What does Grant of Probate mean?

A Grant of Probate is a type of legal permission which allows a person’s Will to be actioned and their Estate divided up after they die. The person or people seeking this permission (known as Executors) are appointed in the deceased’s Will.

It is their responsibility to make sure that a Grant of Probate is in place before they share out any of the deceased’s money, belongings, or property.

A Grant of Probate confirms the will is genuine and provides the Executor with legal authority to act. This permission is usually necessary before being granted access to a deceased person’s bank accounts or before their property or other assets can be passed on to their heirs in line with any Wills they have in place.

A Grant of Probate is not required under some circumstances, for example, if the deceased’s Estate (the total of all their possessions, property, investments, etc.) is worth less than £10,000 or all their assets are owned jointly with someone else.

It is always sensible to speak to a professional to confirm this because not applying for Probate when necessary is against the law. Sometimes this is a simple task, but it can be challenging or especially time-consuming if the Estate is complicated or there are many beneficiaries to consider and keep up to date.

There is a fee involved in applying for a Grant of Probate, and it may also be necessary to file for inheritance tax.

To apply for a Grant of Probate, the Executor must complete certain forms and send these to the proper authorities. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, these need to be sent to HM Courts Tribunals Service, while in Scotland, these need to be sent to the Sheriff’s Office.

Capital Life’s Probate service and Pre-Paid Probate Plans can take the stress and confusion out of the Probate process while helping to spread the cost ahead of time. Contact them today to find out how they can help and to undertake a free inheritance planning review.

What happens after Probate is granted?

When a grant of Probate is issued, the person or people appointed in the Will to divide up the deceased’s estate (the Executors) have the legal permission to do so and can begin this task.

The first part of this process usually involves informing all interested parties, including beneficiaries set to inherit from the Estate, banks, building societies, or other organisations holding funds or assets. These organisations Will usually need to be sent a copy of the grant of Probate before they release any funds.

When the grant of Probate is in place, the Executor can begin administering the Estate, this involves closing any bank accounts, pensions, or life insurance policies, selling any property if appropriate, or distributing belongings or money.

When the funds from the Estate have been received, the Executor may also be responsible for covering any funeral costs from the Estate (if there is no pre-paid funeral plan in place), clearing any outstanding debts such as mortgages or loans, and paying any inheritance or other taxes required.

Once these outgoings have been paid, the remaining Estate will be divided between the Will’s beneficiaries in line with the deceased’s wishes.

It can take any time from a few weeks to several months to complete this process, particularly if there are issues with contested Wills, estranged or uncontactable beneficiaries, or problems claiming life insurance policies.

Ensuring there is a clear, professionally-written Will in place and getting timely, reliable advice around probate can help avoid many of these hurdles.

Capital Life’s Probate service and Pre-Paid Probate Plans can take the confusion, stress, and financial burden out of this process at the time when your loved ones need it most. Contact them today to learn more about their free inheritance planning review service.

What does Probate a Will mean?

When a person dies having left a Will, they will often have chosen someone close to them such as a friend, relative, or professional to be the Will’s Executor. It is the Executor’s job to manage the financial affairs of the deceased. This may involve distributing things like savings, assets, or property in line with the directions set out in the Will.

In most cases, before the Executor starts allocating the deceased’s assets, they will need to acquire a court’s permission and confirmation that the Will of the deceased is legally sound and legitimate. This permission is commonly called ‘Probate of Will’ and is necessary for practically all instances.

Sometimes, a notification may be displayed on a public notice board. This notification gives anybody who may disagree with the will the opportunity of contesting it and beginning appropriate legal processes.

Obtaining Probate of Will is an important step if a Will is unclear, there are concerns about its contents, or there are disagreements in how any inheritance should be shared out. Probate confirms that the deceased’s Will is genuine, that the person making the Will was willing and of sound mind when they made it, and that the Will was suitably witnessed.

When the court has approved everything, and it can be certain that there are no objections to the Will’s contents, the Probate process can formally begin. This means the Estate of the deceased can be divided up between the people or organisations named in the Will.

Ensuring a Will is written correctly, legally sound, and executed properly can be a lengthy and at times complex undertaking.

Capital Life’s legal team is on hand to make Will-writing less stressful. Their service is affordable, friendly, and can help take the hassle out of the Probate process too. Contact them right away to learn more.

What does ‘intestate’ mean?

If a person dies without a Will, they are said to have died intestate. Under these conditions, there are very strict restrictions on who can inherit their Estate. These restrictions are known as the ‘rules of intestacy.’

