Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Why Do I need Probate?

One of the most common misconceptions that we come across is that if you have a Will nothing needs to be done after you die and one of the most common questions we are asked is

Why Do I need Probate?

A Will is the document that sets out a person’s wishes for after their death, it will appoint people to deal with their affairs – Executors and will set out how the want their Estate (the things that they owned when they died) distributed. But if the Estate is worth more than £5,000 it is highly likely that you will need to do more.

On the face of it, having a Will makes everything straightforward but if you have been appointed as an Executor for someone who has died you will need to carry out the Estate Administration and the most important part of this is Obtaining the Grant of Probate which will give you the legal authority to distribute the estate according to the instructions in the will.

If a Will has any sort of Trust in it, for example money left to a child or a nil rate band trust then there is yet more to do to ensure that the trust is correctly set up. Inevitably this needs to be done properly to keep the beneficiaries and the Tax man happy, so you will need professional help and advice.

As an executor you answer to the beneficiaries and the potential beneficiaries of the deceased and you are personally liable for any action that you take. The worst thing you can do is – do nothing. 

If you need help or advice with an Estate, or if you have suffered a bereavement and want to know what you should be doing call Will & Probate Services on 01778 382723 and we will help you.   

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