The following are the most common questions that people usually ask prior to selecting someone to help with their legal services requirements.
What is Intestacy?
When a person dies without leaving a valid Will, their property (the estate) must be shared out according to certain rules. These are called the Rules of Intestacy as set out by law. A person who dies without leaving a Will is called an intestate person.
What is Probate?
"Probate" is the name generally given to the process of administering someone’s estate when they die.
Do I need Probate?
There are circumstances where a Grant is not needed. Where the estate is less than £5,000, for instance, and only includes cash funds held in deposit accounts. However, where the estate includes certain assets – like land or shares – you will always need to obtain a Grant.
Who obtains Probate or whose responsibility is it?
Anyone who is appointed to deal with the affairs of someone who has died and needs to access their bank accounts, investments and other assets in order to pay their debts, inheritance tax and distribute their estate. They cannot do so without a Grant of Probate or (where there is no Will) Letters of Administration. If there is a Will, it is the Executors who will obtain the Grant. Where there is no Will, usually the next of kin are entitled to administer the estate and there are statutory rules about who those people are.