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Probate and Intestacy

What is Probate and Intestacy?

Probate is an official document that gives the executors of a will the right to deal with the personal assets and property of a dead person. It is a formal recognition that the executor has the right to deal with the estate and is acceptable to all institutions.

The role of the executor can be an onerous one – when you apply for probate you are promising the Probate Court that you will administer the estate in accordance with the terms of the will as well as the law. If you fail to do this, you could be in trouble with the court.

If there is no will or no executors appointed in the will, the official document is known as letters of administration and this confers the same rights as a grant of probate.

There are some situations in which you do not need to apply for a grant of probate:

  1. If everything owned was held in joint names then the dead person’s share usually transfers automatically to the survivor
  2. Any bank or building society accounts that the person held that contains less than £5000 (although they have the right to insist on probate if they choose to)
  3. If the estate is very small

However, you will need probate or letters of administration in the following circumstances

  1. The dead person had stocks or shares or
  2. A bank, building society or National Savings account with more than £5000 in it or
  3. Property or land (unless owned as joint tenants, in which case it would pass to the other owner automatically)

If you are the executor of a will in which the person who wrote the will (testator) has died or want to apply for letters of administration where a close relative has died leaving no will then we can help.



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