Probate: What To Do When A Loved One Passes Away 

Tuesday 09th Nov 2021 |

Probate is the legal and financial process for reviewing assets of an individual after they die. It normally takes a couple of months to sort out probate and is essentially identifying the deceased’s assets.

Ensuring the relevant taxes are calculated and paid, all debts owed are considered and the remaining estate is distributed according to the will. During this challenging time, all you’ll want is for things to be made easier to allow you to grieve. Here is a precise guide of everything you need to do during this difficult time. 

Probate – Where Is The Will? 

Once the deceased’s death has been registered and their funeral arrangements are in place, almost immediately after you will need to establish whether the person made a will or not. If you cannot locate it within their home, ensure you contact other family members, person’s solicitor, accountant, or bank to see if any of them has a copy in their files.  

Probate – Contacting Banks And Other Financial Providers 

Assembling the financial information is the next step, this is left to the executor(s) named in the will, or those who will inherit if there is no will. Using The Death Notification Service  will allow you to notify several banks and building societies all at once, reducing the time spent tirelessly on the phone.  

Though you will still need to notify mortgage lenders, credit card providers, insurance companies, and any other financial providers that the deceased was involved with.  

Probate – Estimate The Value Of The Estate  

The executor will be needed to create an estimated value of the estate by checking for pay-outs from life insurance policies, as well as assessing the amount of funds in savings, pensions, shares and ISAs, and any wages which are owed from the deceased’s employer. Any debts remaining, such as credit cards, loans, and more may need to be paid while you are applying for probate, however these can be reclaimed from the estate’s value once probate has been obtained. 

Applying For Probate 

Before going through the months long process of probate either yourself or through a professional, you will need to apply for a grant of probate; a legal document that entitles you to access the funds, sort finances and distribute assets the deceased has accumulated over time. 

If you are unsure as to whether you need to apply for probate, the government website explains further the probate process and whether you are actually required to go through it as it is dependant on a variety of things. In England and Wales, it states that there is no need to apply if the deceased’s estate is worth less than £5,000. 

Decide Whether You Are Going To Use Experts Or Do It Yourself 

Though you are under no obligation to use probate experts, such as solicitors and accountants if you’d prefer to do it yourself, however it is recommended that you do. This probate service in Kent recommend using the services available as it takes away the added pressure in the stressful and emotional time, allowing for you to grieve while they deal with all the complicated and time-consuming aspects. 

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