What is Probate? 

Probate is the complicated legal process of dealing with and dividing up someone’s Estate after they have died. 

The Probate process is often long and difficult. The person appointed to manage this is known as the ‘Executor’, and they must prove that they have permission to act on the deceased person’s Will and in line with any other inheritance planning they may have done. It is also important to make sure that the deceased person’s funeral arrangements are handled in line with any funeral plans they have in place.

The Executor might be asked to settle any outstanding debts on behalf of the deceased person, and they may need to make sure that HMRC, banks, building societies, utility companies and other organizations are updated. Pensions, passports, or driving licenses may also need to be cancelled. 

There may also be inheritance tax to pay or other administrative costs for some Estates, depending on their size and complexity.

When handling Probate, many rules must be followed regarding how the deceased person’s money, possessions and property are declared, treated and distributed. The Probate process is also very different depending on whether there is a Will in place or not. 

In cases where a person dies without a will, then the ‘rules of intestacy’ will be invoked to decide who inherits their Estate. These laws decide who inherits how much of the deceased person’s Estate according to very strict criteria.

Anyone can be appointed to be an Executor and handle Probate, but most people decide to hire a professional to take care of this process. It is always sensible to bring in a specialist if the Estate is complicated or large.

Capital Life’s team of solicitors has the experience and expertise to make the Probate process straightforward and stress-free. Book a free review to find out how they can help.