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MG Legal, Leading Probate Solicitors. The team that put you first. Contact us to speak to a solicitor today: 01772 783314 or email at: enquiries@mglegal.co.uk 

Specialist Probate Solicitors 

It's a truly awful time in our lives when a loved one passes. To help in your time of need, MG Legal's local probate solicitors have put together a comprehensive list of FAQs to help make Probate applications and Estate Administration easier to understand for our clients, and for those who do not require the assistance of our expert Probate Solicitors when dealing with their loved one’s Estate.  
 
For example, if the deceased's Estate is worth less than £5,000, you may feel that you can deal with this without legal assistance- although in our humble opinion, you should never really try to do this, without some form of legal help and assistance.  
 
If you have any questions that our team have not covered below, contact our probate solicitors online, or via email to wills@mglegal.co.uk
 

Get in touch and talk to a probabe solicitor today. 

 
MG Legal's expert probate solicitors are experienced in dealing with all aspects of wills, trusts, lasting powers of administration, probate matters and estate administration.  

What is a person’s Estate? 

A person’s Estate is made up of all of their assets (usually those held in their sole name, or their share of any jointly owned assets held as ‘Tenants in Common’. You can read more about owning property as Tenants in Common, here). This is known as a person’s ‘gross estate’. You take this total figure, and take off any outstanding debts and other liabilities, including funeral costs after the person has died. This figure is the ‘net estate’. 
 
An Estate can including all of the following assets: 
 
Property and Land, including rental property, shares held in any property and a person’s main residence 
 
Investments 
 
Bank Accounts, Savings Accounts and ISAs 
 
Art work, such as paintings and prints 
 
Personal Chattels, such as household contents 
 
Digital Assets, such as Bitcoin, music, film collections, publishing IPs 
 
Books and book collections 
 
Our Probate Solicitors would point out that any assets held jointly with another person do not usually form part of the deceased’s Estate as they will usually pass automatically to the surviving owner. 

What is Probate? 

In England and Wales, Probate is the legal process through which the assets (money, property, and possessions) of a deceased person’s estate are proven to be valid, and the appointed administrator and executor are proven to be legally entitled to do so. 
 
It is a specialist legal process, which is carried out by an expert Wills and Probate solicitor. When the grant of probate is completed, the executor or administrator is then able to begin dealing with the assets in the estate. 
 
The grant of probate is an official court document that essentially proves that the administrator or execute has the legal authority to handle the estate. From this point on, it is up to the appointed person to begin selling the property of the deceased, paying off their debts, and distributing the estate among beneficiaries, usually with the help of a specialist Wills and Probate solicitor to guide them through the complex process. 
Probate is the legal process of proving that a Will is valid, and confirming that an Executor or Administrator is legally entitled to deal with the Estate of someone who has died. Probate actually refers to an Estate of a person who has left a Will, however, the process is similar if a person has not left a Will, and therefore, quite often, both types of Estate (with and without a Will) are referred to as Probate. 
 
If a person’s Estate is worth less than £5,000, then you will most likely not need to obtain Probate. If their Estate is worth more than this, it will depend on the requirements of the individual asset holders as to whether Probate is required. If the deceased held a Property in their sole name or as Tenants in Common, Probate will be required to transfer or sell the property. 

Fixed-fee Probate Solicitors

MG Legal's leading Probate Solicitors in Preston offer all of our private client services on a clear, fixed-fee rate. 
 
Our team put your first, and work with care to ensure that your wishes are met. Call us today on a free, no-obligation basis at: 01772 783314 
Get in touch today to speak to a Probate Solicitor. 

What is an Administrator of an Estate? 

Our Probate Solicitors have explained what the difference is between an Executor and an Administrator of an Estate. Collectively, they are referred to as Personal Representatives. The Personal Representatives are the people responsible for identifying and collecting in the deceased’s assets and making payment of any debts that the deceased had, and then distributing the remainder of the Estate according to the terms of the deceased’s Will, or under the Rules of Intestacy. 
 
