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Many of our clients are often surprised to learn that a Grant of Probate is required to deal with their loved ones Estate. At times, there is the misconception that Probate is not needed because the Deceased left a Will. This is not necessarily correct and can lead to significant delays when dealing with the Estate.
A Grant of Probate is a court order which is produced by the Probate Registry which confirms the named Executors and provides them with the legal authority to administer the Estate in accordance with the terms of the Deceased’s Will.
Whether a Grant of Probate is required is determined by the value of the Deceased’s Estate and the type of the assets compromised within it.
Wherever there is a property held in the Deceased’s sole name, a Grant of Probate will be required.
For cash assets, things are often more uncertain as each bank may set its own threshold for which they require a Grant of Probate and this can range from anything from £5,000.00 perhaps even up to £50,000.00. To further complicate matters, some banks will say their threshold relates to the total value of the Estate whereas others may say it is to do with the value of an individual account.
Well sometimes it will be easy to determine – for example if the Deceased didn’t own a property and had only a small amount in the bank it is likely that Probate will not be required. However, if the Deceased owned property and or had multiple high value assets, Probate will be required.
If probate is required, you can deal with matters yourself, however, it can be time consuming and the work involved can be complex especially if you are not familiar with the legal process and tax regimes imposed by HM Revenue & Customs.
Dealing with Probate yourself also carries a level of risk, because you can be held personally financially liable if you make any mistakes.
For many people who are dealing with the death of a loved one, further advice, guidance and support is needed and before you decide if you want to deal with Probate yourself, you should think carefully about whether you have the time, energy and knowledge to carry out this work yourself.
Our specialist lawyers are here to help you find out whether or not Probate is required and to take you through the Probate process.