A quick and easy guide to probate

Applying for probate and dealing with an estate can be a notoriously difficult process. Not only do you already have a huge amount weighing on your mind just coping with loss, but the entire process can often seem like a stack of forms, signatures and legal letters you struggle to understand. But don’t worry. The actual process is a very easy one. Below is a very quick guide to how it works, the steps you’ll be asked to take, and where you can turn for help should you need it. 

1 – how to apply

There are a number of ways to apply for probate. Many individuals dealing with smaller estates with few or no other beneficiaries choose to apply for probate on their own. It’s very simple and usually only requires filling in a few forms at the local council. But this is only really beneficial if there’s nothing you’re worried may be contested when it is granted (if, for example, a family member suddenly decides they are entitled to something and you have a fight on your hands).

Another way is to hire a private solicitor to do it for you and ensure everything runs smoothly. This saves an awful lot of stress but can be very expensive in the short-term.

The third way is to do it via a company who provide legal services such as the Co-Operative probate department. This will save you a lot of money and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible should you find yourself out of your depth.

2 – value the estate

Getting an estate valued and notarised is also very easy. Simply add up everything your loved one owned – both financial and physical, get it valued, gather any papers of ownership and bank details, and record it all. You will also be asked to swear an oath that everything you have written down is true.

3 – list next of kin

List all the individuals who are the deceased’s next of kin and stand to gain from distribution of the estate. Next, decide who shall be the administrator and inform the local council via their probate office (if you are applying on your own).

4 – just follow the instructions

You will be consulted every step of the way until it is granted. Just fill in any forms sent to you and nothing should go wrong.

Consideration was given for the editing and publishing of this article.

April 10, 2013 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: News