When a loved one passes away there is a lot to think about, from organising the funeral to sorting out their affairs.
If you’ve never had to go through this process before it can feel quite daunting. One thing it’s worth learning about is probate, and the process by which it’s granted. The Mirror recently shared some information you may find useful.
What is probate?
Probate is a legal process that either acknowledges that the will made by the deceased person is accepted as a valid public document, or agrees that a person’s estate can be settled according to UK law if they died without a will.
How do you get probate?
You need to apply for probate. This can be done either online or by post. When you do, you need to provide the original will (if there is one) and the original death certificate. You also need to estimate the value of the deceased’s estate, including any property.
Do you always need probate?
In some circumstances it may not be necessary to apply for probate, such as if the deceased has less than £15,000 and no property. If you’re unsure though, it’s always best to get advice from probate solicitors in Epsom, or wherever you live.
If there is a property to sell, or more financial assets than this threshold, you will typically need to have probate granted before you are allowed to access them or sell the property.
How long does it take?
This will depend on the complexity of the estate. For relatively straightforward cases, you can expect probate to be granted in two to three weeks. It can take longer where inheritance tax is payable though.
It’s important to make a will, because this will make the whole process easier for your loved ones. It also means that you can be sure that your money and other assets will go where you want them to after you pass away.
For example, if you want to leave some money to charity. Co-op Legal Services recently revealed that the value of legacy gifting has increased by more than 30 per cent in the past year.