A close friend lost a family member not so long ago and whilst we were having a chat, it became clear they had no idea what “probate” was or meant in the circumstance. Going through the grieving process and trying to also get to grips with what needs to be done can mean confusion for a lot of people; it’s an emotional time.
What Is Probate?
Put simply, probate is the identifying and administering a dead person’s estate.
Their ‘estate’ is everything they owned, and is usually made up of: property (such as their house), money (both cash and money in a bank or building society account), and any policies; such as life insurance.
If the deceased has left a Will, it will name someone that they’ve chosen to administer their estate. This person is known as the executor of the Will. The executor of the Will can apply for the Grant of Probate, which is a legal document that enables them to access funds, deal with the deceased’s finances and share out the estate.
Probate will involve organising their money, assets and possessions and distributing them as inheritance – after paying any taxes and debts.