In brief, the main difference between an Executor and Administrator is that Executors are appointed by the deceased to deal with their Estate, under their Will. Administrators are usually appointed by the Court (by making an application for Letters of Administration), based on their relationship with the deceased. It is important to note that if the deceased’s named Executor or Executors are unable or unwilling to act for whatever reason, for example, if they have predeceased the deceased person in question, an Administrator would need to be appointed. 

2022 national increase in probate fees: 

The Ministry of Justice announced in 2021 proposals to increase fees, to help address an £85million deficit in the family jurisdiction of the justice service. This change has now been introduced under The Non-Contentious Probate Fees (Amendment) Order 2021, which amends the Non-Contentious Probate Fees Order 2004 (S.I. 2004/3120), and increases the probate fees payable on application for Probate (both Letters of Administration and Grant of Probate) to £273. 
 
At the moment, the application fee for Probate practitioners, such as our expert Probate Solicitors, MG Legal, is £155 and £215 for non-Probate practitioners. The new fee will see all applicants, whether professional or non-professional, pay the same rate. It is believed that this will help to address the deficit of £85million, as well as helping to make new and tangible improvements to the service provided by the Probate Registries, namely the timescales and delays currently faced with probate applications. Our very own expert Probate solicitors recall when the timescale for Probate applications was less than 2 weeks, whereas in recent years this timescale has increased significantly, with some applications taking in the region of 14 weeks. 

Am I entitled to make a claim on an Estate if I a relative by marriage? 

No. The easiest way to remember the rules are that only blood (or adopted) relatives are able to inherit under the rules of intestacy. This would include spouses of the deceased’s blood relatives, or step children who were married into the family. If anybody unrelated wishes to make a claim against the deceased’s Estate, providing that they had good reason, they would usually need to do so under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 

Can I make a claim against an Estate if I thought I was going to benefit? 

If you could have reasonably expected to benefit from a person’s Estate, you may be able to make an application to the Government Legal Department for a ‘discretionary grant’ from an unclaimed Estate*. For example, if you provided the deceased with free services, such as washing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, repairs to their home or care which they would have usually paid for, or if you are a charity or other body that provided a lot of care to the person, at considerable expense. 
 
*This only applies to Estates where there is no one entitled to inherit under the Rules of Intestacy

Do all executors need to apply for Probate? 

When our expert Wills Solicitors are drafting Wills, we would generally suggest appointing at least two Executors, and up to four. Alternatively, you could appoint one Executor, with a replacement or replacements. This is because, if you only have one Executor, and they are then unable to act, and you have not named any replacement, this clause of your Will would fail, and someone that you have potentially not chosen would need to step in as the Executor. 
 
If you decide to appoint four Executors, you may wonder whether they would all need to act: they do not. If one (or more) of the Executors do not want to act, the remaining Executor (or Executors) could apply for Probate with power reserved to the Executors who are not applying. This means that the other Executors who are not applying could act in the future, if they needed to, but they will not be making the application for now. The other way that an Executor could apply without the others, if the others are in agreement and do not want to act, would be for them to renounce their entitlement to act as an Executor. This requires a specific legal form to be signed, and the Executors who are renouncing cannot have already ‘intermeddled’ with the Estate. 
 
For more advice on applying for Probate, or not acting as an Executor if you have been named in someone’s Will, contact our expert team of Wills and Probate Solicitors online, or contact your local office. 

I want to contest a Will. How can I stop probate? 

If you want to stop probate, you can place something called a ‘caveat’ against the estate, which will stop probate being applied for, until any dispute is finalised. 
 
The cost of applying for this with the Court is £3.00, but it is always recommended to consult a local solicitor before making this application, as you will need to try and resolve matters within six months, before the caveat ends (although, you can usually apply to enter another caveat). 
 
