What is Probate?
Probate is the term used to describe the various administrative, legal and financial tasks which must be undertaken when a person dies. If you have recently had a loved one pass away, you may be facing the seemingly daunting prospect of administering their estate, but fortunately there is a range of assistance available to you at this trying time.
When an individual passes away, a plethora of processes and procedures must come into play in order to deal with the legal repercussions of their death. This means that their affairs must be put in order by those who survive them. If they left a Will, it will have to meet the approval of a Probate Court, who, if satisfied that the Will is valid, will then issue a Grant of Probate. The latter document publishes the Executor’s authority to take over the financial and legal affairs of the departed. The ‘Executor’ is the person who will administer the estate and they will have been nominated in the Will.
If the deceased did not create a Will, there are a set of default rules in place which are intended to distribute their property to the deceased’s ‘blood’ relatives. These are referred to as intestacy laws. Individuals nominated to take charge of this task are referred to as Administrators.
What does the Probate process involve?
A range of tasks await those appointed as Executors or Administrators, including a valuation of the assets and liabilities of the deceased, the settling of any taxes that may be due (including Inheritance Tax), and the proper administration of the whole affair, seeing that property is distributed according to the wishes of the departed, or, failing that, the rules of intestacy.
As you can probably tell, the Probate process can take a lot of time for those who are tasked with it, and may also involve complicated legal situations which could call for a professional’s touch.
Can anyone help with Probate?
Those shouldering the burden of Probate should bear in mind that it is possible to bring in qualified experts in order to ensure that the processes are correctly followed. Such professionals may see involvement on many levels, from handling the trickier aspects to dealing with the whole shebang. Money is not an issue as it is possible to pay these experts a share of the deceased’s estate rather than having to cover the costs yourself.
If you need the assistance of a qualified Probate adviser, our Instant Law Line could be what you need. Get telephone advice on probate from a lawyer, at whatever time you need it.
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Probate is concerned with the administration of the estate of deceased person as outlined in their Will, along with the process of authorising a person to carry out this task.Find out more
When your loved one passes away you may be unaware of the various legal issues which need to be taken care of. Even before probate can begin there are numerous documents which need to gathered and people whom must be informed.Find out more
An executor is someone nominated in a Will to handle the administration of a person's estate after they pass away. They have a number of legal and administrative duties which they must carry out.Find out more
Paying Inheritance Tax (IHT) can be one of the more burdensome duties associated with probate. Learn about the degree to which estates are taxed and the exemptions which exist.Find out more
If someone has died without leaving a valid Will there are rules which determine the destination of their estate. These are known as intestacy rules.Find out more