Guide to Wills and Probate

The information on this page is to help you understand probate, establish whether you need to obtain probate and explain your choices on how to go about obtaining probate.

The quickest and easiest way to find out whether you need probate and what is involved is to use our free service to contact a Probate Solicitor.

Probate is a formal legal process, which is usually required where the deceased has left assets over £5000. Probate is required before any assets can be accessed and distributed. It is not normally possible to access the deceased’s bank accounts (except to pay funeral bills and inheritance tax), savings/investments or sell property without a ‘Grant of Probate’.

Obtaining probate is normally the responsibility of the Executor(s) of the Will, or the deceased’s next of kin, if there is no Will. The person who applies for probate is then legally required to ensure that the deceased’s estate is dealt with correctly.

As an alternative, the Executor can relieve himself/herself from the responsibility and choose a Wills and Probate Service to deal with the process on their behalf.

Lasting Power of Attorney
Read our guide on the benefits of arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney sooner rather than later.

The process after death - what needs to be done
Read our guide on the process after death and your responsibilities.

Guide outlining the steps in Probate
Guide to Probate - understand the process in dealing with Probate.

Guide outlining the process when someone dies without leaving a Will
Intestate Guide - Guide to understand what to do when someone dies without leaving a Will.

Transferring personal allowances for Inheritance Tax
How to transfer personal allowances to reduce Inheritance tax for married couples or those in a civil partnership.

Why you should make a will and things to consider
Making a Will - Reasons why you should make a will and things to consider.

Contentious Probate
Contentious Probate, many people die without leaving a will or die leaving a very old will, which may result in the estate being unfairly divided, understand how you can challenge a will.

Wills and Probate News

New Inheritance Tax Rules planned - With the conservatives now in office it will not be long until the reforms they promised in their manifest become Law, one of the major headline grabbing promises was to review Inheritance Tax.

Protecting your on-line memories - In a recent survey over 2,000 people were asked what they think happens to digital images on Facebook if a user passes away, a third of people said Facebook owned the images and only one in five said the next of kin, the others had no idea. So who does?.

Much will be written on inheritance tax this week with the chancellor widely expected to make changes that effect it in the budget, its anticipated that the threshold will be changed. The Government have long promised a rise in the tax level to £1 million, if this is the case it must be welcomed, as in real terms the threshold has not kept pace with size of estates brought about mainly due to the rising property prices.

The Legal ombudsman has called on the government to reform the regulations on Wills to stop people from being ripped off.

HMRC planed changes in the way trusts will be taxed.