As usual, if you have any questions or queries, and need the best legal advice, then please do not hesitate to contact your local office. We have offices, in Lancaster, Longridge, and Garstang, and home visits are available, upon request. 

How much money before probate is required? 

If the value of the deceased’s estate is less than £5000, then, generally speaking, Probate will not be required for the estate. 
 
This is just an estimate, and the threshold for when probate is required can vary depending on the bank and financial organisation used by the deceased. Each has it's own regulations on how much money can be related without a grant of probate. 
 
Further, if the deceased held property in their sole name or as Tenants in Common, probate will be required to transfer or sell the property. 
 
If you are looking to decipher whether or not the estate that you are dealing with will need the assistance of a specialist Wills and Probate solicitor to apply for a grant of probate, then get in touch with MG Legal’s fully-qualified probate solicitors today, here. 

Is a grant of probate always needed? 

As is suggested above, there are certain situations when a grant of probate will not be required. One of the most common of these scenarios is when an estate is small in size, usually below the value of £5,000. 
 
Still, there are certain situations in which a small estate may require a grant of probate. To learn more, contact our specialist probate solicitors, here, and speak to us the same working day. 

Can you fast track probate? 

Unfortunately, our Wills and Probate Solicitors are here to let you know that there is no fee that can be paid, or person that you can go to, to fast track your way through the probate process. Our Probate Solicitors know that the process can seem long and tedious, but we work hard to ensure that it is as stress-free as possible for all our clients. While there is no way to fast track your way through the probate process, our specialist Probate Solicitors know exactly how to navigate through each stage of the potentially complex process. 
 
We ensure that our clients are prepared in every way, so that everything goes smoothly.  

Can I make a claim against an Estate held by the Crown? 

Yes. All intestate estates (except those in the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster*) that have passed to the crown are handled by the Government Legal Department
 
You can find a list of unclaimed Estates on gov.uk, here. If there is an Estate which you believe should be unclaimed and it is not listed on gov.uk, contact them directly to discuss these details with them. 
 
If you think you may be entitled to a share of the deceased’s Estate under the Rules of Intestacy, you can make a claim with the Government Legal Department, here
 
*Intestate Estates in the counties of Cornwall and Lancashire are dealt with by Farrer & Co, on behalf of the Crown. 

Can you change how the estate is shared out? 

Yes. If someone is due to inherit from the estate, but wanted to change their share, the people entitled to inherit could all agree to vary the inheritance. This is usually done through a Deed of Variation. 
 
A Deed of Variation could even be put in place to benefit people who wouldn’t usually receive something from the estate, such as a partner or friend. 
 
How much does a Deed of Variation cost? 
 
Our team of solicitors in Preston and Lancaster usually charge around £300.00 plus VAT for a relatively straight forward Deed. 

Is the probate process the same across the UK? 

As with most solicitors in the UK, our team of solicitors for wills at MG Legal cover legal matters throughout England and Wales, including Personal Injury Compensation claims, property sales and purchases (both residential and commercial), Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate, and family law. 
 
However, if you are based in Scotland or Ireland, you would need to seek independent legal advice from a lawyer who deals with Scottish and Irish law, as some of the processes and laws will not be the same as in England and Wales. 
 
For example, in Scotland the process of applying for Probate in known as “confirmation”. You can find out more about confirmation on the Scottish Court’s website, here or by seeking advice from a Scottish Lawyer. 

Why choose MG Legal: 

Transparent fees. 

We are the experts. 

Multiple Office Locations. 

Give us a call at any time. 

How will this affect my Probate Solicitor’s fees? 

At MG Legal, we offer excellent fixed fee probate only applications at a cost of £650 plus VAT, and we are not going to increase our fees just because the Probate application fee is increasing. Unfortunately, the cost of the Probate application fee is outside of our control as it is disbursement set by the Probate Registry and payable regardless of whether you decide to instruct our expert team to assist with your application. 
 
