Losing a loved one is always difficult, and sorting out their financial affairs in the aftermath of such a loss is often the last thing anyone wants to think about. However, we usually also recognise that it is important that these things are handled carefully to ensure that you are able to do what is right for the deceased person’s memory. If they have a Will, this will mean ensuring you have the ability to comply with their wishes, which is where probate comes in. Unfortunately, probate can present its own obstacles, which is why Scott-Moncrieff’s team of expert, highly sensitive lawyers are here to help you in this difficult time.
What is probate?
Probate, put simply, is the legal authority to deal with a deceased person's estate. This is acquired via a legal process called 'applying for probate'. At the end, you will receive either a 'grant of probate' or 'letters of administration', both of which allow you to go ahead and start sorting out your loved one's financial affairs.
Who applies for probate?
To apply for probate, the deceased person has to have left a Will. In this Will, they may have named an executor or executors. If the executors are happy to carry out their duties, they should apply for probate. If successful they are awarded a 'grant of representation'. If your loved one did not appoint an executor in their Will, or none of the executors are willing or able to carry out the task, the deceased person's next of kin can apply for 'letters of administration'. Letters of administration and grants of representation will both allow the executor/ next of kin to handle the person's financial affairs.
When is probate required?
Probate won't be needed in every case. If the deceased person only had jointly owned property, savings or premium bonds or some combination thereof, probate usually isn't required. However, this isn't a hard and fast rule. There are some types of shared ownership of property, for example, which mean a grant of probate would be needed.
What we offer
Applying for probate can be a complicated process, and it is sometimes difficult to understand what needs to happen when, or even if you need to apply for probate at all. Scott-Moncrieff’s team of sensitive, highly experienced lawyers are on hand to guide you through all these issues. We offer a free initial consultation, flexible funding options and legal advice in person, via Skype or on the phone. At this difficult time let us help you to ensure that your loved one’s financial affairs are handled in accordance with their wishes.
Contact our Wills & Probate Lawyers in London
At Scott-Moncrieff, we offer a client focused and tailored review based on your family circumstances to determine the best way to move forward.