Death comes when we least expect it. Illnesses plague the world, accidents take the lives of loved ones and sometimes crimes result in death too. Whatever the cause, dealing with the consequences never gets any easier.
Following the death of a loved one, alongside the time for mourning comes a necessity to arrange their estate. A person’s estate is essentially their assets. This could be in the form of bank accounts, property or personal belongings. This estate can be easily arranged should the deceased person have written a will before their passing. If there is no will then it is still possible but it may prove a bit trickier.
To gain the power to decide where these assets go, you must first apply for something called probate. Not sure what that is? This article will aim to inform, educate and provide peace of mind that your loved one’s wishes for their estate will be fulfilled.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal right to deal with someone’s assets. Until it has been obtained, nothing should be done with their estate.
Did you know that thirty-one million adults in the UK don’t have a will in place? This could potentially be costly to their families as the process to apply for probate becomes more arduous.
Who Can Apply?
Who can apply for probate comes down to whether there is a will or not. On a will, there will be executors named and if this is the case then they simply apply online. It will be approved once the will is received and accepted by the government.
If there is no will, however, the only person that can apply is the most entitled inheritor. This could be their parent or eldest child. From here they must value the total assets before applying for probate. If this seems like too difficult of a task for you then you can appoint a probate solicitor to help you out.
If there is no will, however, but you are the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased person, then probate will not be required as you will qualify to take on all their assets.
How Long Does it Take?
Predicting how long probate will take is virtually impossible and varies from case to case. On average it can take 6 to 12 months but if the estate is especially complicated then it may take longer. In cases where there is a will present, it will be much quicker than when there is not one.
Death can affect people in many ways but when there is added stress caused by a lack of will, it only heightens the emotional damage. If you haven’t set your will up yet, maybe it’s a good idea to do it now.
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