You may have heard of probate. When someone loses a loved one they often will apply for probate and you may find yourself in the same position. But what exactly is probate and when is it required?
What is probate?
As someone has died, the individual’s possessions need to be distributed to the beneficiaries. In order to achieve this, you need someone to apply for probate, that’s the legal process required to deal with someone’s estate. Through probate you will receive legal documentation you can take to the banks and other organisations to collect and then distribute the assets of the one lost in death. Helpful advice from probate solicitors Portsmouth can be invaluable in this sensitive time.
Does every case need probate?
There is what is referred to as a probate threshold that differs from bank to bank. This can vary from five thousand pounds to fifty thousand pounds, so it is necessary to contact the appropriate banks to get clarity on this matter.
Working out if you need probate?
If in any doubt then initially contacting probate solicitors in Portsmouth will help you get a much clearer picture on how to proceed. Here are some good steps to follow if you are considering applying for probate.
Approximately half of the deaths in the UK lead to probate applications. Step one would be getting a clearer picture of the value of the estate. If this value is below £10000 for example, it may well be that probate isn’t required at all. Sometimes banks will be happy releasing much bigger sums, even up to fifty thousand. In these cases check with the banks first.
Secondly, make sure that the assets are not jointly owned. If they are then these jointly owned assets would go to the surviving co-owner. This would simply need the death certificate rather than probate.
Thirdly, it really would be to talk to the experts. Even if you don’t end up applying for probate then it is worth at least consulting with solicitors in order to make sure you are progressing this in the most beneficial way for all parties involved.
What if you decide you do need probate?
If after having collected all the information related to this situation, including working out if probate is required and getting a clearer picture of the value of the assets, then you should begin the application at your earliest convenience, but really as soon as possible.
The solicitors you choose may progress things in a number of ways or offer you differing levels of service, but the overall aim should be to guide you through the whole process from start to finish. You may be able to simply obtain the grant but with expert help, they assist you in the contact of all third parties, ensuring nothing is missed, completing the probate application itself, transferring the collected assets, resolving any outstanding debts, and importantly, contacting the beneficiaries.
As you can see probate can be an unavoidable and potentially complicated step following tragic and difficult circumstances. That’s why a personal and friendly approach from understanding legal representation is essential.