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When a person dies, unless their estate is very small, their estate must go through a process of Probate, a process to determine the validity of their Will. Another term for this is ‘administering the estate’.

Dealing with the death of a parent, sibling, or spouse can be very traumatic, and sadly is something we are all likely to face at some point in our lives. When the time comes, the pain could be magnified by legal issues, unless the loved one has already set out a Will and planned their estate, which is something that Beacon Wealth Legal can help with.

After you have read the below, find out more about out via our factsheets and costs of our services.

Beacon Wealth Legal offers detailed advice particular to your needs, including, but not limited to:

The Probate Process

If a person dies and has left a Will, it makes the process easier as Executors may be named in the Will (the person(s) with the authority to administer the estate). The Executor then applies for a grant of probate (a legal document that confirms the Executor’s authority to deal with the deceased person’s estate). They can then use this to access funds, sort out finances and share the deceased person’s estate as specified in the Will.

If a person dies and they have not left a Will then a close relative of the deceased will need to apply to the probate registry in order to deal with the estate. In this case they must apply for ‘grant of letters of administration’, if the grant is given, they are known as administrators of the estate. If a person passes away without a Will the estate administration is more complex, especially if the location of beneficiaries is unknown. However, personal representation will not be granted until some or all of the Inheritance Tax due on the estate has been paid.

The Probate Process

Grant of Probate

A grant of probate is an order of the court, which gives one or more people the authority by law to correctly distribute the deceased’s estate to the beneficiaries, including:

  • Stocks and Shares
  • Certain Insurance Policies
  • Property or Land held in their name
A grant of representation may not be needed if:
  • The deceased left less than £5000.
  • They owned everything jointly with another individual (everything would automatically pass to the surviving joint owner).
Going through the process of probate can be a very drawn out, and stressful procedure. Beacon Wealth Legal are here to put your mind at ease at an already difficult time. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Probate Sales

Following a person’s death some of their property may need to be sold. Property includes houses, jewellery, antiques, and other intangible property (patents and copyrights). If the deceased has left a Will then the property will usually pass in accordance with the Will, and it is down to the Executors of the Will to ensure the estate is dealt with correctly.

When dealing with selling a property it is important to be mindful of the following:

  • If the house has been unoccupied for more than 30 days you may require “vacant property insurance”
  • Keep up property maintenance, clear clutter and change the locks in case spare keys have been left with people you do not know
  • Get at least three valuations to satisfy the requirements of the tax man

Beacon Wealth Legal can offer you help with legal work required for the sale of a property during administration of an estate. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Probate Sales

Contentious Probate

If there is a dispute by one or more of the beneficiaries involving inheritance, validity, or accuracy of a Will because it failed to make sufficient provision to the claimant it is called contentious probate.

Dealing with these kinds of issues requires a sensitive approach that looks at a wide range of factors e.g. family disputes, undue influence and testamentary capacity (a persons’ legal and mental ability to make or alter a valid will).

Beacon Wealth Legal Probate and Litigation department have over 40 years’ experience and can help you with all matters arising in a contentious claim.  It can be hard to deal with these issues whilst grieving, and we are here to take away some of the stress for you. If you feel you have been incorrectly left out of a Will, or if there is someone contesting a Will and you would like to defend your position, for further information regarding your Will, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contentious Probate

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