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What Happens if You Die Without a Will?

Thinking about what could happen after you are gone is never going to be the most cheerful of topics. It often feels easier to ignore rather than to confront and make plans for it. As [...]

Discussing and planning for the eventuality of your death or that of a loved one can be extremely overwhelming and stressful. However, ensuring your affairs are in order is crucial and can offer you and your family peace of mind. At Truth Legal we are committed to providing clear and important services in this respect and to guiding you through the process of wills and probate with upmost empathy and compassion.

If you lose a loved one, we can assist with dealing with all the formalities of the administration of their estate. We would like to help to take some burden off your shoulders so that you can concentrate on being with your family in this difficult time.

What is probate?

The process of probate describes a legal proceeding, conducted in court, which determines the validity of a will or, where no will exists, issues authority to divide an estate. An application needs to be made and legal and financial processes need to take place before probate can be granted. This is called the obtaining of a Grant of Representation. Until probate is granted by a court, the next of kin or executor of a will cannot start to claim or distribute any of the deceased’s property, money or possessions. And if the deceased passed away without making a will, the probate process will appoint an administrator to look after the division of assets.

How does the probate process work?

Once probate has been granted, the chosen executor can begin the process of dividing the estate, in accordance with the details of the will, where there is one in place. A copy of the probate grant will be required by various organisations (banks, funeral directors, investment institutions etc) for their records. If no will is in the place the process is exactly the same in that a grant of probate is required, but after this, the estate is divided up as determined by the law.

What do I need to know about probate?

  • Without probate it is very difficult and in some cases impossible to divide the estate, as any estate valued at over £15,000 requires a Grant of Representation before banks or building societies will authorise you to close the accounts and distribute the assets. The Land Registry will require a sight of a Grant of Representation before dealing with any changes to the ownership of the properties owned by the deceased person.
  • There is no set time for how long the process of probate takes. This generally depends on the value of the estate and whether it is subject to inheritance tax, which can be a lengthy process. Depending on the complexity of the estate and the case load of the courts, it can typically take between two to five months for probate to be granted.

How can Truth Legal help with probate administration?

The process of obtaining a Grant of Representation can be complicated, especially if the person who passed away did not have a valid will in place. Truth Legal can assist by providing advice tailored to your family circumstances and by drafting all the court documents necessary for the application for a Grant of Representation. This will help you to deal with the disposing of the deceased’s assets more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Should you need assistance with dealing with the estate administration, we can offer ad-hoc advice about any aspect of administration or deal with the whole process on your behalf to make this difficult time a little easier for you.

Call Truth Legal today on 01423 788538 to discuss probate and estate administration matters.