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Frequently asked questions within Probate

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The following are some of the most common questions clients have asked our specialist solicitors about the probate process.

The answers are for general information purposes only. Should you need detailed legal advice on probate and matters relating to probate, please get in touch with your us.

A.What is Probate?

Probate is the process of dealing with an individual’s estate when and they pass away. It involves gathering their assets and distributing it in accordance with their will as well as clearing any debts.

B.Is probate required if there is a will?

Probate occurs when an individual passes away with or without a Will, and it depends on the financial situation of the individual who has died if an application for grant of probate is needed. When an individual dies with a Will in place, it involves carrying out their wishes and settling their estate. If an individual passes away without a Will, they die intestate, and therefore the process of probate and administering their estate takes longer and can be complex.

C.How long after probate is a will settled?

A straightforward grant of probate can take up to 2 months after the application is submitted. Once granted the amount of time it takes for the estate to be distributed depends on the executors and the size of the estate.

D.What are the stages of probate?

Stage1: After an individual passes away, the executors will need to identify the assets of the deceased and contact the asset holders in order to determine the value of the estate. This could be the banks, building societies, life insurance companies, etc. This is a timely process, as each asset holder is likely to have their own processes to follow when informing them that someone has passed away.

Stage 2: An application for grant of probate, or letter of administration is made, which allows the executors to administer the estate once issued. If an individual dies with a Will you apply for a grant of probate, if they die without a Will (intestate) then you apply for a letter of administration. At the same time, the Inheritance Tax form will need to be accompany the application.

Stage 3: Notifying the assets holders of the grant of probate so they can release relevant assets and funds. This will either be released to the solicitor acting as professional executor or to named executor’s account.

Stage 4: The final stage involves preparing estate accounts before distributing the estate to the beneficiaries once taxes and debts have been paid.

E.Why should I use a solicitor for probate?

In the event an individual dies, the need for a solicitor for probate can help relieve the burden and the stress of the process for those who are grieving. If the estate is large or involves multiple assets, it makes sense to seek advice from an expert so that the matter is dealt with efficiently.

F.Who determines if probate is necessary?

Probate is only necessary if the size of the estate is more than £5,000.00 and when an individual dies with assets in their sole name such as a property, or the bank or financial institution ask for a grant of probate or letter of administration.

G.Can beneficiaries see the will before probate?

Beneficiaries are not allowed to see the will before probate, only the executors can see the will before probate, if you are not the executor, the solicitor or the person who has died or asset holder you cannot see the will unless agreed by the executor.


Need our assistance regarding a Probate Matter?

It is important that you seek the advice of an experienced probate solicitor who will be able to provide you with advice and guidance on your legal rights regarding probate matters and all the options available to you.

To speak to one of our experienced probate lawyers, in Brixton, you can call us on 0207 095 5700 or Email Your enquiry will be dealt with in complete confidence, and you can always be sure of our complete discretion.