Probate Advice Line
Do I need a probate solicitor?
Managing the estate of someone who has died, otherwise known as probate, can be a daunting and upsetting time. Following the registration of the death and the funeral, which take place fairly soon after the death, we explore the next steps and discuss your options in terms of appointing a probate solicitor or specialist professional, like Kings Court Trust, to help you, or doing things yourself.
Is there a Will?
The first thing to do is find out if the deceased left a valid Will. There are different legal requirements for administering the estate if no valid Will was written so if you can’t find a Will with important belongings at the deceased’s home, it is advisable to check with solicitors and will writers in the local area or instruct a professional legal firm to carry out a Will search.
Who is responsible?
If the person who has died leaves a Will, one or more 'Executors' are named in the Will to deal with the person's affairs after their death. If there is no Will, a close relative of the deceased, the ‘Administrator,’ can deal with the estate.
Do you need probate?
Put simply, probate is the legal process of administering the estate of someone who has died. The Executor/Administrator applies for a 'Grant of Representation' from a section of the court known as the Probate Registry. The Grant is a legal document which confirms that the Executor/Administrator(s) has the authority to deal with the deceased person's assets.
Probate is generally required to enable a person’s assets (property, money and possessions) to be distributed following their death. However, each case is unique and probate may not be needed. If you are unsure what you need to do next, our free Probate Advice Line is available to help you - simply call 0800 014 7334 and one of our friendly team will be able to go through the next steps.
Do you need a probate solicitor?
If you need to apply for a Grant, you do not have to go to a probate solicitor; there are other options to consider.
Kings Court Trust offers an alternative and works very differently to a probate solicitor. We offer free initial advice and have a wide range of services to suit your needs. As probate experts, we deal with every aspect of probate and can take over the estate administration process or help you to administer the estate yourself.
Many people do choose to deal with the estate themselves without the help of a professional legal firm or probate solicitor. If you do choose to do it yourself, it is important to make an honest appraisal of your time limits and ability to take on a task that can be complex and very time consuming. It is also worth bearing in mind that Executors or Administrators are legally responsible for administering the estate and will be personally liable for any mistakes or oversights.
If you do consult a professional legal firm, expect a clear and straightforward fixed price based on the amount of work involved, rather than a price based on a percentage of the estate value.