Probate & Estate Administration

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Probate Explained

Our qualified probate lawyers and solicitors can help advise you in how to apply for probate, and what to do in cases where an executor does not wish to act in their role. Our legal services will help ease the burden of the probate process and offer advice in situations where no Will is written and where there are family disagreements.

What is a Grant of Probate?

A grant of probate is a document issued by the Court, which just confirms that:

When is a Grant of Probate needed?

A grant of probate is often needed to confirm to those holding assets (banks, insurers, share registrars) that they are dealing with the right person and that it is safe to hand over assets or cash to them. It is almost always needed when selling property in an estate as it confirms to the buyer that they are dealing with the person with authority to sell and therefore they can continue the chain of ownership.

Obtaining a Grant of Probate

If a grant is needed, executors can make a personal application to the court or they can instruct a solicitor to do this for them. A solicitor will prepare the correct account for submission to H M Revenue & Customs and the appropriate Statement of Truth for the executors. These documents are signed and sworn by the executors and an application is made to the calculate the inheritance tax. There are, however, instances when a grant of probate is not required, this is usually when assets can be transferred to a joint owner by merely producing a copy of the death certificate.

How much does a Grant of Probate Cost?

If you’re applying for a grant of probate with a solicitor, there is a court application fee, plus legal fees. The legal costs can vary, depending on the complexity of the estate, so you can contact us for an estimate and to discuss options before you begin the process.

Understanding a Statutory Declaration

The purpose of a Statutory Declaration in the form of a formal statement is to confirm that something is true, to the best knowledge of the person making declaration. They are often used by financial institutions to deal with the accounts and assets of a deceased customer if the sums are fairly small, transferring money to the executor(s).

This confirms that the executor making the declaration is the correct person to deal with.  Cash will then be released to them, with no need to do anything further.

How do I make a Statutory Declaration?

You will sign a Statutory Declaration with a solicitor present or another person that is authorised by law e.g. a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Oaths. In order to be valid, the declaration must follow a pre-existing format and a solicitor that is experienced in wills and probate will be ideally placed and can witness and draft a statutory declaration if it is required.

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Getting In Touch

To learn more about how we can help you when it comes to understanding wills and probates, please contact David Endicott on 01295 204005 or dendicott@se-law.co.uk and reach our Banbury, Buckingham, Bicester and Brackley offices today for will writing services and more. We provide our wills and probate services in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire as well as nationally throughout the UK.

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