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Flora Nelmes discusses the probate process

  • June 09, 2021
  • By Flora Nelmes, Associate

What is the probate process?

Losing a loved one is always an emotional and difficult time and it becomes harder still if you are forced to navigate the probate process.  This can often be overwhelming, particularly given the unfamiliar terms involved and the various steps you’ll need to take.  With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to talk you through the probate process in England and Wales.

Over the next few weeks, we will cover everything you need to know about the probate process, the stages and terms involved and how a solicitor will make the probate process clearer, simpler, and more straightforward for you.

What is probate?

Strictly speaking ‘probate’ is the process of proving a Will by the executors appointed by the Will.

However, it is commonly used more broadly to refer to the entire process of dealing with a deceased person’s money, property and possessions (their ‘assets’ or ‘estate’).

Who are the Personal Representatives and what is their role?

Personal Representatives (‘PRs’) are the people appointed by the Will to act as the ‘executor’.

Alternatively, if there is no valid Will (or the Will was valid, but the executor is unable or unwilling to act) the PRs will be the ‘administrators’ appointed in accordance with the intestacy provisions.

The PRs deal with the deceased’s estate.  Primarily this involves collecting in and administering the deceased’s assets according to their Will or, if there is no Will, according to the rules of intestacy.

To do this, they will often need to obtain a ‘grant of representation’ (the ‘Grant’).  This is the document that gives the PRs authority to deal with the deceased’s estate and the process of applying for the Grant is often called ‘applying for probate’.

In our next blog we will look at how long the probate process takes but if you have any questions relating to probate or your own Will or tax planning requirements, please contact Flora Nelmes at flora.nelmes@hunterslaw.com or call 0207 412 0050.

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