A Kwaetus Guide to Probate

Welcome to Kwaetus’ guide to applying for probate.

Here, you will find out what probate is, who, how and where you should apply. By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of the process involved in applying for probate.

Let’s get started.

What exactly does probate mean?

The term ‘applying for probate’ means one person is requesting to take the legal right and responsibility of dealing with someone else’s ‘estate’ once they die, this includes their property, possessions and money.

The probate itself is an actual legal document stating who has the legal right to take ownership of dealing with the deceased’s ‘estate’.

Who should apply for probate?

Only the person named on the deceased’s Will as the ‘executor’ should apply for probate. The ‘executor’ is the person responsible for dealing with the deceased’s ‘estate’ and is usually aware of these responsibilities before the person dies.

If there is no Will, you will need to apply to be the ‘administrator’. The status of ‘administrator’ can only be granted to the deceased’s husband or wife, civil partner, or child.

Not written your Will yet? Learn how with Kwaetus’ Guide to Making a Will.

Where do you apply for probate?

In England and Wales probate must be directly applied for through a probate registry office, either by the person wishing to acquire probate or a solicitor/probate specialist acting on behalf of the applicant.

Kwaetus can put you in contact with probate professionals who have lots of experience, great reputations and satisfied clients to help make life better and easier for everyone during these difficult times.

What will happen if there is or isn’t a Will?

If the deceased person has a legally-binding Will, the person ‘applying for probate’ will receive a ‘grant of probate’.

However, if the deceased did not previously write a legally-binding Will, the person ‘applying for probate’ will receive ‘letters of administration’ instead.

At Kwaetus, we understand that thinking about our end of life or writing a Will can be scary and an emotional challenge but being prepared and organised at the right time can really unburden your loved ones with having to deal with formality at such a highly strained time.

That’s why we’ve made an easy to use and affordable online platform where you can plan, share and celebrate your end of life with those you love, making sure there will be no complications once you’ve passed away. To get started now, click here.

What is the difference between a ‘grant of probate’ and ‘letters of administration’?

A ‘grant of probate’ and ‘letters of administration’ are similar, but, ‘letters of administration’ is granted to the next of kin of the deceased, where a ‘grant of probate’ is awarded to the person named ‘executor’ on the deceased’s Will.

Both legal documents can be used as proof to access the deceased’s ‘estate’, however, ‘letters of administration’ can come with more issues than a ‘grant of probate’.

For example, another family member of the deceased may not be happy with a certain person being named as the ‘administrator’, therefore, disputing the probate. In this case, the Court would be involved in deciding who takes the status of ‘administrator’ and who will receive the ‘letters of administration’.

If the named ‘executor’ does not want to or can no longer apply for a ‘grant of probate’ the ‘letters of administration’ will be awarded to someone else.

To avoid further upset at such an already emotional time it is important to make sure a legally binding Will is written before death occurs and is always kept up to date. Kwaetus provides an updateable, stress-free and shareable space to create your Will, state who your ‘executor’ will be and confirm your last wishes, giving you and your loved ones peace of mind at the end of your life.

When and why is probate required?

Probate is only needed when a deceased’s ‘estate’ is worth over £5,000 or more.

Applying for probate is the first step in dealing with a deceased’s ‘estate’ and should be applied for before attempting to deal with the deceased’s ‘estate’, this can only be done after the person’s death and not before.

The probate is legal proof that the allocated person is legally responsible, therefore, once obtained, access to the deceased’s bank accounts, property deeds and other personal possessions can be given.

How long does the process of applying for probate take?

The length of this process from start to finish really does depend on whether there is a Will in place or not and whether there are any disputes during the proceedings.

On average, a straightforward application for probate or administration can take up to 3-4 weeks. However, due to COVID-19, delays should be expected from anywhere between 4-8 weeks.

A well thought out and previously prepared Will can make a difference not only to the probate processing time but more importantly to our loved ones left behind.

While it may be difficult, it is worth taking some time to consider writing a Will or letter of wishes and think about what you would include within it. Kwaetus has created a space for you to ponder on how your life would be celebrated and remembered, making the dreaded task quite fun and creative. You could even invite loved ones to join in with the planning of celebrating you and the life you’ve led.

What tune would you have playing at your ceremony? What would your guests wear? What would your last words be? How would you make it a fun, calm and rememberable experience for everyone?

Why not take a moment now to sign up for Kwaetus’ Free Trial to see how easy creating a Will or letter of wishes really is?

For the more complex wills, Kwaetus can connect you with local and professional Will writers, email us for further information.

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