Estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal and tax affairs after they’ve died.
This means dealing with all their assets (such as property, shares and personal possessions), paying debts and paying any Inheritance Tax and Income Tax. Whatever’s left is transferred to beneficiaries. Estate administration can be extremely complex and is required after every death, whether or not there is a Will.
What is a Probate?
Probate is the legal process whereby a will is “proved” in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased.
The granting of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will. A probate court decides the legal validity of a testator’s (deceased person’s) will and grants its approval, also known as granting probate, to the executor. The probated will then becomes a legal instrument that may be enforced by the executor in the law courts if necessary. A probate also officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator’s assets in the manner specified in the testator’s will. However, through the probate process, a will may be contested.
How long will a Probate take?
Once applied for, a grant of Probate normally comes through in about six weeks. However, it can take longer depending on the complexity of the estate being dealt with. In many cases, it can take months to even be in a position to apply for a Grant of Probate.