Making a Will is one of the most important things you will do in your lifetime. It caters for far more than just who will benefit from your belongings (your estate).
Probate is a term commonly used when talking about applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs. This is called ‘administering the estate’. In practice, different terms are used, depending on whether or not the deceased person left a will and where they lived.
If you are named as an executor of someone’s Will, you will need a legal document called a ’grant of probate’ that gives you the right to sort out their affairs once they have died.
Proof of probate is essential for dealing with banks and other financial institutions, local authorities, tax and pensions, estate agents, insurance and utility companies.
In most cases, the bank or relevant institution will need to see the grant before transferring control of the assets.
Probate can be a lengthy and complicated process, depending on the size, value and complexity of someone’s Estate although it is made easier if that person has made a Will.
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A will is a legal document where a person, names one or more persons to manage his or her affairs and estate. In “olden” times, a Will referred to property, and a Testament referred to personal property, hence the term now used “Last Will and Testament”.
If someone dies without making a will, they are said to have died “intestate”. If this happens, the law sets out who should deal with the deceased’s affairs and who should inherit their estate (property, personal possessions and money).
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