Understanding the laws of probate in England


There are a number of reasons why you may need to get advice on wills and probate. England has quite strict rules and procedures that must be followed when an individual passes away and their estate needs to be distributed.

One of the first things that must be done after someone dies is obtaining a grant of probate. England has Probate Registries where applications for probate must be made. The deceased’s personal representatives are responsible for obtaining this grant. Provided the deceased’s will is valid, the Probate Registry should grant probate (subject to other conditions being complied with).

Once probate has been granted, the personal representatives will then be responsible for administering the estate. This is where help should be sought from a solicitor specialising in wills and probate. England has complex laws regarding the administration of estates. Under English law, the deceased’s personal representatives are responsible for ensuring that all their liabilities are paid off, and only then can the remaining funds be transferred to the beneficiaries.

Whilst this may seem straightforward, there could easily be problems. For example, what if the personal representatives are unaware of some creditors that the deceased owes money to? Equally, they may not be aware of the whereabouts of some of the deceased’s beneficiaries. Failure to pay an entitled creditor or beneficiary could result in the personal representatives becoming personally liable to that person. This highlights the need to instruct a specialist solicitor to ensure that this does not happen. They will be able to advise on how such problems can be overcome.

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



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