Wills and Probate – Someone you love has died. What next?

Someone you love has died.  What next?  While grieving, the last thing on your mind may be sorting out their affairs – but if you’re the executor of their Will, that’s an important role you have to take.

What do you have to do?

Let’s assume your lost loved one made a Will, and you’re the executor.

If their estate (that’s the value of all their assets) totals less than £5,000, you probably won’t have to worry about probate.

If their estate totals more than that, you should apply to the Probate Registry for a grant of probate.

To apply, you’ll need to make a list of the deceased’s assets and liabilities to show their financial situation. You’ll also need to submit a supporting affidavit.

Our will and probate lawyers can deal with this for you.

What’s probate?

Also known as a ‘grant of representation’, probate is when a court confirms that the will is valid, and grants the executor the authority to administer the estate – that is, gives you control over the affairs of the deceased.

In order to access their money, you will need to show the grant of probate to their banks, building societies, insurance companies and so on.

What if someone challenges the will?

That’s called ‘contested probate’.

It might happen if someone claims the will was invalid because the deceased wasn’t of sound mind when they made it, or that there is a newer will. It might also happen if someone believes they should have inherited more than they did.

Your will and probate solicitor can advise on these complex situations.

What if there isn’t a will?

If your lost loved one didn’t make a will, or their will is found to be invalid, you will need to apply for a grant of ‘letters of administration’ instead. The process is similar to probate, and your will and probate solicitor can advise about this too.

*Source: National Consumer Council

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