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Five FAQs about wills and probate


What is probate?

When someone dies their estate has to be disposed of in the proper manner. This process is called probate. The deceased’s estate will have to be dealt with regardless of whether they have left a valid will or not. If you have been named as the executor or have been asked to administer an estate without a will, the help and guidance of a wills and probate solicitor will be highly valuable.

Can anyone handle the estate of a deceased person?

If the deceased has left a will, the person they want to look after his or her estate should be clearly stated in their will. This person is the executor or representative of the estate and has the power to follow the wishes of the deceased person, as they have laid these out in their will. A wills and probate solicitor can help you with the legal aspects of administering an estate.
If the deceased did not leave a will, a person (usually a close relative or friend) can apply to be the administrator of the estate.

Are the courts involved with wills and probate?

You must apply to the court – called the probate registry – for what is called a ‘grant of probate’ if the deceased person has left a will. If no will exists, you must still apply to the probate registry, but for a ‘grant of letters of administration’. Whichever type of estate you are managing, you would find the support of a wills and probate solicitor vital, as they can advise on all aspects of probate law.

How do I know whether any Inheritance Tax is due on the estate I am looking after?

The first thing you must do when managing the estate of the deceased person is to properly value the estate. The value you calculate will determine if any Inheritance Tax is due. A wills and probate solicitor can help you make accurate calculations about the estate’s value.

Why should I use a wills and probate solicitor?

Whether you are a named executor in a will, or looking after the estate of a person that has died leaving no will (intestate), few people have firsthand experience of the probate process. A wills and probate solicitor, can therefore, be an excellent aid as you move through the probate process.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on wills and probate, Caven can put you in touch with a local wills and probate solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local specialist solicitors, please call us on 0808 129 5761 or complete the web-form above.

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