Probate - Confidence Wills

Probate and Estate Administration

What is Probate?

Estate Administration is the process of dealing with someone’s estate after they’ve passed away. It involves paying off any liabilities, drawing in all assets and distributing the assets in accordance with the wishes in the Will.

When is Probate needed?

Probate is necessary when a deceased person’s assets and property need to be legally transferred to their beneficiaries. In general, probate is required if the deceased owned property solely in their name, possessed assets over £5,000, or left behind a valid Will.

The role of an Executor

The executor plays a pivotal role in the probate process under English and Welsh law. This individual, either chosen by the deceased in their Will or appointed by the court, is responsible for administering the estate. The executor’s duties encompass gathering and managing assets, settling debts and taxes, and distributing the estate according to the provisions outlined in the Will. 

It’s important to note that the fiduciary duties of an executor under English law are enforceable, and any breach of these duties may result in legal consequences.

Should I choose a Professional Executor?

Choosing a professional executor for your estate brings numerous advantages. Our team of experienced professionals possesses in-depth knowledge of local probate regulations and procedures. By entrusting us with the role of executor, you benefit from our expertise, impartiality, and commitment to streamlining the probate process, providing reassurance to both the estate and beneficiaries.

A professional isn’t always required. It depends on the size of the estate, the complexity and requirements to complete complex tax forms. It also depends on your choice of executor. If the person or people you’re choosing can handle the burden of probate at what will undoubtedly be a difficult time, then there may be no need to appoint a professional. 

We’re always on hand to support where needed. Even if it’s just a few questions or a hand-hold.

Some commonly asked questions

At Evanson Wills and Estate Planning, we understand the complexities surrounding probate and the questions it may raise. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked probate questions under the Laws of England and Wales: What is the probate process, and when is it necessary?

How long does probate typically take in England and Wales?

There is no fixed timeframe. It’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question… BUT. There is something called an ‘executor’s year’ and it’s a fair amount of time to deal with everything. Often a professional can expedite matters due to their experience. If you’d like that support, give us a call on 0115 784 9238.

Who can be appointed as an executor, and what are their responsibilities?

We’ve addressed this one above but it’s vital to pick the right person or people as the role can be stressful.

Can a will be contested during the probate process?

Yes. Challenges are on the rise so if you’d like prevent these, make sure that your Will has been professionally drafted. Your Will Writer should be able to provide protection against future claims addressing things like capacity concerns, adequate provisions and exclusions.

What are the costs associated with probate?

At the time of writing this, if the value of the estate is over £5,000, the application fee is £273.

There’s no fee if the estate is £5,000 or less.

If you use a professional executor, they’re likely to charge a fee for their time. This could be a fixed cost, or could be a percentage of the value of the estate.

Are there methods to avoid or minimise probate?

Trust Planning is a commonly used tool but without knowing how your estate is constructed, what assets you have, it’s difficult to say. Our advice is to have a consultation with us and we’ll provide a fair and balanced view on what action you should take. 

Can Evanson Wills and Estate Planning help with Probate and Estate Administration?

We understand English and Welsh probate law. We are here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring that your loved one’s estate is administered with care, precision, and adherence to the laws of England and Wales. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and experience the confidence that comes with our comprehensive probate services.