Probate is the legal term used to describe the process which must be undertaken in respect of a deceased’s assets and estate when they pass away.
If a person dies leaving a valid Will, then their estate will be dealt with by the executors of the Will who they have appointed and under the terms of the last Will they have drawn up.
If a person dies without leaving a Will then their estate will be dealt with under the Rules of Intestacy. These rules have very recently changed and will be dependent on the family circumstances.
The Probate process can be fairly complicated and in the majority of cases the executors or administrators of the estate will instruct solicitors to deal with everything. In brief overview it involves liaising with all the various financial institutions and dealing with all property of the deceased to obtain an estimate value on the estate. The required papers will need to be sent to the Inland Revenue and also the Probate Registry in order to obtain a Grant of Probate/Representation. This gives the executors/administrators the authority they need to deal with the deceased’s estate. Thereafter all assets will need to be called in to the estate or sold/transferred etc and all associated documents will need to be drawn up. Ultimately all debts and liabilities will be paid from the estate and funds distributed to the beneficiaries upon which the estate can be closed down.
In terms of costs solicitors will normally charge a percentage of the estate value. At Edward Hands & Lewis we also try and offer a fixed fee costing at the outset. We pride ourselves in being transparent in our costings and ensure that this is fully discussed with our clients at the outset to avoid costs spiralling out of control.
At Edward Hands & Lewis we understand that this is also a very emotional and stressful time for our clients and therefore offer an approachable but professional service. To speak to one of our specialists now please call 01455 274170
By Claire Brown