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Probate in Waltham Abbey

Making a Will is incredibly important regardless of your age or situation. Without one, your assets and your wealth may not be distributed to your loved ones as you might wish. At Kayson Solicitors we want to help and guide you in the process of creating a Will, ensuring your future interests are looked after.

What is a Probate?

When someone dies all of their assets and debts (held in their sole name) have to be valued. After the valuation, the “estate” must be distributed according to the wishes of the deceased as stated in the will, or with accordance to intestacy laws if there is no will.

A probate is the application made by the people responsible for dealing with the estate, the probate granting the authority to deal with the deceased assets and debts. It is the first step in the legal process and creates ownership of an estate before the tax is paid and assets distributed.

In advance of this, when someone leaves a Will, people are named as Executors to administrate their estate. If you are named as such, you may need to grant a probate. To specify, this is a document which is issued by a section of the Court known as the probate registry.

However, if there is no will (a dying intestate) this process becomes harder. An application to Court for a Letter of Administration becomes a necessary step. It is a legal requirement of the Executors to ensure this process is carried out in the right manner and any liabilities such as inheritance tax is added and paid. If this payment is not made in a specific time, then the Executor may find themselves personally liable for the deceased’s debts and any losses.

When is a Probate needed?

A grant will usually be required when the deceased left one or more of the following:

  • Shares or stocks.
  • Certain insurance policies.
  • Property and/or land held in their own name.

What if the deceased leaves a will?

  • A “grant of probate” will be applied for by the executor(s) named in the will.
  • The grant is a legal document which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets.

What if the deceased didn’t leave a will?

  • A “grant of letters of administration” is applied for by a close relative of the deceased. If the grant is given, they are known as “administrators” of the estate.
  • The grant of letters of administration is a legal document which confirms that the administrator(s) have authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets.

When is a grant not required?

  • The person who died left less than £5,000 (or in some limited cases more depending where saved.)
  • They owned everything jointly with someone else and everything passes automatically to the surviving joint owner, for example, a spouse.

Here at Kayson Solicitors we can help and guide you in the process of applying for a Grant of Probate, or a Grant of Letters of Administration. Regardless of your situation, please do not hesitate to contact us.