executor or Administrator can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased’s assets, they may have to apply for a Grant of Probate.  This is a legal document that states they are the person entitled to deal with the deceased’s estate in accordance with their Will, or the Intestacy Rules.


What is an Executor or an Administrator?

Executors are the people chosen by someone making a Will to collect their assets, pay outstanding bills and distribute the balance of their estate.  They can be a relative, a beneficiary, a friend or a solicitor.

Administrators are the people appointed under the Intestacy Rules to collect the assets, pay bills and distribute the balance of an estate if a person had died without a Will (intestate).


Is a Grant of Probate required for every single death?

Not all estates will require a Grant of Probate.  For example, if all the deceased’s estate is passing to their surviving spouse, they are unlikely to need a Grant of Probate, unless they own and hold property together as tenants in common.

A Grant of Probate will also be required if a bank, or other financial institution, requires it to close the deceased’s account.  This is usually if the amount held is over a specified limit, which is different for every bank and financial institution. 

If the deceased’s estate is worth less than £5,000, there is not usually any need to apply for a Grant of Probate.


What is needed to apply for a Grant of Probate?

To apply for a Grant of Probate you will need to know the value of all the assets in the estate (e.g. properties and bank accounts), the original Will if there is one (and any Codicils) and the death certificate.


How much does it cost?

For estates over £5,000 there is an application fee of £155 if a solicitor is applying for the Grant on your behalf.  The fee is £215 if you are not using a solicitor.  You will receive 1 copy of the Grant and extra copies cost £1.50.


How long does probate take?

A Grant of Probate will usually be granted within 2 weeks of the application being made.  Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, this is currently taking around 2 months. 

The whole process of dealing with a person’s estate can vary greatly depending on what assets are in the estate.  Some estates can be settled within a few months, whereas some extremely large estates can take longer than a year.

If you need advice about how to deal with a loved one’s estate, please do not hesitate to contact Jane Lodeto or Victoria Ferguson who will be happy to help.  We offer a free half hour consultation to discuss your matter.