UK Probate: The Basics

Dealing with death is fraught with trauma and sorrow which temporarily masks the pressing monetary considerations that need to be dealt with after a person?s death. In the current scenario it is common for every person to have certain amount of assets in their name and it is very important that an appropriate person is nominated to deal with the assets of the deceased. This is where Probate assumes significance. Probate is the legal right that is given to a person who can either be the next of the kin or a solicitor to manage and distribute the assets of a deceased person.

Probate- The process:

In some cases the person who is supposed to represent the deceased is already mentioned in a will wherein he or she needs to apply for probate to execute the will. Otherwise the next of the kin or a solicitor appointed by the kin can apply for the probate. After the probate is procured the assets of the deceased can be distributed by the person after clearing of any unpaid dues related to the assets and paying the appropriate inheritance taxes.

Before Applying for Probate:

There are certain things that need to be done before the actual probate process starts. These tasks need to be taken either by the next of the kin or the solicitor appointed by the kin applying for the probate. In the case of an executor who has been named in the will the executor will carry out these tasks.

  • The postal address of the deceased needs to be changed to that of the executor or the person who is going to apply for the probate
  • Ensuring the property of the deceased is secure. Also any valuable items needs to be removed from the property
  • Updating the insurance policies related to the property
  • Insurers need to be informed about the death of the person

Procuring the documents related to the deceased which might be needed for the probate such as cheque books, bank statements, unpaid bills, mortgage papers, tax papers and any other financial information related to the assets of the deceased.

Completion of the tasks mentioned above would help immensely not only when the grant of representation or probate is applied for but also while managing the assets of the deceased after probation comes through.

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