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.