What is Probate?
In accordance to the deceased’s Will, Executors named in the Will, then handle the estate, including taxes, debts and distributions of inheritance. However, before the Executor named in the Will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased’s assets they may have to apply for Probate.
Probate is when a Will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a true last testament of the deceased. Once this has happened, Probate can then be granted.
The Grant of Probate is the legal document that will allow the Executors a legal right to gather in any assets and then distribute them according to the Will.
If someone owns a property or has a large sum of cash assets which are held with a bank/building society then a Grant of Probate will be required as proof that the assets are handed over to the correct person.
The Executors will be named on the Grant, therefore assets will be passed over accordingly to then pass over to any other beneficiaries.
If the deceased held everything jointly with their spouse, then Probate will not be required. However, you will need to provide a death certificate to the bank/building society and they will remove the deceased spouse’s name.
If you are an Executor, you can apply for Probate yourself. However, the process can be very complex and time-consuming and is usually the last thing anyone wants to be concerned with when they have lost a loved one. For that reason, we would recommend you use a solicitor to assist you along the way.
Here at Jeary & Lewis we are here to provide you with peace of mind at what can be a very difficult time for families, with our friendly team of highly qualified lawyers we will be sure to guide you through each step of the way.
At present, January 2019 the current fee for the application through a solicitor is £155. An additional cost of 50p is required for any duplicate official copies.
The current fee for applying yourself is £215. With an additional cost of 50p for official copies.
It is important to note that currently, the government is proposing to increase the Probate fees so that charges will be linked to the size of the estate instead of a flat rate. According to estimates, one in five Executors who pay fees will need to pay at least £2,500.
Therefore, it really is important to start the process as soon as possible, to ensure you benefit from the lower fees before the proposal comes into place.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss this with one of the team.
We are here to offer you a warm welcome, a dedicated service and a lovely cup of tea. Please contact our friendly team on 01249 444484 to see how we can help.
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