When a loved one dies, the last thing you will probably be thinking about is what steps you should take legally. But if you are an executor of a Will, then there are some important things you need to do as part of the probate process. 

1. Discover if there is a will

What should I do if there is a Will? 

The easiest scenario is if you are already aware of a Will and if the deceased has already told you where it is. In some cases, this may not be possible and you may have to search for the original Will. It may be in someone’s house amongst other paperwork, they could have given it to a close relative or it could be kept with a solicitor. It is important because you will need the original Will before you are able to proceed any further. 

What should I do if there is no Will? 

If someone has not left a Will then in the words of the law, they have died “intestate” and the matter falls under the rules of intestacy which will establish who will get the “estate.” This will depend on the circumstances of the situation such as whether the deceased had a husband, wife, or civil partner, whether there are any living children, and how much the estate is worth. 

For instance, where the deceased is married with children and owns assets of more than £270,000, the married partner would keep all the assets (including property), up to £270,000. The remainder of the estate would be split between the partner (who would have an absolute right over half) and then equally between the children. 
2. Find out the value of the deceased’s estate

You will then need to find out the value of all the deceased’s assets including any cash savings, property, investments, pensions, stocks, shares, bonds, and any valuable possessions. You will also need to contact organisations such as banks and utility companies regarding any unknown assets or debts owed. 

At this stage, you will also need to calculate whether there is any Inheritance Tax due. This can be complex, so it may help to instruct a solicitor to assist with this.

3. Apply for a Grant of Probate 

You can apply for probate if you are the executor of the Will or if there is no Will, then the closest living relative can apply to become the “administrator” of the estate. In order to apply, you will need both the death certificate and the original Will to make the Grant of Probate application online or by post.

4. Gather and distribute the assets

It can be a tricky and time-consuming process having to gather all the assets and it may involve having to sell property or stocks in order to pool everything together. Once you have gathered everything, you will need to also calculate if any Capital Gains or Income taxes are due and settle any debts. 

Once you have done all of the above, you will be in a position to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.

If you require assistance with this, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Contact Us

At GloverPriest, we understand navigating the law can be a difficult task to take on alone. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide to help promote information for everyone to use.

If you’re looking to speak to a solicitor, please call us from the number below. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form and we’ll be right with you.

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