10 Things A Probate Solicitor Ought to Know

What is “Probate”?

Probate is a legal document, but is commonly a term used when getting permission (a ‘Grant’) from the court to deal with a deceased person’s estate; gathering in assets, paying off debts and distributing assets to the rightful beneficiaries.


If the deceased person has left a valid will, it is usually the case that the will names the executors (i.e. those people responsible for dealing with the estate). If the will doesn’t name executors or they are not willing to act as executors, the rightful beneficiaries can apply to the probate registry for a “grant of letters of administration (with will)”.


If there isn’t a valid will, relatives can then apply for “grant of letters of administration”. The administrators are the people who deal with estates if there is no valid will or no executors.


In the absence of a will, the rules of intestacy mean that there is an order for who inherits the estate –
• the spouse or civil partner
• children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren
• parents, siblings or their children
• half-brothers or sisters and their children
• grandparents, uncles, aunts or their children
• half-uncles or aunts or their children
• and finally, The Crown or Duchy of Cornwall or Lancaster.


A Grant of Probate is usually required if the Deceased held assets worth more than £15,000 in a bank account, however, probate might not need to be obtained at all if that person’s assets are owned jointly with another person – such as a husband or wife.


Finders International can provide assistance with estate administration – from tracing unknown beneficiaries, to locating missing heirs and assets right through to safe estate administration.


Finders works with a full international network and we can trace heirs all over the world. In a recent case, we were able to locate beneficiaries in the Ukraine with the news of life-changing sums of money.


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Check out this link here for a full list of Finders International services for professionals.


Our credentials include membership of the Professional Association of Legal Services.


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