What is Probate?
• It is the legally authorised process of administering the estate of someone who has died.
• The estate is the money, property and any possessions the deceased had at the time of their death.
• The estate assets will remain frozen until the Personal Representative(s) [either the executor(s) named in the will or, if there is no will and the Rules of Intestacy apply, another member of the family] of the estate applies to the Probate Registry. The Probate Registry then issue a court document called the Grant of Representation. This will take the form of either:
• a Grant of Probate where there is will OR
• Letters of Administration when there is no will.
The person or people named in the Grant of Representation then become legally responsible for administration of the estate.
Our experienced Probate Solicitors can you identify who the Personal Representatives are, and sister in the initial application for the Grant of Representation. They will then be by your side throughout the sometimes extremely complex task of administering the estate.
We are happy either to be responsible for fully administering the estate, or alternatively, if you would like to the legal Bill to the estate, we can provide as much, or as little, advice and assistance as you wish.
Remember not to underestimate the risks and complexity of estate administration – in particular, you should be aware that the Personal Representative is ultimately personally liable for any loss or claim if the estate is not divided up correctly, or if taxes or other debts aren’t fully paid.
Will I need Probate?
You will need probate if:
• Property is solely held in the name of the deceased.
• Property is held as tenants in common.
• The deceased benefited from a trust during their lifetime.
• Assets worth approximately £5000 were held by the decease with financial institutions.
• The financial institutions holding the assets require a Grant of Probate before they will release the funds. Some financial institutions have a higher threshold than £5000.
One of our Probate Solicitors will carefully go through the circumstances of the estate with you to find out if probate is required and how to proceed if it isn’t needed.
What’s involved in the Probate process?
Your duties as the Personal Representative include:
• Gathering together the estate assets.
• Paying the estate’s debts.
• Paying the estate’s outstanding charges.
• Filing the Inheritance tax returns.
• Filing the personal income and Capital Gains tax returns.
• Distributing the balance of the estate according to the terms of the will or in compliance with the Rules of Intestacy.
Again, your Probate Solicitor will be on hand to guide you through your duties and help ensure that no mistakes are made. Remember, you, as the Personal Representative are legally liable for any mistakes and so to avoid being sued it is best to avoid any mistakes being made in the first place. One of our experienced Conveyancing Solicitors can handle the sale of any property.
How long does Probate take?
Six to nine months is the average length for the probate process, from start to finish, but it can take more or less time depending on the level of complexity involved.
Need advice or help with Probate in Salisbury? Contact us first
You can contact our Probate Solicitors face to face, by phone or email, whenever you need to. For FREE initial advice on the phone about how we can help you with probate,
• Simply phone our Probate Solicitors on SALISBURY(01722) 4223000 or AMESBURY (01980) 622992
• or fill in the online enquiry form below