What is Probate?
The meaning of probate is essentially the administration process of dealing with a person’s estate after they have passed away.
Even if the deceased has put a will in place it can be a lengthy, costly and complex legal process depending upon the size and value of the estate.
The more complicated the process of probate, the longer it takes and conversely the more money it costs, particularly if there is a dispute or claim on the estate.
Unlike many high street solicitors, we offer a fixed price, so no unexpected charges and the process is carried out quickly and efficiently. The grant of probate ensures that your family and loved ones receive their inheritance with minimal time, effort and cost.
How is probate granted?
Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die is called ‘applying for probate’.
Ulitmately you will receive a document which allows you to start dealing with the estate. If the person left a will you’ll get either:
- a ‘grant of probate’ document
- ‘letters of administration with will annexed’ (if the will does not name an executor or the named executor is unable to apply)
If the person did not leave a will, you’ll get ‘letters of administration’.
Probate is the entire process of administering a dead person’s estate. The process of probate involves organising the deceased’s money, assets and possessions and distributing them as inheritance to those to whom it was intended – after paying any taxes and debts. If the deceased has left a will, it will name a chosen administrator of their estate.
Before a next of kin or executor named in the will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased assets they might have to apply for a grant of probate.
What are the probate duties that an administrator must carry out?
Put simply, and in order, the administrator’s job and the process of probate involves:
- Gathering any assets, eg, money left in bank accounts
- Paying any bills or taxes
- Distributing what’s left according to the will
How long does probate take?
Provided there are no complications, it usually takes between four and eight weeks to get a grant of probate after you’ve submitted the application.
Once you’ve got it, the amount of time it takes to complete depends on the estate’s complexity. An estate that includes property to sell, or multiple shares and investments, will inevitably take longer to deal with than one simply consisting of money in a bank account.