What is Probate?

If you are trying to sort out the estate of someone who has died you might be told “you need probate”.

What does this mean? 

Probate is the word used for the legal process of validating the Will of someone who has died. It involves making an application to the Probate Registry who will carry out certain checks and then issue a document called a Grant of Probate. This application is usually made by the people who are named in the Will as Executors. Once the Grant of Probate has been issued the Executors of the Will can then produce this document as evidence that they have the authority to administer the estate.

When is Probate needed?

This depends on what assets the person who has died has left. It also depends whether the assets are in the sole name of that person or in joint names with someone else. If there is a house or land in the sole name of the person who has died, then a Grant of Probate will be needed.  In other cases, it will usually depend on how much is in bank accounts/investments in the sole name of the person who has died.

How do I apply for Probate?

To apply for probate the Executors will need to:

  • Gather full details of the assets and debts of the person who has died and obtain date of death values for these
  • Complete an inheritance tax return and pay any tax due
  • Prepare a statement to submit to the Probate Registry
  • Submit the inheritance tax return, statement and original Will to the Probate Registry

How long does Probate take?

Once the application for probate is submitted The Probate Registry will usually process it in around 6 weeks assuming everything is in order. Sometimes the Probate Registry will make further checks or raise enquiries, in which case the process will take longer. It might take longer if there are backlogs at the Probate Registry.

We’re here to help. Our specialist team can offer help and guidance through the probate process.  Call us today on: 0800 0315413 or email: kk@alexandergrace-law.co.uk