What Is Probate?
Probate is the process of dealing with gathering and distributing the estate of an individual following their death. This estate can include money, possessions and property, and it is the executor that carries out probate. Should an executor be appointed in the will of the deceased person, the person identified will require a grant of probate. Otherwise, next of kin must apply for letters of administration, allowing them the authority to carry out the process of probate themselves.
The Probate Process
The process of probate begins when an individual passes away, at which point either an executor is identified or the next of kin will have to go through the application process detailed above. Once this initial paperwork is complete, the process can begin.
The first step of winding up an estate is identifying, gathering and establishing any assets the deceased owned, including money left within bank accounts and possessions stored elsewhere. At this point, the executor must then use these assets to pay any outstanding bills or costs concerning the deceased individual. Once these stages have been completed, the final step is to distribute the estate according to the will. In the case that a will does not exist, this process can often be lengthy and require additional input.
Winding up an estate can be a challenging responsibility to undertake, whether an executor is specified or otherwise. Choosing to work with a professional service is an excellent way to lessen the burden of organising and distributing the estate, as well as helping to streamline the process overall.
Is Probate Always Necessary?
Probate is not strictly always necessary for the process of dividing an estate. This is typically true when jointly-owned money or property is passed on to a partner or spouse when that person dies, or when the estate is particularly small. Different banks hold different thresholds for probate, which range from £5,000 to as much as £50,000.
How To Make Probate Easier
With so many things to factor into the process of probate, including debts, taxes, benefits and a range of other elements, many individuals find that getting legal help and support is the best way forward. This is especially true for those whose deceased next of kin has a particularly complicated or confusing estate, or if the will itself is unclear. Bowsers Solicitors is your ideal choice for compassionate, straightforward and effective probate management, allowing you to share the weight of such a stressful time.
To find out more about our services, or to discuss how we can help you with the process of probate, get in contact with us today.