Both these words generally go hand in hand, as if one cannot be separate from the other. Perhaps that is because both actions cannot be separate. Whilst a Will is a document that is written by a living person who is making provisions in the event of their death, Probate is the legal right to execute that document when the person dies. So Wills are legal documents and Probate is the legal right to execute those legal documents.
Although Probate isn’t always required, if you are nominated as the executor of a Will and the estate is held under the sole name of the deceased, you will need to apply for a Grant of Representation. This grant will confirm that you have the legal right to manage the estate of the deceased, or administer the estate. Once you get confirmation that you are the legal executor of a Will, then you are legally entitled to administer the deceased’s property, assets and finances, according to the deceased’s wishes set out in the Will.
Administration of an estate can be overwhelming and very complex indeed. Some aspects such as Inheritance Tax, can be overlooked and create complications not only for the Will’s executor but also for those nominated as heirs. As the executor of the estate, you need at least Probate advice from legal experts. At best, a Wills and Probate solicitor will administer the estate on your behalf.
Probate administration involves contacting all nominated heirs in the Will, contacting all beneficiaries, legacies, organizations involved in the estate, banks and HMRC. It may also involve making preparations for the funeral, according to the plans set out by the deceased. It’s not in the executor’s best interest to manage it all single handed. It is a complex affair and overwhelming because the executor might have to deal with mourning the loss as well. If you are the executor of an estate, please ring our office and we will arrange for an informal discussion with one of our legal experts who will be able to advise you. SG
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