The process of administering a deceased persons estate can be complicated and draining. To help simplify this process, we have set out some key elements to consider.
Why do we have to apply for Probate?
During our lifetime we collect various assets. Sometimes these are represented as the money that we have in our bank account and in other times, these assets can be in the form of property that we own, investments that we have or insurance and pension policies that will mature upon our death. In the event of your death, the bank or financial institution will “lock down” these assets to ensure that no one can simply remove them.
To unlock these assets and to ensure that the bank is paying them onto the people or organisations that you wish them to, they will require a legal record which clearly sets out the asset and who you wish for it to be paid to.
This record is called a “Grant of Probate” and application process is more often referred to as applying for Probate”.
A Grant of Probate not only ensures that the right people are receiving the correct assets that you wish them to, but also ensures that others cannot easily remove your assets for themselves.
What is involved in applying for Probate?
Whilst the legal process itself is relatively straight forward, applying for Probate will require those already facing distress, to be burdened with even more responsibility as they will need to deal with the detail of the deceased estate, financial dealings and affairs. This can be time consuming and distressing. The Grant itself will need to be applied for at HM Courts & Tribunals Service. Before the application is made, independent valuations of the deceased’s estate will be required so that relevant inheritance tax can be calculated.
Who can apply for Probate?
Whilst some estates may seem to be made up of very straightforward assets that are easy to identify, there are legal implications to observe and protect against. There can be disputes over assets, disagreements between executors or complicated assets that are held overseas. All of these can lead to someone deciding to contest the Probate. If a person has died without leaving a will, then these issues can be compounded. So, whilst almost anyone can apply for Probate, it is advised to seek legal assistance in doing so.