Only spouses, civil partners, and certain close family members are eligible to inherit from an estate under these rules. The rules of intestacy also decide how the estate is split based on its size, whether the deceased was married or in a civil partnership, whether or not they owned property, and how many children or grandchildren they may have.

If a couple lives together but is not married or in a civil partnership, the surviving partner cannot inherit under the rules of intestacy. On the other hand, if a married couple is separated but not divorced, the surviving spouse will inherit under these even though they are no longer together.

If a will is not legally sound or is found to be invalid during the process of applying for Probate (getting permission to act on the Will), then the rules of intestacy may still apply.

It is very important to get professional advice to make certain that a will is legitimate and that, when you do pass away, your wishes are clear, and the directions in the Will can be followed exactly.

It is never easy to talk about, but it is essential not to leave it too late to look at your options and make sure you have a will in place. Doing so Will mean that your loved ones receive their proper inheritance, and an already difficult time will be made simpler and less stressful.

Capital Life can provide a full range of Will-writing and related services to ensure your loved ones avoid dealing with the rules of intestacy. Contact them today for a free inheritance planning review and find out how they can help.

What happens when a solicitor is the Executor of a Will?

An Executor is appointed in a person’s Will to deal with their Estate and other affairs after they pass away.

The executor has a number of important jobs, including making sure that Probate is applied for and in place, that the Will is genuine and that the deceased’s Will is closely followed, with everyone named in the will receiving the correct inheritance.

Some people choose to appoint a solicitor as the Executor of a Will rather than a family member or friend. There are many different reasons why someone might decide to appoint a solicitor as the executor of their Will. They might have a very complicated, high-value estate, or there may not be anyone else suitable to take on the role.

It is possible to appoint more than one Executor, and it is also possible to name a close friend or relative as well as a solicitor who can then provide professional support. Having a solicitor responsible for dividing up the Estate is a good idea if you think there may be disputes to the Will or there is tension between family members.

A good solicitor will ensure no mistakes are made throughout the often complicated process of applying for probate and dividing up the Estate. This helps remove a source of stress to your loved ones at an already difficult time and allows them to focus on other concerns.

If you are considering appointing a solicitor as the Executor of your Will, it is a good idea to shop around and make sure you select an experienced solicitor or company with a strong track record of dealing with Probate and Wills.

Capital Life can help you both with writing your Will and Probate. Contact them today to find out about their inheritance review service and how this can help you.

What is an Executor?

An Executor has a critical role in dealing with the estate of a person who has died because the Executor is responsible for managing all of the deceased’s affairs.

The Executor will usually ensure that all notifications are properly filed, that the Probate process is handled as smoothly as possible, and that the deceased’s estate is divided up in line with the instructions laid out in their Will.

Some people will appoint more than one Executor in their Will. In either case, choosing the right Executor is one of the most important parts of inheritance planning and this should be done with great care.

An Executor can be a trusted family member or friend, including someone set to inherit from the Will. An Executor can also be a third party like an accountant or solicitor.

An executor has many responsibilities and can claim some expenses as part of this role. They will need to find out or calculate the value of the Estate and make sure that taxes, outstanding debts, or other fees are paid from the Estate. They Will usually have to apply for Probate and ensure this process is followed properly.

The executor can pay any funeral costs out of the estate, though having a pre-paid funeral plan in place can help make this more affordable and far simpler at a time of grief. Above all, the executor needs to divide up the estate according to the Will and ensure that the whole process is transparent and accountable.

Most of us feel uncomfortable talking about what will happen when we die, but having a properly written Will in place with reliable, trustworthy executors can help remove a lot of stress and pressure from them when we’re no longer here.

Capital Life’s team is here to help you through this process and provide the support you need. Contact them today to find out more.

What is a codicil to a will?

A codicil is a document – like an appendix – that may be added to an existing Will to make minor adjustments, add new instructions, or revoke sections of the Will.

A codicil to a Will can be added to update the name of one or more Executors or to take into account a new funeral plan or other arrangements. You may have newly born or adopted children or grandchildren whom you wish to include in your Will, or your financial circumstances may have changed, requiring you to change the details of your Estate to incorporate new property or other items.

The codicil should be properly prepared, signed, witnessed, and treated with the same care as the original Will to which it is attached. The codicil must also be shown to relate to the original Will and must specifically detail what and how it is altering the Will.

