FAQs on probate law


What is probate?

A grant of probate confirms that a will is valid and that the executor named in the will has authority to administer the estate. It is also called a grant of representation. It is basically approval by a court that the executor can have control over the affairs of the deceased.

Do all wills need probate?

Most banks, building societies and insurance companies will need you to produce a grant of probate in order to release any of the deceased person's money. However, if an estate is only small in value (usually less than £5,000) and not complex, you may not need a grant of probate.

How do you get a grant of probate?

You will need to make an application for a grant of probate with the Probate Registry. You will need to submit an index of assets and liabilities, which sets out the financial situation of the deceased. Making this list will require some preparation and investigation. You will also need to submit a supporting affidavit. A wills and probate lawyer can carry out the probate process for you.

What if there is no will?

Probate can only be granted if there was a valid will. If there was no will, you will instead need to apply for letters of administration. A grant of letters of administration has similar functions as a grant of probate. There is also a similar process to follow to obtain a grant of letters of administration.

What is contested probate?

Contested probate occurs when someone challenges a will. A will may be challenged for its validity, such as claims that the deceased was not of sound mind when they made the will, or the will is not the final will of the deceased. People may also challenge a will if they believe they should have inherited in the will, or should have inherited more than they did. Contested probate cases are complex and require legal advice from a wills and probate solicitor.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on probates, then Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist probate solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local expert solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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