What is probate?
Probate means dealing with the financial affairs of the person who has died. This is typically done after you have sorted out the funeral arrangements. The process usually involves 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.
Who deals with probate?
This responsibility falls to the Executor, if the deceased left a will. It is their duty to identify the assets and debts of the estate and distribute them accordingly. If they didn't leave a will behind, this can make the proces more complex. Our friendly expert advisors will be able to help you with probate and guide you through the process.
Do I need to apply for probate?
You may need to apply for probate, but this depends on the size of the estate and the kinds of assets within it. If the deceased hasn't left a will behind, a Grant of Probate, or Grant of Letters of Administration, will allow you to gain access to the assets of an estate so that you can carry out the administration of the deceased person's estate.
I don't know when probate is needed. What should I do?
If you don't know if you need probate, let us help. Call our team of dedicated probate specialists on 0800 484 0383. We'll carry out a basic state analysis, which will tell us whether you need probate.
What help with probate can I receive?
When you contact us, you'll receive various help with probate. We'll be able to provide you with the details of the nearest probate office. We will also offer advice on:
- Duties of an Executor
- How to arrange asset valuations
- How to conduct an asset search
- How much time the Executor will need to allocate to administer the estate
- Payment of Inheritance Tax and whether it will apply to the estate
- What a charity will require of an Executor and the distribution of any legacy
- How to trace missing beneficiaries
How long does the probate process 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.
Can I deal with probate myself?
You can carry out the process of probate yourself, however, the main cost will be time. If this is your preferred course of action we can still give you advice on how to proceed.