Fixed Probate Fees, call:

0800 612 6105

Alternatively local rate:

0203 985 9554

Probate Advice

Probate a Will offers probate advice and support for those named as an executor of a will, or a representative in accordance with intestacy law. We know better than anyone that the probate process can be lengthy, complex and time consuming, which of course all adds an additional element of worry for many people who are trying to deal with their own grief and the process of getting used to life in the absence of their lost loved one.

If you need probate advice or wish to retain an ethical, professional and experienced company to support you through the whole process or take care of probate on your behalf, call our free helpline on 0800 612 6105 now. Our lines are open seven days a week until 10pm, and we can provide you with the advice, guidance and reassurance that you may need at this time, all of course handled sensitively and with respect for your personal circumstances.

Executor Duties

The duties of an executor of a will are to ensure that the wishes of the deceased as stated in their will are carried out, while a personal representative will administer the estate in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

The various tasks involved in this are outlined briefly as follows:

  • Valuation of the estate.
  • Making an application for probate.
  • Completing an inheritance tax return.
  • Opening a bank account for the estate itself.
  • Maintaining records and accounts for the estate.
  • Informing the relevant service providers of the deceased and their estate, such as banks and utility supply companies.
  • Paying any creditors of the estate, including funeral expenses, taxes and debts.
  • Collecting any monies owed from shares, pensions and other forms of income.
  • Distributing liquidised funds from the estate to the beneficiaries.

When to seek specialist legal advice

In some situations, it is strongly recommended that you seek professional probate advice, such as in the case of the following scenarios:

  • Intestate death (when no will is left).
  • Disagreements or the likelihood of disagreements among the executors of the will; for instance, if there is a dispute as to whether or not to sell the family home.
  • If there is the potential for a dispute to arise concerning the contents of the will or intestacy law.
  • If the estate is liable for inheritance tax, in order to lessen the potential liability.
  • If the deceased left overseas assets.
  • If there are trusts involved.

In all of these situations, the probate process itself is likely to be more complex than usual and so, take longer to resolve, and seeking qualified advice from a probate professional or retaining an expert to act on your behalf could save you a considerable amount of time and money.

Probate a Will can help and advise you on all of these things and more, so let us take some of the worry from you while you take care of your own needs and begin to look to the future.

Do I need to Apply for Probate?

In the vast majority of cases, before you can administer an estate you will need to be grated the legal authority to do so. The HM Courts and Tribunals Service or the probate registry have the powers to do this, and making the relevant application is known as applying for a Grant of Probate to probate a will, or applying for Letters of Administration in the case of an intestate death.

Certain institutions that hold the assets of a deceased person will accept a Small Estates Indemnity Form instead of a grant of probate, in situations where the deceased’s estate is valued at under £15,000. Other institutions will require a grant of probate for assets valued over £5,000. However, every financial institution is different, and each will have their own policies in these situations.

Making an Application for Probate

The very first step to take is to value the estate and determine whether or not inheritance tax will be due on it. All probate applicants will need to complete and return a PA1 form, and then you will need to use a separate form depending on whether or not inheritance tax is due. This is the IHT400 tax return form for estates that are liable for inheritance tax, or the IHT205 form for estates that are not liable.

Once your paperwork has been submitted, you will be required to attend a formal interview and swear an affidavit stating that all of the information that you have provided is true. Assuming that there are no complications or issues at this point, a legal document will then be issued to allow you to take control of the deceased’s estate.

Avoiding Confusion

As you can imagine, gaining the authority to control the financial and legal affairs of another person after their death is not always straightforward, and there are several major areas of confusion when it comes to the application process and how to proceed.

The main issue is that many people assume that there is one standard probate application form for all situations, when in fact there are different requirements for a Grant of Probate versus a Letter of Administration.

Another common misconception is that probate is required whether or not the deceased left a will-death without a will is referred to as an intestate death. In this situation, the law decides how the estate is dissolved, and who will oversee this process and handle the deceased’s affairs.

This can of course cause disputes and disagreements between the loved ones left behind, at what is already likely to be a fraught time with emotions running high, and can potentially lead to contentious probate. Naturally, few of us would wish to see this happen after our own deaths, and such a situation can lead to long-term repercussions for the loved ones left behind.

Some people believe that a Letter of Administration is an umbrella authorisation that any legal advisor or solicitor can prepare, but this is not the case either; the formal application and interview process must be followed, in order to ensure that the executor attains the appropriate powers in law.

How Can We Help You?

Probate a Will can offer advice, information and guidance on all aspects of the probate process, right from the very early stages of valuing the estate through to how to proceed in the case of a dispute. If you need help with your application, deed of variation, caveats, overseas probate or anything else, contact us now for clear, plain English advice from a qualified advisor that can provide vital support and guidance when you need it most. Call our Free Probate Advice line on 0800 612 6105, or email us for fast, easy and sympathetic probate advice. We offer a nationwide service, so call now to book an appointment to discuss your issues in person.


Call us today on:

0800 612 6105

Or on local rate:

0203 985 9554


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