All you need to know about Probate

How to apply for and deal with a deceased person’s assets and affairs

‘Probate’ is effectively a court order which allows someone to apply for and deal with a deceased person’s assets and affairs.

The term ‘Grant of Probate’ is widely used when someone applying for ‘Probate’ has the authority to do so in a Will, known as the ‘Executor’.

The term ‘Grant of Letters of Administration’ is widely used when someone applying for ‘Probate’ has the authority to do so under the rules of ‘Intestacy‘ which governs who can apply to deal with the deceased’s estate when there is no Will, known as the ‘Administrator’.

Do I need to apply for probate?

Every estate is different but as a general rule of thumb is that you need ‘Probate’ if an establishment like a bank, pension or life policy company ask for it or if the deceased owns assets in their sole name worth over £15,000 (although this is not always the case).

Cornerstone Wills can help

Whether you are an ‘Executor’ or ‘Administrator’ you have the power in law to appoint a professional company like Cornerstone Wills to act on your behalf.

If you are not sure whether probate is required or would simply like a quotation, please give us a call for a free, confidential and no obligation advice.

Our fees are fixed (based on our estimates of the work we are required to do) at an agreed price with you before we start any work and put simply, this is what you will be charged.  We not charge an hourly rate nor a percentage of the estate which can often lead to unwanted or unexpected high costs.

Difference services for different needs

Depending on your requirements Cornerstone Wills will be able to offer you a service that meets these needs.

Obtaining Probate Only – This simply involves us completing the probate application forms for you based on the information you have provided.  This gives you the comfort in knowing that the form has been completed by a professional which will reduce the risk of a mistake or the likelihood that the probate registry or HM Revenue & Customs will come back to you with queries.  Once probate has been granted, our involvement ends leaving you to deal with the assets and administration of the estate.

Executor/Administrator Home Care Service – This is our very popular ‘hand held’ service.  We write all letters, complete all probate forms, tax returns and any claim forms in your name but you sign everything.  All post and correspondence comes from and to the executor/administrator.  It is as if you are doing it yourself but everything is completed and overlooked by a professional who will guide you through everything stage by stage.  This is a complete service from start to finish however the executor/administrator will be required to open an account for all estate funds to be transferred and ultimately deal with the distribution of the estate (with our guidance of course).

Complete Administration Service – We will deal with everything for you on your behalf from our head office.  All letters and correspondence come to and from Cornerstone Wills.  You will only need to sign what we send you, everything else will be in our control.  This service also comes with full liability insurance and an executors’ account.  This service is designed for people who simply find it too hard to deal with things or are happy to let us “get on with it”.