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Understanding Probate

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 4 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
Probate grant Of Probate letter Of

Probate is usually defined as the right to deal with a deceased individual’s estate. This is usually assumed by someone who was named as an executor in the deceased’s will or if there was no will then someone close to the deceased may apply in order to administer the estate. Continue reading for answers to some frequently asked questions regarding probate.

What Is Probate?
Probate is a legal term that is commonly used to describe both an application to execute/administer an estate and the official forms that give executors/administrators the right to deal with the deceased’s affairs. These forms prove to others that the individual who holds them has all necessary legal authority to deal with the estate.

What Kinds of Things Can Be Done with Probate?
Individuals who are granted probate must adhere to the wishes outlined in the deceased’s will. This includes dealing with all of the deceased’s assets, specifically his or her property, money and personal possessions. The grant of probate can be used to prove that the individual has the right to do these things. If there is no will, then the estate must be administered in the accordance with the laws of succession. In these cases, individuals who are granted letters of administration have the authority to deal with the deceased’s estate. However, at no time may these individuals simply do what they wish with the deceased’s estate.

What is a Grant of Confirmation?
A grant of confirmation is a term used in Scotland. If the deceased lived in Scotland, then a grant of confirmation is applied for in relation to probate.

Is a Grant of Probate Required for All Estates?
A grant of probate is not necessarily needed for all estates. If the deceased left less than £5,000 and all of his/her possessions were owned jointly with someone else (and therefore pass directly to the co-owner) then a grant of probate may not be needed. In order to establish if the estate meets these requirements, the executor/administrator should write directly to each institution involved and include copies of the death certificate and will in order to gain further information about the deceased’s assets. If the deceased held stocks or shares, insurance policies, or property and/or land held in his or her name (or as tenants in common) then a grant of probate will most likely be needed.

When Is Probate Granted?
Probate will not be granted to the executor/administrator of an estate until some, if not all, required inheritance tax is paid on the estate. A professional valuer or chartered surveyor may be able to help with valuing the estate in order to work out how much tax will be payable. A solicitor may also prove helpful with this process.

What Happens if There Is More than One Executor?
Up to four named executors can apply for a grant of probate and work together to execute the estate, though many times it is preferable that one executor is agreed upon to apply for the grant of probate and to sort out the will on his or her own.

Who Can Help With Probate?
A solicitor can apply for a grant of probate on behalf of the named executor. Many solicitors specialise in probate and will therefore be experienced in this matter. There will likely be a charge for their services, so inquire as to the cost before formally engaging the solicitor.

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My mom passed and there is just myself and my brother, my brother moved in with my mom without her wanting him too but she just let it happen three years before she passed. He never paid rent or anything except 1/2 of the electric bill 25.00 per month that's it. Mom didn't require anything else for him to do three years before she passed she tried to take her own life and ask me to be power of attorney as well as if he wanted to also be on it he never took the 5 minutes to bother doing the paper work I did and paid her bills as well as pick up anything she wanted or wanted to go. So when she desided she'd had enough she ended up in bed I went and stained with her until the end of life. My brother didn't do anything he even went on a weeks vacation days before she passed. He had his girl friend get paperwork for my mom to sign her home and wood lot over to him my mom just said no and wouldn't do it. He has refused to move out or buy the property so in trturn I had to pay 4 to 5 months extra mortgage payments at 700+ each month until I just sold the property. At which he still is living free and hasn't gotten his crap out but has in turn removed everything from the home & barns that he wants or has value and burned and destroyed anything he didn't want. We have not really spoke since he didn't get the house turned over to him. And that was my moms choice not mine I changed the life insurance policy's to pay both of us equal amounts as it was in her ex husbands name I did the right thing and split 50/50I took a dully bought in many years ago and one little echo chain saw there are 5 more chain saws he took a wood splinter working lawnmower and left me junk and took the remainder chainsaws he has taken everything from the home to set himself up towels silverware pots pans any and everything he would need and burned the rest. I boxed up some things and I guess he burnt them as they and other things I had boxed are gone right down to. The pillows/blankets from my moms bed for no reason just so no one can use them as well as burned every piece of clothing from my moms home the day after she passed except her jackets I ask him to leave alone but he burned them also. I don't want to fight with him so I don't go up there because he won't move out so I can clean the house out and he also has my childhood room locked up with I guess all the stuff he wants in there. I don't know what I'm susposed to do I have done everything by the book all he has done is get in my way and make everything I've done take longer and harder as well as destroy things I've wanted. I can't believe because I didn't act like a child and go take everything I wanted and fight over things that I have no recourse for the things he has done in taking everything or destroying it. What can I do I'm not willing to take what a lawyer has said basically try small claims court I went threw all the paperwork to become administrators and worked my butt off doing all the work
Tammy - 4-Apr-17 @ 11:19 PM
I have lived with my dad for 20 years. He recently passed away. There is no will. I have 10 brothers and sisters. Do I have the right to still live in this house?
Hat - 22-Dec-16 @ 4:25 AM
my brother-in-law passed away last year left no will now my sister as passed away she left no will the house is still in her husbands name and some savings they had no children so who inherits they property only my sister had siblings
rellie - 21-Apr-16 @ 7:58 PM
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