Probate And The Process To Follow When A Family Member Passes Away

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This is a collaborative post.

If you have recently lost a loved one, the thought of having to go through the process of being granted probate can be hugely overwhelming and difficult to understand. We hope the following information can help you to overcome some of the legal complexities involved in probate, and make the legal aspect of a loved one passing easier to cope with.

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Understanding Probate

Considering the circumstances surrounding the process of probate, it is understandable if you are feeling confused. It can be hard to know where to start, but a first step can be to understand what probate is and how it works. Probate is the process by which the assets of a person (such as money, property, possessions, businesses etc.) is divided according to the wishes of their will upon their passing. In order for the executor or next of kin named in the will to be able to access any authority over the deceased relatives’ assets, they must first go through the process of being granted probate. A grant of probate only exists as such if the person has created their will.

What Happens If A Deceased Person Has Not Created a Will?

In the case of a person having not created a will- the law states how a deceased person’s assets will be distributed. If there is no existing will, the legal document is known as letters of administration rather than granting of probate. This will be handled by a legal administrator. Although the legal documents have different names, they serve the same purpose. The person named in the legal document -whether probate or letters of administration- will be authorised to access and control the deceased person’s assets.

The Process Of Being Granted Probate

If you wish to have a clearer understanding of the process before it begins- Here are the steps involved in being granted probate:

  • When you feel ready- identify the assets that were possessed by the deceased person. These will need to be included in any considerations for the value of the deceased person’s estate.
  • Identify whether you need assistance with the process of probate. Although you can handle the estate administration yourself- companies such as Kent probate services can help you with the process. During what can be an already incredibly difficult time, taking the burden of estate administration off your shoulders could be beneficial.
  • Apply to the probate registry for the legal granting of representation. Once this has been granted, you will be able to work out the inheritance, income and capital gains tax owed to HMRC.
  • Assess the estate accounts and estimate how the remaining balance will be distributed amongst beneficiaries according to the will.
  • The transfer of assets is the final step in probate, and the remaining value of estate will be distributed according to the will/ letter of administration.

Dealing with probate after a family member of friend passes away can be challenging. Use these tips to make the process less stressful.

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