Probate - What To Do When The Inevitable Happens

We understand that when a loved one passes away, you may be in charge of sorting out their property, money and other possessions in a process which is known as ‘Probate’. Over the years we have found that our clients tend to ask similar questions relating to Probate. With this in mind, we have listed a few of the initial questions below to help guide you, so you know ‘what to do when the inevitable happens’. 

We tend to find that the first question is;

What is Probate?

Probate is the process of obtaining the legal right to distribute property, money and possessions of a deceased person’s estate. In some cases, an average estate may take up to nine 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, and this is where we offer tailored solutions depending on the level of service you need. 

To find out more about your options, visit our dedicated Probate page.

Do I need it?

Not always and it depends on a number of factors which can include:

 

  • what the assets are;
  • who is inheriting them; and
  • how much they are worth.

In some cases, you do not need Probate to be able to deal with the estate and this is where our team can help you with the next steps. 

Did the deceased leave a Will?

If the deceased has left a Will and you are the Executor, you can request a copy of the Will from the firm that drafted it or whoever now holds it. In most cases, if you are the beneficiary of the estate, you will be notified in due time. 

 

Registering the death and what to expect...

 

In most cases, a relative of the deceased will register the death. If there is not a living relative someone else can do it if:

 

  • They were present at the time of death 
  • They are an Administrator from the hospital
  • They are in charge of arranging the funeral

 

Please see the next section which covers funeral arrangements.

 

Will I need to make funeral arrangements?

 

If you have the legal authority to carry out the Probate of a deceased person’s estate, you will also have the authority over the funeral arrangements. This will either be the Executor (someone who is named in the Will as responsible for dealing with the estate) or the Administrator (if there is no Will, an Administrator is appointed).

 

This can be a challenging situation to approach as there may be other people who aren’t appointed an Executor or Administrator who wish to help with the funeral arrangements. It’s essential to try and resolve any disagreements as soon as possible within the Probate process.

 

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss any steps in the Probate process, please feel welcome to contact our team. If you would like to arrange a free initial chat, please contact 01293 521191 or email info@placedobson.co.uk

 

In August, we will continue the discussion of Probate and will be discussing ‘How to get your affairs in order’.