You can draft and sign off a codicil yourself, just like the Will, but it is always a good idea to consult a professional to check that any codicils you add to your Will are legally sound and Will stand up in court if the will is ever contested.

You can include as many codicils as you need to in a Will, but it is vital that the will be clear and easy to read so that the Probate process is as simple as possible after you die. If the Will becomes extremely detailed with several alterations, it may be wiser to prepare a new Will that incorporates all of the changes into one document.

Capital Life’s team of specialists can assist you with writing, amending, or consolidating one or more codicils, ensuring that the inheritance planning process is straightforward, stress-free, and simple. Contact them right away to learn more about their affordable services.

What does Probate of Will mean?

When someone dies and leaves a Will, they usually choose a friend, family member, or professional to be the executor of that Will. The Executor is in charge of handling the deceased’s affairs and sharing their assets, property, or money in accordance with the instructions set out in the Will.

Under most circumstances, before the executor can begin dividing the deceased’s assets, they must obtain court permission and confirmation that the deceased’s Will is legitimate and legally sound. This permission is known as ‘Probate of Will’ and is required in virtually all cases.

A notice may also be posted on a public notice board, giving anybody who opposes the will the option of disputing this and starting appropriate legal processes.

Obtaining probate of Will is especially important when a will is ambiguous, or there are objections or disputes about the contents of a will or how an inheritance should be distributed. Probate establishes that the deceased’s Will is authentic, that the person making the Will was able and willing to make it, and that it was properly witnessed.

Once everything has been approved by the courts and it is clear that there are no objections to the contents of the will, the Probate process can officially start, and the deceased’s estate can be divided up between anyone named in the will.

Ensuring that a Will is properly prepared, legally sound, and executed correctly can be a long and sometimes complicated task.

Capital Life’s legal team is available to ease the stress of inheritance planning and Will-writing. Contact them right away to learn more about their affordable and friendly service.

When is Probate not required?

Probate is the process of getting legal authorisation to manage someone’s affairs and divide up their Estate after they pass away. Checking if Probate is needed and applying for this if necessary is usually the responsibility of the Executor – the person appointed to manage this process.

While Probate is needed in most cases, there are certain circumstances where Probate isn’t necessary.

If the deceased left only a small amount of money and did not own any property, they may be considered to have what is known as a ‘small Estate.’ Banks, building societies, and other organisations holding the deceased’s assets (savings, investments, etc.) may be happy to release these to the Executor without official permission – called a ‘grant of Probate.’ Still, different companies have different policies around this, so they must be handled one by one.

A bank or other company might insist on the Executor having a grant of Probate in place before releasing anything, even if the Estate is considered small. There is no choice but to go through the Probate process in this case.

Things like life insurance and pension schemes that pay out a lump sum on death don’t usually need Probate to be released to their beneficiaries.

The other main scenario where Probate isn’t needed is when all of the deceased’s assets are in joint names with someone else. For instance, if someone joint-owns a property with their spouse or partner when they die, it will automatically pass to the surviving partner.

If you’re not sure whether or not you need to apply for Probate, it is a good idea to speak to a professional to get advice. Proper inheritance planning and having Wills and a funeral plan in place will mean that your loved ones Will be taken care of if the worst does happen, and the process Will be as simple as possible for them.

Contact Capital Life today to see how we can help.

What is a trustee in a Will?

When a Will is drafted, most people will appoint an Executor. This person or company will be responsible for dividing up the deceased’s estate and managing their affairs after they pass away.

Some Wills will also include trustees, whose job is to manage any ‘trusts’ set out in the will. A trust is set up where it is necessary for someone to hold property or money on behalf of someone else.

For example, a person might leave money to their grandchildren in a Will, but if the grandchildren are under 18, it may be decided to hold the funds in a trust until they are old enough to receive it. The trustee is the person who will essentially look after this money until it can be passed on. To some degree, it is up to the trustee how this money is saved or invested, but the deceased person can provide instructions in their Will.

Trustees have many responsibilities, so it is vital that appointing trustees is done with the utmost care. Trustees have certain roles and responsibilities set out in the law, but it is still important to make sure you choose the right people for this task.

The Executor and trustee will be the same person in many cases, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Trustees are sometimes appointed by the courts – especially if someone dies without a will, and their next of kin is under 18 – but usually, these are appointed by the deceased themselves.

Appointing Executors and trustees, and setting up trusts, is a complicated but essential part of inheritance planning. Capital Life can help you navigate this process and help make sure that your estate is handled professionally and carefully after you pass away. Contact their team of experts now to find out more.