Trading as Powell Eddison Solicitors 
Trading as Avery Walters Ellis Solicitors 

Probate, how does it work? 

Probate is the process of administering an estate of someone who has passed away. 
The starting point of any estate is considering whether probate is required. In some cases, where assets are held jointly, or assets are below certain thresholds, then probate may not be required at all. 
Whether or not the deceased had a Will will be the next step to consider as this will set out who is entitled to administer, or deal, with the estate and who will benefit from the estate. 
If there is no Will, then the intestacy rules will apply, which set out who can deal with an estate and who is entitled to benefit in a hierarchy starting from a spouse/civil partner down to those who are closely related. Intestacy can become very complex as who can deal with the estate will need to be determined as well as locating all potential beneficiaries. A genealogist may need to be appointed. 
The executors, or administrators, if there is no Will, will then be responsible for carrying out the following tasks:- 
Registering the death and arranging the funeral. 
Updating property insurance. 
Contacting utility companies to freeze accounts. 
Valuing the estate of the deceased. 
Ascertaining all liabilities. 
Placing notices for creditors. 
Submitting inheritance tax returns and paying any inheritance tax (if taxable). 
Submitting an application to the probate registry to obtain a Grant of Representation. The Grant of Representation is the piece of paper that will allow the executors or administrators to realise assets. 
Collect in assets/sell property. 
Pay any liabilities. 
Settle any specific legacies or bequests. 
Liaise with the HMRC and DWP to ensure that all matters have been settled. 
Prepare estate accounts. 
Distribute the estate. 
This process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, and perhaps even longer if the estate is complex. 
Our specialist probate solicitors can assist with the process, taking the burden away from family and executors in order that you can take the time to grieve. 
We understand that a bereavement can be an extremely difficult time and can provide help and guidance to make the process a little bit easier. 
Laura Stafford 
Private Client Solicitor 
Phone: 01423 564551 
Email: ls@powell-eddison.co.uk 
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