A few key facts to help understand Probate

Confused about Probate?

We are always on hand to offer advice in a simple, easy to understand, way.

The following are a few key facts to understand about Probate:

What is Probate?

A Grant of Probate is the document the Court issues after someone dies. It allows the executors to administer the estate and deal with all the money and possessions.

How long will probate take?

This depends on the circumstances, but on average it takes about 6 months to obtain a Grant of Probate. The estate can then be administered, which might involve selling a property and closing bank accounts. The time it takes to administer an estate will depend on the assets, the Will and the circumstances.

Are all assets included in probate?

No, not all assets need Probate. Those not included are:

  • Certain Jointly Held Assets
  • Low Value Assets
  • Policies Where There is a Nomination

Assets where Probate is required will usually include the following:

  • Assets Held in the Deceased’s Sole Name
  • Investment Products
  • High value bank accounts
  • Certain property
  • Business Assets

Is there anything else I should be aware of?

There are a lot of things that can be overlooked when dealing with someone’s affairs after death. For example, income tax and capital gains tax can still be payable after death and even with quite small and straightforward estates. You should also be aware of how inheritance tax works. As an executor you have a personal liability to administer the estate correctly. It can be easy to make a mistake without even realising.

Solicitors are highly regulated. We must act in your best interests and we strive to give the best possible advice to you. We are also insured, so that you are covered should something go wrong with the Will or the estate administration.

We suggest it is always a good idea to have an up-to-date Will with a solicitor and to take advice from a solicitor when someone in the family, or a friend you are executor for, dies. It will cost money in legal fees, but it could save considerable heartache and enormous expense in the long-term.

If you want to find out more about any of the above, please contact us on 01223 202345 or click the link to email Annette our Private Client secretary directly.