Frequently Asked Questions When Applying for Probate

Last month, we presented a case study from a previous client who has completed a Probate application with us, and this month we want to take you through the frequently asked questions we receive in regards to a Probate application. 

1. What is probate?

Probate is the process of obtaining the legal right to distribute property, money, and possessions of a deceased person’s estate. 

2. Do you have to get probate when someone passes away? 

If you are named in someone’s will as an executor, you may have to apply for Probate; however, you do not always need Probate to be able to deal with the estate. It will depend on matters such as the overall value of the estate, what assets are held, and who the beneficiaries are. We recommend having an initial discussion with us to see if you need to start the application process.

3. Are there occasions when you don't need probate?

When working out whether Probate is required or not, you’ll need to consider various factors. For example, if the deceased person had a small amount of money in the bank and owned nothing else, Probate is unlikely to be needed. If all assets were held jointly and automatically pass to the survivor then Probate is unlikely to be needed.

Our Probate specialists can help you to find out for sure whether or not a Probate application is needed in your circumstances.

4. how much does probate cost?

The cost of applying for Probate varies, depending on the estate, who handles the process, and the level of service you require. For example:

  

  • A basic grant only service where we prepare the application for Grant of Probate and the Inheritance Tax form, and you deal with the remainder of the estate administration, would typically start from £1,200+VAT+Disbursements.
  • A full estate management service where we take care of everything for the administration of the estate would typically start from £3,500+VAT+Disbursements.

5. how long does the probate application take? 

Typically speaking, an average estate may take between six and twelve months to complete as various organisations will need to be contacted, and certain assets will need to be ascertained. Therefore it is quite a long process. However, each application will be different depending on the circumstances and how readily available all the information is. It is not uncommon for it to take in excess of a year from the date of death for Probate to be granted.

6. what is involved in the application process?

The application process will vary depending on the level of service you require. 

7. can i still get advice from a professional, even if i apply for probate myself?

Our service is tailored to best fit your requirements. We can provide you with as much or as little help as you need, whether it be taking care of all the estate administration for you from start to finish, or just assist you with some of the trickier areas and/or paperwork.

8. is it better to use a professional? 

There are both pros and cons to hiring a professional v ‘DIY’ Probate, and it’s essential to understand the differences so that you can make the right decision for yourself. People often underestimate the amount of time and work needed, however. Please see our previous article for more information about hiring a professional. 

 

If you have any questions or concerns about applying for Probate, we’d be happy to have an initial discussion with you.