Can I arrange Probate before I die?
Posted on 11th February 2020
A common concern that many of our Probate clients in Preston and Lancaster have, is whether they can prepare their life as much as possible so that, once they have died, their loved ones aren’t left with too much to deal with. One of the aspects of this, is whether our clients are able to obtain probate before they die, to help the process along.
Sadly, this is not possible. One of the requirements of obtaining Probate is that the person has passed away, and therefore this cannot be arranged, in short, before you have passed away.
Probate is the legal process of dealing with a person’s Estate after their death. This work includes obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (the document that gives the executors or other people entitled) to deal with the Estate of the deceased. The Executors or Administrators can collect the deceased’s assets, pay any liabilities, pay any Inheritance Tax and distribute the estate to any beneficiaries.
The Grant of Probate relates entirely to any assets owned by you (or that you have an interest in) at the time of your death. For some people, their Estate could simply be a bank account and some personal possessions, whilst for others this will be a property – or multiple properties, shares, bank accounts, investments, etc. No matter what the size of your estate, it still needs to be finalised correctly following your death. The bigger your estate, the more likely it will be that your Executors or Administrators need to obtain a Grant of Probate.
Unfortunately, as the assets and liabilities taken into account for Probate are as your Estate stands at your date of death, this can only be applied for once you have died.
Can I do anything to help Probate before I die?
First things first, as our team of Wills Solicitors in Preston explain to our clients, make sure you have a Will in place! This will ensure that your wishes are carried out, and you can appoint people that you trust to deal with your estate. For a list of good reasons to have a Will, read our team’s blog, here.
If you don’t make a Will, your Estate will be divided in line with the Rules of Intestacy, which you can find out more about, here. No matter what you would have wanted, your estate will pass to your closest blood relatives: some people may be happy with this, however, for many of our clients (and, trust us, for most of our team members, too), there is at least one relative that we would not want to inherit. This also means, which many people do not realise, that any unmarried partners or loved ones who are not related to you by blood cannot inherit anything under these rules.
The next really helpful tip our team has is that you can make a list of all of your assets and liabilities, to help your loved ones to know what they need to sort out. You may keep this with your Will (although not in your Will itself), or you could keep a helpful list along with your paperwork.
Whilst there’s not much else you can do to help, speak to our team today to discuss your Will (our fixed fees are just £110.00 plus VAT for a single Will, or £195.00 plus VAT for mirror Wills – and that even includes free registration of your Will with Certainty, the National Will Register!). You can contact our team at your local office, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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