What You Need To Know When Applying For Probate

If you need to apply for probate following a loved one's death, Ronald Fletcher & Co Solicitors has a solid Probate and Estate practice based on years of experience helping clients deal with estates. We are adept at helping our clients deal with their loved ones' probate matters efficiently and sympathetically, acknowledging that they are invariably going through a time of loss and grief.

Key Probate Facts

It always helps to understand a few basics in relation to probate and what your solicitor might need, before seeking their expert legal advice. This can make the process easier and less painful for you. The key facts about probate include:

  • Applying for probate means applying for a Grant of Probate which is a court document formally confirming your legal authority to access the deceased's accounts, and deal with their property and other assets.
  • If there is no will (intestacy), we can apply for a court document called Letters of Administration which gives the legal power to deal with the deceased's assets.
  • In some instances, you will only need to show the original (or a certified copy) of the death certificate to access the deceased funds. We can give you more information on this.
  • You have a year from the date of the deceased's death to 'call in' the assets in the estate, and deal with any debts before distributing the net estate between the beneficiaries.
  • You need to collect together all paperwork relating to both the assets, and the debts and liabilities of the deceased to enable us to call in the assets, pay off any debts and distribute the balance between the beneficiaries.
  • Where assets are owned jointly, for instance, a property is co-owned with a spouse, we will advise you how this will be dealt with. We may still need to see documents in relation to jointly owned assets.
  • We will also need the deceased's financial details relating to tax and national insurance and utility bills - particularly if he or she was living on their own.
  • If you are able to calculate an estimate of how much the deceased's estate is worth by deducting the total amount of debts from the total value of property and assets, this can speed up the process of applying for probate. The court will need to know how much the estate is estimated to be worth when you apply for Probate and needs to be done early on. We can do this with you but we will need the information outlined above.
  • Any inheritance tax due, or at least part of it, will need to be paid before the court sends the Probate document.

Contact Us

Unless the deceased's estate is very small and no house or other property is involved, it is wise to involve an experienced solicitor. Contact the expert Probate and Estates professionals at Ronald Fletcher & Co Solicitors for more information and expert advice on dealing with your loved one's estate.