We fully appreciate that the cost may be an unforeseen increase in the fee and, as such, whilst we usually request payment for all fees and disbursements upfront, we are happy to discuss payment options with you if it is difficult to find the full payment required in one. 

Do all of the executors have to apply for probate? 

Our probate solicitors would generally suggest appointing at least two Executors, and up to four. Alternatively, you could appoint one Executor, with replacements. This is because, if you only have one Executor, and they are then unable to act, and you have not named any replacement, this clause of your Will would fail, and someone that you have potentially not chosen would need to step in as the Executor. 
 
If you decide to appoint four Executors, you may wonder whether they would all need to act: they do not. If one (or more) of the Executors do not want to act, the remaining Executor (or Executors) could apply for Probate with power reserved to the Executors who are not applying. This means that the other Executors who are not applying could act in the future, if they needed to, but they will not be making the application for now. The other way that an Executor could apply without the others, if the others are in agreement and do not want to act, would be for them to renounce their entitlement to act as an Executor. This requires a specific legal form to be signed, and the Executors who are renouncing cannot have already ‘intermeddled’ with the Estate. 

How do I know I have got all the deceased’s assets/liabilities? 

If you are dealing with the Estate of a person who has died, either as the Executor or Administrator, it will be your responsibility to ensure that all assets and liabilities of the deceased are dealt with. 
 
You may be aware of all of their assets and liabilities, for example, if the deceased left a list, or if you were an Attorney for the deceased during their lifetime and therefore dealt with their finances. If this is the case, you may not be worried that there are any assets or liabilities that you are not aware of. 
 
However, if you are an Executor or Administrator who is not fully aware of the deceased’s assets and liabilities, or you are dealing with a person’s Estate and you know nothing about their finances, you may wonder how you can protect yourself and make sure that you deal with everything that you possibly can. 
In these circumstances, our Probate Solicitors would recommend two different options, which we have discussed, below. 
1. Financial Asset Search – a Financial Asset Search can be carried out against the deceased, which should show details of any assets that they held. For example, bank accounts, building society accounts, life and pension funds, Unit Trusts, Investment Trusts and Occupational Pension Schemes. Our probate experts would usually carry out the search through Landmark (https://www.landmarkfas.co.uk/financial-institutions/), however, other organisations may be able to offer a search package. 
 
2. Section 27 Notices – Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 provides that if the personal representative (also called the executors or trustees) of an estate places a notice of their intention to distribute the estate in the London Gazette and in a newspaper local to the place where the deceased owned property (or, indeed, ran a business), then the personal representative may distribute the estate free from any claims of which they have NOT been notified. 
 
Section 27 of Trustee Act 1925, sets out a minimum of two months from the date of publication of the Notices, during which any creditors should contact executors (or their representatives). 
 
Any such creditors or beneficiaries can still follow the assets into the hands of the beneficiaries receiving them on distribution and claim against them personally, however, as executors, you would be protected from being liable for any unidentified creditors that may come about in the future. 
 
In the event that you decide not to place Section 27 Notices, and a creditor comes forward after the estate has been distributed, you may be personally liable for the debt. We would therefore strongly recommend that you consider placing these notices. If you wish for us to place Section 27 Notices on your behalf, as executors, please do let us know. If you are happy to proceed without these Notices, you do not need to do anything further. 
 
Section 27 Notices do come at any additional cost, which is usually in the region of £200.00 plus VAT. This disbursement can be claimed back from the estate. 
 
If you want assistance with carrying out a Financial Asset Search or with placing Section 27 Notices, you can contact our team of expert Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate Solicitors online, here, or via email to wills@mglegal.co.uk. 

Do I need probate to sell a house? 

If there is a house or property that is owned in the name of the deceased person, then you will need to obtain probate in order to sell the property. In order to obtain a grant of probate properly and prevent mistakes being made, simply contact our probate solicitors today to see how we can help. 

Do I need to insure the deceased’s property? 

