What is Probate?
Quite often once you have sorted out the funeral arrangements, the next step is to deal with the financial affairs of the person who has died. This usually means checking if there is a Will and, if necessary, applying for Probate, or Confirmation in Scotland.
When is probate needed?
After someone dies, with or without leaving a Will, any debts need to be paid off and any remaining money, property and belongings need to be dealt with and administered to beneficiaries.
If there is a Will and you are an Executor, then it is your duty to identify the assets and debts of the estate and distribute them accordingly. If there is no Will then the process can be more complex, however our friendly expert advisors are on hand to give you advice on what to do in these circumstances.
Depending on the size of the estate and the kinds of assets within it, you may need to apply for Probate. A Grant of Probate, or Grant of Letters of Administration if there is no Will, lets you gain access to the assets of an estate in order to carry out the administration of the deceased person's estate.
If you're not sure if Probate is needed, we can help. Call our dedicated Probate helpdesk on 0800 484 0383. Our team of experts can then help you by performing a basic estate analysis to establish if Probate is needed.
Additionally they can also help by:
- Giving advice on the duties of an Executor;
- Giving advice on how to arrange asset valuations;
- Advising you on how to conduct an asset search;
- Providing you with details of the nearest probate office;
- Giving advice on how much time the Executor will need to allocate to administer the estate;
- Giving basic advice on the payment of Inheritance Tax and whether it will apply to the estate;
- Giving basic advice on what a charity will require of an Executor and the distribution of any legacy;
- Giving advice on how to trace missing beneficiaries
How long will probate take?
It is not unusual for Probate to take up to a year, perhaps even longer if things are not straightforward. Many organisations may be involved in the process, for example, banks, building societies, insurance companies and HM Revenue & Customs. Additionally family discussions can delay affairs being finalised.
How much does Probate cost?
Charges can vary between solicitors and high street providers and it can depend on what is involved in administering the estate. Many providers fee will be a percentage of the estate.
Dignity Legal Services provide a competitive fixed fee quote. So you know exactly how much you will have to pay upon completion. And because you will be assigned your own dedicated personal advisor you can be sure we will conduct the service more efficiently then you would find on the high street.
If you do decide to carry out Probate yourself then the main cost will be time. If this is your preferred course of action we can still give you advice on how to proceed.