The probate process involves obtaining the legal right to handle a deceased person’s estate. If a Will is involved, the executor named in it will handle its content, including probate application, if needed. The Will can have several executors, but only one will be called on the Grant of Probate or Confirmation. If there is no Will [intestate] then the court appoints an administrator to handle the estate. It is generally, the deceased person’s next of kin.
Probate is necessary when the property has the deceased name or the bank needs evidence [Grant of probate] to release funds from the deceased accounts. If the property is co-jointly held then there is no need for probate as the asset automatically passes to the surviving civil partner or spouse.
If the property value is more than the financial institution’s brink, there is a need for a Grant of probate even if there is a Will, or even if there isn’t any.
People can get in touch with probate administration services if –
- The estate value is more than the inheritance tax limit and is earning a regular income, but has complicated tax outstanding.
- There is no Will but a complicated estate to handle.
- Doubts about Will’s validity.
- The deceased had dependents, but were left out deliberately from the Will, but may wish to claim their rights.
- Estate is held in a trust.
- The estate includes foreign assets.
- Estate is bankrupt.
- The deceased resided outside the UK.
- Estate involves agricultural assets.
Read more here about how probate administration services handle the probate process.
What’s estate administration?
It is a process to handle the deceased person’s tax and legal affairs. It means handling taxes, debts, and assets before distributing them among the beneficiaries. As an administrator or executor, you will be responsible for estate administration or hire a professional to deal with the process on your behalf.
Getting a Grant of probate is part of estate administration.
It can involve –
- Income tax work
- Submitting inheritance tax forms
- Valuing assets
- Postal redirection
- Transferring or canceling utilities
- Selling or registering assets
- Handling investments & shares
- Handling funds to beneficiaries and more
It is a time-consuming and complex process at times. It adds stress, but by appointing a probate lawyer you can stay calm with an assurance that everything will be concluded in the right way.
The time taken for the estate administration process is hard to predict. It is a complex legal process, so expect it can take several months instead of weeks.
Each state’s probate process differs. In some states, small estates don’t need to undergo the probate process. Nevertheless, it is better to have courts make sure that your near ones inherit what is pretty much theirs when you pass away.
The estate administrator can experience obstacles in the probate process when challenges are made on who gets the property, especially when there is no Will and if there is one then how it was written.
These glitches get messy with lawsuits filed and family fighting. So, if you are named in the Will as an executor or appointed by the judge as an administrator then hire a probate lawyer to eliminate some burden and not feel overwhelmed.