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What is Probate

When someone dies, you may be able to apply for a ‘Grant of Representation'. This gives you the legal right to deal with the person’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’). The right to deal with the estate of someone who’s died is called ‘Probate’.

In most cases, the basic process is as follows:

  1. Check if there’s a will - this normally states who sorts out the estate; if there’s no will the next of kin can apply.
  2. Apply to get a ‘Grant of Representation’- this gives you the legal right to access things like the person’s bank account.
  3. Pay Inheritance Tax - this is only paid if the estate’s worth over £325,000 and is part of applying for a grant of representation - once you’ve paid any tax due, you can collect the assets.
  4. Collect the assets – e.g. money from the sale of the person’s property.
  5. Pay any debts – e.g. unpaid utilities bills.
  6. Distribute the estate - this means giving any property, money or possessions to the people entitled to it (‘beneficiaries’).

When a grant of representation may not be needed

You don’t normally need a grant if the estate:

  • passes to the surviving spouse/civil partner because it was held in joint names – e.g. a savings account
  • doesn’t include land, property or shares

You need a death certificate

We can assist you to deal with some or all of the above sometimes over the phone.

Please contact us for a quote and a friendly chat on (0044) (0) 20 8349 8198 or e mail us: mail@nbksolicitors.com. You may also complete the form below and send it to us in which case we will contact you to see how we can help.