What is probate and how to deal with it after a bereavement?

hammer and Law book on money

It can be a difficult topic, however when somebody dies you may be left in charge of sorting out their belongings.

This is called probate, it’s the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has sadly passed away, which generally involves clearing their debts and distributing their assets in accordance with their will. Often you may be confronted with the task to organise and clear a house potentially clearing through years of clutter to locate legal documents, certificates and other sentimental items of value.

When grieving this can be difficult to process and that’s why we have a dedicated and discrete service that specialises in probate clearance. We will discuss with solicitors and make the process a smooth journey, leaving you with a clear house and all the assets that are needed.

Register the death

Register the death, this should be completed within 5 days. To help avoid delays it is best practice to apply to the local Registry office in the area where the person died. In order to do this you will need to obtain the death certificate. This will lead onto organising the funeral and burial or cremation. Please note you may only register a death if you are a relative, present at the time of death or someone in a position of authority ( such as the manager of a care home.)

Is there a will?

It’s now time to establish whether the deceased made a will, this must be accompanied with documents such as codicils to ascertain who has been named as executors and who the beneficiaries of the estate are. This important document may name the person or people who are appointed to act as executor, it’s at this point you can decide whether you manage the probate process yourself or contact us to act on your behalf.

Do you need probate?

Probate sometimes isn’t required; this may be where the estate is deemed low value or perhaps doesn’t include property or land. In England and Wales this will normally be decided by the banks or building societies that hold the money on behalf of the person who has died. Some have limits of £5,000 and some as high as £50,000, this will ultimately determine whether you need probate or not.

I don’t want to probate myself. 

Not to worry, we will take the process off your hands. We offer a probate service, which we pride ourselves on completing with care and discretion. We will come to the deceased property and deal with solicitors on your behalf. We can even arrange for the property to be cleaned throughout once the clearance has completed, leaving you able to deal with other tasks without worry. 

Here to help.

If you’re currently dealing with the death of a loved one and would like help with the task of probate clearance, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01603 531775.