Our Probate Solicitors often get asked this question and the answer is a simple one: yes, you need to make sure that the deceased’s property is insured. 
 
If the deceased already had home insurance, many would assume that this policy can just be left in place until the house is sold. However, with some home insurance policies, the cover would automatically end if the owned or occupier is no longer alive. Therefore, it’s important to contact the insurance provider to check whether the policy is sufficient to cover the house until it is sold. 
 
Alternatively, you can cancel the home insurance policy and take out an unoccupied property insurance policy. Our Probate Solicitors have details of a policy provider that they have previously used, which they can set up for you when you instruct them in relation to dealing with your loved one’s Estate. Alternatively, you can find your own insurer online. 
 
The next question we are often asked is whether it matters if the policy covers the contents of the property. Well, if the property has been emptied and all that remains is the main structure, such as the walls, kitchen units and bathroom, you may wish to highlight this to the insurance provider; they may then suggest a building cover only policy. 
 
If, as the Executor, you do not insure the property and something were to happen to it, you may be liable to the Estate for the damage caused. As you can imagine, this is not something that you want to be covering out of your own pocket. 

Is probate required for foreign assets? 

When a person dies leaving property abroad, you should seek legal advice from a Probate Solicitor, as what will happen to it may depend on where the person lived prior to their death, and how the property is owned (i.e. with another person or in the deceased’s sole name). Quite often, the laws of the country where the property was owned will dictate what will happen to it. 
 
You may find that it will pass to the deceased’s family, such as a spouse or children, or it may pass under their Will in that country (if they made one). You may wish to consult a solicitor (or equivalent) in the country where the property is owned to find out what you need to do if your loved one has died. Alternatively, if you have just purchased or you are looking at purchasing property in a foreign country, you should speak to a lawyer in that country to discuss making a Will. 
 
Remember, it is always a good idea to have a Will in this country, too, if you still have ties to this country (even if it is so much as shares invested, a bank account, a car, or any personal possessions) to help make life as easy as possible for your loved one’s after your death. You can contact our expert Will drafting solicitors online, here, or via email to wills@mglegal.co.uk to enquire about making a Will. 

Do I need grant of probate if there is a will? 

One common misconception by our clients who use our will writing service is that if they make a will, their executors won’t need to apply for probate after they are gone. This is not the fact, and whether or not a will is in place is not the deciding factor in whether or not probate is required. 
 
Instead, it is the overall value and size of the estate, and the requirements of the banks or financial institutions with which you hold your money and affairs. 
 
Still, when you work with our probate solicitors, they have expert knowledge on all aspects of the processes involved, and can offer tailored advice on what the process may be for your specific estate, and how best to prepare for your loved ones to be able to handle your estate. To arrange a meeting with our specialist wills and probate solicitors, simply get in touch online, here, and hear back from an expert the same working day. 

How much does a probate solicitor cost? 

Our expert Probate solicitors have over 14 years of experience in grant of probate applications, and are happy to complete them for our clients and a clear, fixed-fee rate. This fixed-fee includes handling all of the documents involved, submitting them on your behalf, and simply forwarding the grant of probate to you when we get it back from the court. This takes all of the stress out of the process for you as our clients.  
 
This service is offered for a reasonable price of £550.00 + VAT. For a full overview of our probate solicitors' fees, see this here. 

Probate fees: 

Our team are transparent from the start of your matter about what it will cost you, and how these costs need to be paid. During the initial telephone call, our team will provide you with a quote for carrying out the legal work, as well as much information as possible about any additional third-party costs you may incur, such as Court fees. At MG Legal, our probate solicitors make the guarantee that, unless your instructions change, our fees never will; if we agree to charge you a fixed-fee, that will be what you pay. 
 
