What is an executor? How long do probates take? When do wills go to probate? These are some of the most commonly asked questions about wills & probate. It seems like a complicated process but it’s fairly straightforward and it’s crucial to understand so you can be more prepared for the future.
Read on to get a better idea of the key things to understand with wills & probate!
A will is a document written up by a person which outlines what happens to their assets and property once they die. A probate is a similar legal document that allows personal representatives to carry out the testator’s wishes. In cases where there isn’t a will then a grant of letters of administration is an official court document that proves you have the authority to carry out the testator’s wishes.
When drafting a will, a person will usually outline a number of ‘executors’. These people are responsible for administering the testator’s estate, distributing their assets as they wished, and paying any remaining debts. Sometimes a reason for getting a probate is that the executors are no longer able to fulfil their duties, perhaps due to death or illness.
If you’re named as an executor in a person’s will then you may need to apply for a probate which is a legal document giving you authority to share out the estate of the person who has died. Perhaps the assets are in the name of the deceased person alone or there is a substantial amount of money in bank accounts and investments.
Sometimes people have no option but to opt to apply for a probate because otherwise they won’t be able to obtain the inheritance they’ve been left. Typical probate processes cost around 10% of the estate in question but sometimes these costs can be higher depending on how many people are involved, such as accountants, lawyers and executors.
Even though there are no set time limits for the probate application alone, there are certain aspects of probates that do have time scales. For example, if you’re obtaining a probate then applying for inheritance tax is very important and must be done in 6 months. Sometimes court proceedings can last overy a year but you should expect the average 9-12 months from beginning to end.
Here at Richard & Lewis, we recognise that wills & probate can be stressful and time-consuming to deal with when a loved one has passed away. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority and we have a wealth of experience to help! If you have any questions about our wills & probate specialties, or if you’d like to know about our other services, including family law and conveyancing, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 01495 350 018 today!