How wills work?

There are many complications involved in the execution of a will which is why it is essential to understand the steps involved in the process. The first step in the process of making sure that the instructions of the will are appropriately handled is to get probate as soon as the owner of the will passes.

What is a probate?

Simply put, a probate is a document that allows the executor to proceed with managing the estate of the deceased. An executor may not need to file a probate in the following instances:

  • If the estate is a joint property with the surviving spouse or civil partner. An example of this is a joint bank account.
  • If the amount of money being held at the bank is small.
  • The estate in the will does not include properties such as land, investment, or insurance policies.

With the circumstances mentioned above, the executor of the estate only needs to contact the financial institution holding the funds to notify of the person’s death.

How to get a probate?

There are two ways by which a probate can be granted. First, the executor can use the services of a probate specialist, or you can request for one yourself as the executor of the estate. If there is enough money in the estate, it should cover the cost of getting a probate.

The first step to getting a probate is to get a copy of the will itself. In addition to the will, some essential documents may need to be prepared as well. The executor should also look for other materials added to the will such as an appendix or letter or wishes.

Where to look for copies of the will?

Usually, relatives of the deceased will have an idea where the will has been stored. You can check with the Principal Registry of the Family Division to find out if the will has been deposited there. The next course of action is to reach out to the deceased’s accountant, solicitor, or the bank.

A solicitor can provide any further assistance you may need in getting a probate or adequately executing a will. The advantage of hiring a solicitor to help is that you can navigate all the intricacies involved with the process. It also eliminates having to guess the next steps or courses of action because a solicitor can guide you in guaranteeing that the process is as smooth-sailing as possible.


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