If someone dies leaving a Will – then in the Will the deceased will have appointed their Executors and Trustees who in order to deal with the deceased’s estate namely their assets will have to apply for a Grant of Probate.
If there is no Will then the process is different as members of the deceased’s family would have to apply for Letters of Administration in relation to the Estate and currently there is a limit for any surviving spouse or partner of £250,000 plus additional items depending on the value of the deceased’s estate. It would be simpler and more effective to apply for the Grant of Probate and would effectively follow the wishes of the deceased.
Thus again you should consider having a Will in place to make sure your wishes are followed and carried out by your Executors and Trustees.
If a Grant of Probate is required to correctly deal with an Estate – then a personal application can be made to the nearest Probate Office – but it can take some time and fee is higher than if you did the application through a professional firm.
Problems do arise when someone dies and where the family are trying to settle their Estate and follow their wishes but the following may occur namely:-
- An old partner/dissatisfied member of family/or other person may come out of “woodwork” and make a claim against the estate
- If the deceased left a Will but left out a member of their family – say had fallen out years ago – but that person could still make a claim against the Estate
- There may be problems with a business or property held by the deceased, which they had failed to settle – situation then gets worse after their death
- If the process is delayed; paperwork cannot be found; details of value of Estate to complicate filing IHT forms – or anything else may happen
Probate cases can either be simple or complicated but if the deceased had taken proper advice; made sure the correct paperwork including a Will were in place then matters can be dealt with quickly and effectively. Every case is different – just make sure you have covered all matters as you never know when that day may happen.