When is probate required?

Probate will usually be required if, after payment of the funeral, the value of the estate in the sole name of the deceased is more than £5,000. Although, some banks and other financial organisations have increased their threshold, this is down to their individual discretion. The legal threshold remains at £5,000.

When probate has been granted, the person who is named in the will is able to collect the assets of the estate, pay any debts and distribute the remaining estate to the beneficiaries. In practice, different terms are used for probate depending on whether or not the deceased person left a will.

The grant of representation refers to the type of probate that must firstly be obtained in order to carry out the administration of the estate. The kind of grant that will be needed depends on the circumstances, which are described as follows:-

  • If you are named an executor in the will – grant of probate, which is an order of the court, which confirms the authority of up to four people to administer the estate of a deceased person.
  • If you are the administrator with no will – grant of letters of administration, which is an order of the court which is issued in cases where the deceased person did not make a will. The grant must be obtained before the deceased’s estate can be collected, the debts paid and distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

The person to whom the grant of letters of administration is granted is known as the administrator. The administrator is the person who has the legal right to deal with the affairs of the deceased and is determined by the intestacy rules.

What is the probate process?

This often involves many complex legal, tax and financial work which can be broken down into different phases.

  1. Identifying all of the deceased’s assets.
  2. Paying Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if required.
  3. Following the Grant of Representation, there are the settling liabilities.
  4. Preparing and sending out estate accounts.
  5. Transferring assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain, and distributing the balance of the Estate funds.

This whole process is arduous for those involved. Therefore, an experienced probate Solicitor can really help you at what can be a very stressful time.

Taking care of probate in a professional, efficient and approachable manner is something we at Keoghs, Nicholls, Lindsell and Harris LLP are well versed in.

If you would like to talk to one of one team, please contact us today, we are happy to help.