When someone dies, their money and property needs to be transferred to the people who are entitled to them, and there are various people and organisations who need to be informed. This process is collectively known as Probate.
Probate is actually the name of a document called a Grant of Probate, which confirms that the people named as executors in a will have the right to deal with the money and property (estate) of the deceased person. If someone has not left a will, they obviously will not have named executors either. In those circumstances, the closest relatives of the deceased person are entitled to deal with the estate. They are called administrators rather than executors, and the grant they apply for is called Letters of Administration rather than Probate. The process is very similar, though, and the authority given by the grant is the same.
It isn't always necessary to get a grant in order to deal with an estate. If most of the deceased person's assets are held jointly with someone else, such as their spouse, those assets will pass automatically to the remaining joint owner. The joint owner may need to give some of the money or property to another person under the terms of the will, but he or she will not need a grant to access the money or property.
If the deceased person only has a small amount of money in a bank account in their own name, it is usually possible to ask the bank to give the money to the person entitled under the will. Each bank can set its own limit that it is willing to pay out without a grant.
Where there are only a few assets but a grant is necessary, the executors can apply for a grant of probate themselves. But there are forms to complete and there can be pitfalls. Pudsey Legal is happy to assist you to obtain probate, either by checking the forms completed by you and advising you of any possible pitfalls in your particular circumstances; or by preparing the paperwork and making the application on your behalf.
We are also able to take the stresses of probate off your shoulders and carry out the whole administration of the estate for you.