Probate - Your Questions Answered Posted by Probate Bureau , 01/09/2020

Probate - Your Questions Answered

Probate - Your Questions Answered

When someone close to you passes away, you'll likely need some legal advice about probate and dealing with their property, money and possessions, also known as their 'estate'. This can be especially helpful when you are dealing with grief and slowly picking your life up again. No one wants to be buried in a mountain of paperwork in such a tough time, with a long list of affairs that need to be put in order.

Here at The Probate Bureau, we can offer you with expert probate advice. To find out more about the probate process and how to navigate it, be sure to get in touch with our team today on 0808 256 2366.

So, What Exactly is Probate?

When someone passes away, they will leave property, money and possessions behind. As mentioned above, this is officially referred to as their 'estate'. One of the first things you'll need to do is sort out who gets what.

To make sure this is done properly and to even begin working on this, you will need what is known as a 'Grant of Representation'. A Grant of Representation proves your authority to administer the estate. Though, this will all depend on whether or not the deceased has left a Will.

If the deceased has left a Will and included who they would like their executor to be (sometimes there can be multiple executors), that person will need to apply for what is called a 'grant of probate'.

However, if you are to find that the deceased never wrote a valid will, the next of kin will have to apply for what is known as a 'grant of letters of administration'.

This whole process, including applying for the grant and all of the documents needed to manage the estate, is generally referred to as 'probate'.

What Does the Probate Process Consist of?

The probate process will typically consist of:

  • Valuing the estate
  • Collating the deceased bank accounts and insurance policies
  • Completing the probate application form (PA1)
  • Even if the estate doesn't owe inheritance tax (IHT) you will need to complete a IHT205 form for the HMRC
  • Sending off the forms
  • Attending a probate meeting to vow 'on' oath that all the information you have provided is exact and correct
  • Paying the taxes due

What are Probate Fees?

Probate fees are the charges for the services of both the solicitor and the executor, which are charged against the deceased's estate. If the executor is a family member, who will inherit from the estate, then it's common for them to waive their fees.

What Won't a Will Cover?

Whilst a Will will generally cover the vasst majority of a person's assets, you may find that some items are not covered by the instructions laid out in a Will. These items can include community property, proceeds from a life insurance pay-out, retirement assets, assets owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship and investment accounts that are designated as 'transfer on death'.

What Is The Job Of The Executor?

Put simply, the executor will have to deal with the probate process. The probate process involves:

  • Gathering any assets, e.g. money left in the deceased's bank accounts
  • Paying any outstanding bills
  • Distributing what is left in the deceased's estate, according to the Will


Does Every Estate Need Probate?

In short, no. Not every estate will need to go through the probate process, especially if it's a relatively simple estate. For example, if there's only jointly-owned property and money which passes to a spouse or civil partner when someone has passed, probate will not usually be needed.

How Long Will The Probate Process Take?

Provided that there are no complications along the way, you will usually find that the probate process takes somewhere between four to eight weeks to get a grant of probate after you've submitted the probate application.

Common Probate Jargon You Need to Know

When working through the probate process, you will likely come across quite a bit of jargon, including;

  • Estate: This refers to all of the deceased's property and possessions, including any debts. An estate can be any value, positive or negative. It's very common to image an 'estate' as extensive land and property, yet it could even be a few notes in a wallet.
  • Testator: The person who has written the Will.
  • Executor: The person who is responsible for administering the estate of the testator after they have passed away. The deceased's Will will note who is the executor.
  • Probate: The term 'probate' refers to the legal document which appoints the executor and provides them with the legal power they need to administer the deceased's estate. The probate process will also determine whether or not the Will is valid.

What If I Need Help When Working with Probate in Colchester?

Here at the Probate Bureau, we are proud to offer a fair and resonable, fixed-fee probate service in Colchester. So, if you need some expert advice, be sure to contact our Colchester probate office. No matter whether you need help with probate administration, writing a will or need advice about finances, we'll be more than happy to give our expert advice.

We are a proud member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers and are approved by Trading Standards, so you can rest assured that we'll provide you with professional, reliable advice on probate Colchester

If you do feel confident enough to tackle the probate process yourself, be sure to take a look at our 7-step checklist. It will help you get the process started and highlight some problems you may encounter along the way and how to work through them.

So, for more advice on the probate process, be sure to call our dedicated probate office on 0808 256 2366. Our expert team will give you all the advice you need and answer all of your questions, and we can assure you that you will never feel like just 'another number'. We treat each client case uniquely and will treat you only as we would wish to be treated ourselves.

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