Do you need help with probate?

Unfortunately the details of probate are not known to very many people. Although it may seem like a morbid topic, the facts are that almost everybody throughout the UK will have to experience the process and effects of probate at some point in their lives, so it is best to be well informed about it.

This website will provide free legal advice on the topic of probate if you feel you need advice or legal assistance.

What is probate?

The term probate is a process which may be more easily understood if it is referred to in its secondary form of ‘estate administration’.

When a person dies everything they once owned is called their ‘estate’. Probate is the procedure of dealing with this estate and attempting to give effect to the wishes of the deceased if possible.

Who administers the estate?

The deceased’s estate is administered by an executor or an administrator. Depending on whether the deceased left a will or not will depend on whether an executer administers the estate or whether an administrator administers the estate.

If the deceased has left a will, then they may have named one or more people to act as executors. This means that this select person or people will need to apply for a ‘grant of probate’ from the probate registry. A grant of probate is a legal document that acknowledges the executor’s right to access and deal with the estate of the deceased.

If the deceased has named people to act as executors but they refuse to, or if the deceased has left no will at all and has effectively died intestate then a close family member can apply for ‘grant of letters of administration’. If granted this will make them the administrator of the estate.  Like the grant of probate, once the grant of letters of administration is granted then the administrator is confirmed the right to access and deal with the estate of the deceased.

The terminology surrounding probate may be difficult to understand however many of the common terms used are:

  • Personal representative- This is the generic term for the executor or administrator of estate
  • Grant of representation- This is the generic term for the grant of probate or grant of letters of administration, both grant the executors or administrators the right to deal with the estate of the deceased.

Probate is a very important duty. Coupled with the effects of losing a loved one it may be difficult to know what to do. Instructing a probate solicitor or other specialist who can help with the process or even give advice may lessen the burden by reducing some of the pressure and allowing attention to be paid on other after death issues.