Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate. It involves the validation of a will and the distribution of the deceased’s assets to their beneficiaries. In the United Kingdom, anyone can apply for probate, but there are certain rules and requirements that must be met.
Eligibility to Apply for Probate
The main requirement for applying for probate is that the applicant must be an executor of the deceased’s will. An executor is a person named in the will to manage the deceased’s estate and distribute their assets according to the instructions in the will. If the deceased did not leave a will, the next of kin can apply for letters of administration.
If there are multiple executors named in the will, all of them must apply for probate together. If one of the executors is unable or unwilling to act, the remaining executors can apply for probate without them and will require powers reserved.
In order to apply for probate, the following documents must be submitted to the Probate Registry:
- The original will
- A death certificate
- A completed probate application form
- An inventory of the deceased’s assets and liabilities
- The relevant probate fee
- The Process of Applying for Probate
The process of applying for probate begins by submitting the required documents to the Probate Registry. The registry will then review the application and, if all the required documents are in order, issue a grant of probate. This grant gives the executor(s) the legal authority to administer the deceased’s estate.
Once the grant of probate has been issued, the executor(s) can begin the process of collecting and distributing the deceased’s assets. This includes paying off any debts or liabilities, selling any assets, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the instructions in the will.
It’s worth noting that the process of applying for probate and administering the estate can be quite time-consuming and complex, especially if the estate is large or complicated. Therefore, executors may choose to hire a solicitor to assist them in the process.
In the United Kingdom, anyone can apply for probate as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. The main requirement is that the applicant must be an executor of the deceased’s will or next of kin. If you are an executor, you will need to submit the required documents to the Probate Registry and pay the relevant fee. The process of applying for probate can be time-consuming and complex, but with the help of a solicitor, it can be made easier.