See our fixed-fee probate services below: 
 
Application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration- £650.00 + VAT. (Additional work, such as writing to companies to obtain figures, will be charged at an additional fee, to be agreed with the Private Client Department prior to commencing work) 
 
Estate Administration (Including application for a Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration, if required) Collection and Distribution of the Estate- Fixed fee to be agreed prior to work commencing with the Private Client Department or charged on the fee earner's hourly rate. All of our Estate Administration work will be handled by Lorraine Gill, a qualified CILEx fellow with 14 years’ experience. Lorraine’s hourly rate is £200.00 plus VAT per hour. 
 

Is Life Insurance Subject to Probate? 

Quite often, when a loved one dies, they will have a life insurance or assurance policy that needs to be dealt with. This policy could potentially pay out a significant sum of money. A common misconception is that the policy forms part of the deceased’s estate, and must be used towards the payment of testamentary expenses, liabilities and funeral costs, before being distributed to the beneficiaries under the deceased’s Will (or the rules of intestacy). 
 
Generally, life insurance does not form part of the deceased’s estate, although this could well depend on how the policy was written. Typically, policies are written into trust so that, on the policy holder’s death, the proceeds are paid out to a named beneficiary or beneficiaries. When our expert probate solicitors are taking instructions from our Will clients, we usually discuss with them whether they have an insurance policy and whether they are aware of how this pays out or any nominations in place. We suggest that, if they are not, they look into this to ensure that the policy can be easily dealt with on their death. 
A common form of life insurance policy held by many homeowners, whose property is subject to a mortgage, is to cover the mortgage, in the event of their death before the loan is repaid. If this is the intention behind the policy, the proceeds of the policy may be used to cover any remaining loan, leaving a larger sum to be distributed to the beneficiaries (and, also, potentially a larger sum liable to Inheritance Tax). Any surplus proceeds of the policy once the mortgage has been repaid may either pay to the deceased’s estate, or to a named beneficiary. 
 
If you are dealing with your loved one’s estate and you need to deal with a life insurance policy, you should speak to the policy provider to check how any proceeds should be used or distributed. Whether a Life Insurance policy forms part of a person’s estate can therefore depend on how the policy is written and you should therefore take steps to ascertain this as soon as possible in the process of administering your loved one’s estate. If you need any guidance on what steps you need to take, contact our expert Probate solicitors online, here. 

How long do I have to make a claim against an estate? 

There is a strict time limit to make any claim against an Estate, which is six months from the date that the Grant of Representation was issued. This time limit can only be extended in exceptional circumstances. 
 
If you think that you should have benefitted from your loved one’s Estate, and you want to discuss making a claim, our team of Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate Solicitors recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible, as any delays could prevent you from bringing a claim. Contact us online here to speak to a probate solicitor within one working hour. 

Is probate the same across the UK? 

As with most solicitors in the UK, our team at MG Legal cover legal matters throughout England and Wales. However, if you are based in Scotland or Ireland, you would need to seek independent legal advice from a lawyer who deals with Scottish and Irish law, as some of the processes and laws will not be the same as in England and Wales. 
 
For example, in Scotland the process of applying for Probate in known as “confirmation”. You can find out more about confirmation on the Scottish Court’s website, here or by seeking advice from a Scottish Lawyer. 

Do I need to use a solicitor to apply for probate? 

Currently you do not need to be legally qualified to apply for Probate, and therefore if you do not wish to instruct a solicitor to assist you with the application, you do not have to. 
 
However, there are a number of risks involved with this, and advantages of ensuring that you have an experienced legal professional to assist you with the application: 
 
 
1. Making sure that the application is correct – understandably, many people will never have to complete an application for Probate in their entire lifetime. And for those that do have to, many would agree that it can be a difficult application to understand. It’s important that the deceased’s Estate is finalised properly and correctly, and therefore, it can be better to instruct a legal professional who has years of experience with drafting the applications, to prevent there from being issues which have to be corrected later down the line. 
 
 
2. Less stress – again, many people who have dealt with the probate application themselves can confirm that, unfortunately, it can be a very stressful and lengthy process. By instructing an expert probate solicitor, you are reducing the stress that you will feel, and ensuring that you have expert knowledge and assistance throughout the application process. 
 
