Probate refers to the process of settling a person’s Estate when they pass away. A person’s Estate constitutes all their belongings, including any property owned, and any debt incurred. The Estate must be passed on to one or more living Beneficiaries when they die.
Who Handles Probate?
If the deceased person has a Will, the Probate process is usually carried out by whoever they named as the Executor of their Will. The Executor will need to apply for a Grant of Probate to confirm they have the right to access funds, manage finances, and divide the deceased person’s assets as directed by the Will. If the deceased person doesn’t have a Will a close relative can apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Letters of Administration in order to deal with the Estate.
The Probate Process
Once a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration has been issued, the person handling the Probate will need to gather all the deceased person’s assets and distribute them to the Beneficiaries named in the Will. If the deceased person hasn’t left a Will, assets must be divided out according to a certain set of rules known as the Rules of Intestacy. Only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the Rules of Intestacy.
The Probate process involves notifying banks and building societies, as well as the relevant government departments of the person’s death. It also involves settling up accounts and paying off any Inheritance Tax that might have been incurred.
Why Choose a Probate Lawyer?
Probate is a lengthy process full of applications and obligations. Dividing assets, dealing with banks/building societies, and notifying the relevant parties of a person’s death can be very complicated and emotionally taxing, especially following the death of a loved one. This is only further complicated if the deceased didn’t leave a Will, or if a someone calls into question the validity of the Will.
A Probate Solicitor can advise on the handling of the will and the steps needed to take in order to divide assets and handle any debt. This advice is tailored to the client’s individual needs as no two Probate cases are the same. Jackson Barrett & Gass have a team of experts whose services have been used nationwide. Have an enquiry about Probate? Contact us today.