What is probate?
In Latin, “probatum” literally means “something proved”, and roughly in English law it has a similar meaning, probate is essentially the “proving” of a Will. It involves getting the official permission to deal with the will of someone who as passed away.
If you are the executor dealing with a Will (the person with the legal authority to settle your Estate after you die), then there are rules that determine how you notify the authorities of the death and deal with the Estate.
In order to start and manage this process then you need to apply for a grant of probate – or a grant of confirmation if you’re in Scotland.
How does probate work?
This depends on whether you want to deal with the Estate yourself or appoint another body to deal with this for you.
Appointing a specialist can be a good idea, especially if the Estate is on the more complex side.
If however, you choose to deal with the Estate yourself then you will need to submit the applications to the relevant parties. Then you must gather assets, finalise accounts and distribute the Estate to any beneficiaries.
You must notify any banks, building societies, HMRC, the DVLA and many other authorities about the passing of the deceased.
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