3. Cheaper – The probate application fee is, in fact, cheaper for legal professionals, being £155. At MG Legal, we offer fixed legal fees for Probate applications, so that you know where you stand from the beginning of your matter. These legal fees can be deducted from the Estate, so the Executors are not expected to fund these themselves. 
 
4. Preventing issues down the line – by instructing a solicitor at the start of the matter, who can assist you with the application for probate, you could prevent there from being any costly issues further down the line. For example, at MG Legal, we have previously been approached by clients who have submitted the application themselves for probate but have then faced an issue. Our team helped them to correct the issue, however, this incurred additional costs which would have been avoided had our expert team been involved from the start of the application. 

How long will my claim take? 

The length of time that it takes to contest a Will can depend on a variety of factors; if the claim is finalised without needing to go to Court, it could take a couple of months, whereas if the claim has to proceed to Court to achieve successful resolution, it could take a lot longer. 
 
You should therefore try to start any claim against an Estate as soon as possible so that, a) you do not run out of time to make a claim (they must be started within 6 months, as explained above), and, b) as a claim can take such a long amount of time, the quicker you can start one, the quicker it could be resolved. 

Can you speed up probate? 

While there is no short cut to finalise the probate process quickly, there are a few top tips that our Probate Solicitors have picked up over the years from dealing with hundreds of Probate applications, that can help keep the process running smoothly and prevent any unnecessary delays. 
 
Stage 1- Before submitting the application for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration there is the important task of preparing the relevant application form, statement of truth and inheritance tax account, including dealing with payment of any inheritance tax due on the deceased’s estate. In order to complete this step, all of the assets and liabilities must be located, valued, and the inheritance tax account prepared (if applicable). 
This preparation can seem tedious, and can include copious correspondence with banks, building societies, mortgage companies and other organisations who the deceased held assets with or owed money to. Ensuring that this preparation is done thoroughly and correctly is key to the probate process. Our specialist Probate Solicitors are always on hand to guide our clients through this potentially complex process and ensure that they have followed up on every relevant asset. We are also here to advise our clients on the next steps. In some cases, a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration may not be necessary; our team will always try to ascertain this upfront, so that no unnecessary costs are incurred in the administration of the estate. Whether Probate is required can depend on how much the deceased had in assets, and the bank, building society or organisation that they are held with. Especially since the COVID pandemic started, the requirements for closure of accounts for various banks has somewhat relaxed, with high street banks such as Santander and Halifax only requiring Probate if the balance of the deceased’s accounts exceeds £50,000. If the amount is less than this, they will require the executor (under the Will) or Administrator (if there is no Will) to sign an account closure form, which incorporates a statutory declaration. 
 
Stage 2- The next step in the process involves making the official application for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, and completing any associated Inheritance Tax forms, including calculating the inheritance tax to be paid as part of the estate. At this point in the process there can be delays with the Probate Registry, but our specialist Probate Solicitors go above and beyond with our clients to ensure that all of the forms are completed and filled out correctly, without any mistakes, in order to avoid any unnecessary delays. Our Probate Solicitors know these forms like the back of our hands, and are always on hand to assist any of our clients with them, whether over the phone or in our Probate Solicitors’ offices. 
 
Stage 3- The third and final stage to the probate process, which comes after Probate or Letters of Administration has been granted, is the collection of assets and payment of liabilities and distribution. This part of the process can be complicated without the help of our specialist Probate Solicitors
 
At this stage, you must have identified:- 
 
a. The assets 
b. Any liabilities (including credit cards, utilities, mortgages, etc) 
c. Beneficiaries 
 
Here at MG Legal, our specialist Probate Solicitors compile detailed information about the above for our Probate clients, so that we are ready to proceed with distributing the assets once final estate checks have been carried out. This allows the Executor to sit back and relax, with our Probate Solicitors undertaking all the work, keeping our client update with regular contact and updates on the Probate process. 
 
