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When someone dies, you’ll need to obtain the legal right to deal with their property, money and possessions. If the person that has died has left a will then it is likely that the executors of that will shall need to go through the process of obtaining a Grant of probate to obtain access to the assets, in order to ensure they can be distributed according to the wishes specified in the will.
An individual’s last will and testament names their chosen executor or, should they choose more than one person, their executors. Typically, these are trusted family members or in some instances, the executor may be solicitor who made the will.
The role of an executor is to manage the estate of the deceased – including property, possessions and finances – until it can be distributed to any beneficiaries named in the will. Executors have the legal right to sell, encash or transfer any or all assets belonging to the deceased. Any charges such as inheritance tax, debts and liabilities need to be paid from the proceeds of the estate, as do funeral expenses.
A Grant of probate specifies that the executor – or executors – chosen by the deceased are entitled to act. Without this Grant, any executors are not legally entitled to distribute any property or possessions.
In order to obtain a Grant, the executor would have to attend court. We can provide a fixed-fee service which involves preparing any necessary paperwork and making an application to the court on your behalf. Just get in touch with our team of experts for further advice.
Should any executors named in a will predecease the deceased, or they are unwilling or unable to act as required, certain specified individuals will be entitled to take out a Grant of Letters of Administration. This is similar to an executorship, with an order of priority of who can act.
If the deceased has not made a will or the contents of a will are invalid, the estate is defined as ‘intestate’ and will be distributed under specific guidelines known as Rules of Intestacy. These rules determine who will administer and who will benefit from the deceased’s estate.
To assist we have prepared some guidance notes on the likely costs applicable when instructing us to act on your behalf. Click Here.
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