What is probate and how does it work?

6 Mar 2024

What is Probate and How Does it Work is the first blog in our Wealth, Wills and Probate blog series. 

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What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of dealing with the property, money and possessions, known as the ‘estate’, of someone who has died.

When is probate needed?

Depending on the value of the estate and nature of ownership, a grant of probate is normally required, however there are some exceptions:

  • Where the deceased person owned assets in joint names, which pass automatically via survivorship (except where a property is owned as ‘tenants in common’).
  • Assets are held in trust.
  • The total value of the estate is less than £5,000. It is worth noting that certain banks will release monies without a grant of probate based on their own threshold which can be up to £50,000.

How does Probate work?

If there is a will in place, a vital part of the probate process is locating it, so that the Executors of the estate and the wishes of the deceased are known.

If you’ve written your will with us, that part is easy!

The next step is to apply for the grant of probate. This process requires obtaining up-to-date valuations of all the assets held in the estate, completion of inheritance tax forms, and preparing a legal statement for the probate registry.

Once probate has been granted, estate accounts will be required detailing all the receipts and outgoing payments during the final administration period, so that the final distributions can be made to the Beneficiaries.

If there is no will in place, the rules of intestacy must be followed, which can be a lengthy process and requires Letters of Administration, rather than a grant of probate.

How can Charlton Baker help you?

Here at Charlton Baker we are also qualified Will writers and following a conversation with you, we can draft your Will in as little as 30 minutes. Please visit our Will Writing Services page, or contact us for more information. 

We are also qualified to create Lasting Powers of Attorney. We have been acting as professional executors for our clients for many years and have a wealth of experience in this area. Please do get in touch to discuss further.

Other topics you might find useful:
Why do I need a Will?
How often should I review my Will?
How do I choose an executor for my Will?
Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

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