If you are looking to navigate through the Probate process as quickly as possible, and prevent any unavoidable delays, then our experienced team of specialist Probate Solicitors are here to help. Whilst we cannot control any delays out of our hands, such as those caused by the Probate Registry, we can help to prevent any delays caused by mistakes and missing information, and handle the task of following up on any delays on behalf of our valued clients. 
 
To learn more about our Probate Solicitors, and speak to a probate professional within one working hour about how we can help with your Probate related matter, simply contact us online, here, or call us on 01772 783 314

Who gets paid first from an estate UK? 

The reason that Probate can be such a tricky process to navigate without the help of a specialist Probate Solicitor is because there are strict orders and processes for each step. Whilst it is important to ensure that the estate is distributed to the correct people (either the beneficiaries named in the Will or the people entitled under the Rules of Intestacy), first and foremost the law must be adhered to. 
 
The first costs paid out of an estate are funeral costs, followed by administration expenses. There are then are strict rules about the order of payment of liabilities, such as a mortgages, which depend on whether the liability is secured or unsecured. As the executor or administrator, if working alone and without legal assistance, then it is your responsibility to ensure that payments are made and distributed from the estate in the correct order. If this is not done, and the executors or Personal Representatives do not pay creditors in full out of the estate, then they could be held personally liable for the unpaid debt following distribution. 
 
This can be a big ask, and a lot of pressure, and it if for this reason that many executors choose to seek the legal assistance of our Probate Solicitors to take the pressure off themselves, and allow us to guide them through the process. If the value of the assets is less than the debts left by the deceased in the estate, then this is known as an insolvent estate, and can be a particularly complex situation. As an executor of an estate, it is easy to forget you are entitled to seek legal assistance to deal with the Estate, and that this is often the best option to ensure that everything is handled properly. Don’t struggle through dealing with matters alone, and risk making dangerous mistakes in the process, because our specialist Probate Solicitors at MG Legal are here to help. You can contact our team of Probate Solicitors online, here, or by email at wills@mglegal.co.uk

How long does probate take in 2022? 

Generally speaking, our Probate Solicitors would advise clients that the application for Probate or Letters of Administration can usually take between 3 and 9 months to complete, depending on numerous factors such as whether the estate is taxable. The administration of the Estate, once Probate has issued, can take anywhere between 1 month and 12 months. Again, this is unfortunately only a generic estimate, as it can depend on the assets in the estate and delays caused by third parties (such as the Probate Registry, Land Registry, etc). In cases where there is a property to sell, we ask our Probate clients to be aware that it could take even longer, as Property Sales can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 24 weeks, if they are more complex. 
 
If you are looking to navigate through the Probate process in the simplest, straight-forward way possible, then our specialist Probate Solicitors are here to help. Simply get in touch with our Probate Solicitors online, here, to speak to a probate solicitor within one working hour about your Probate matter and how we can help you today. 

Why instruct MG Legal’s Probate Solicitors? 

When you are making or defending a claim against an Estate, there are strict and complicated procedures which must be followed. If you are unfamiliar with these procedures, timescales and the Court process, it is essential that you seek legal assistance, such as that of a probate solicitor, to help make or defend a claim. 
 
At MG Legal, our team of probate solicitors understand that it’s important to try and resolve any Estate dispute as quickly as possible, to prevent any unnecessary costs from being occurred, whilst ensuring that the agreement reached is acceptable to our client. Our team of probate solicitors provide our clients with jargon-free, clear legal advice. To discuss your claim, contact our expert team of probate solicitors online, here, or give us a call at your local office. 
Expert legal services across England and Wales: 
No matter where you are located across England and Wales, MG Legal's expert Probate solicitors are here to help you to achieve the best possible outcome in your legal matter. 
 
To speak to a solicitor today, contact us online here. Or give us a call on 01772 783314 
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