What is a Probate?
Posted on: 24th March 2016 in
Probate is the process that proves the will of the deceased is valid by administering the estate. Estate is everything owned by the person who has passed away. Once the probate is granted, all beneficiaries in the will are entitled to their shares and possessions from the deceased’s will.
The estate could be made up of one or all of the following:
- Money (cash at hand, money at the bank or building society account)
- Property (home, flat, apartment etc.)
- Personal possessions (record label collections, ceramics and china set, cars, jewellery etc.)
The Probate Process
1. Check if there is a will:
A) If there is a will, an executor can apply to get a grant of representation to probate. B) If there is no will, an administrator will be appointed to apply for a grant of representation, known as Letters of Administration.
2. Pay Inheritance Tax.
The executor or the administrator will work out the total value of the estate. Thereafter, depending on the value, pay Inheritance Tax on or before 6 months from the date the person passed away.
3. Pay off unpaid dues or debts.
If the deceased owes money to people, in terms of – credit card, mortgage, rent, fuel, utility bills, bank overdrafts etc. – this will be taken out from the value of the estate. This also includes expenses and fees including solicitor’s fees and probate fees.
4. Sharing out the estate
by the distribution of assets, finances and possessions as set out in the will to entitled beneficiaries.
The Executor and the Administrator
- Executor: There could be one or more appointed executors by the deceased. This individual (s) will be responsible for obtaining the probate – carrying out the wishes of the deceased.
- Administrator: An appointed legal representative in circumstances where the deceased has no will, an invalid will, there are no executors named, or executors are unwilling to act upon. Instead of probate, the administrator will be responsible for obtaining letters of administration.
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