Death unites the soaps again…
We all love a meaty storyline, but there sure is a morbid thread linking our favourite soaps at the moment.
Truth is though, it’s a part of life and, at some point, we all have to deal with death – sadly, it’s happening around us all the time.
But what happens afterwards?
So, did Dinah have a will? Did Lisa die intestate? Who gets what?
The thing is, Mitch, Karen, Bailey and Zak Dingle’s grief and the impact of devastation is what pulls our heartstrings and keeps us glued to the box. It’s what gets the ratings.
Dealing with the Probate process? Hmmm, not so much!
But how many of us know what it is and what’s involved?
What is Probate?
Probate is the process of sorting out a deceased person’s money, property and possessions – what’s known as their ‘estate’ – and who gets what.
It’s a necessary legal obligation after a death – neither pleasant nor enjoyable, it’s something that has to be done and someone has to do it.
There are some situations where you do not need to get Probate and the HMRC can be a good starting point for initial advice.
What happens if the person had a will?
If a will was left and you have been named as an Executor in that will (and you decide you are happy to take on this role), your job is to pull together all assets e.g. remaining monies in bank accounts, pay outstanding bills and distribute what’s left in accordance with the will.
This may sound relatively simple but it can be a complex and protracted process that many people struggle with on top of the grief and emotional distress they are experiencing following the death of a loved one.
Many people don’t also realise that an Executor has legal responsibilities which, if incorrectly carried out or completed with mistakes, can leave the Executor with personal legal and/or financial liability.
This is where a good Probate Solicitor can help. They take on board the legal responsibilities, obligations and paperwork, managing the whole Probate process whilst offering support and guidance throughout.
What happens if the person DIDN’T have a will?
Dying without having made a will is described as having died intestate. This means that the estate will be distributed according to the strict laws of intestacy which may not be in line with the wishes of the deceased person and can lead to significant complications during the Probate process.
In these cases, the next of kin have to apply for a ‘grant of letters of administration’ and CANNOT take any steps to deal with the administration of the estate until grant has been issued.
Support & Guidance from SH&Co.
If you have recently lost a loved one, you may be feeling confused and overwhelmed.
You may have been appointed as an Executor of a will or may not be sure whether Probate is necessary.
You may simply want the burden of estate administration taken away.
Whatever your situation, we understand and we’re here to help.
This is why we run a FREE weekly drop-in Wills & Probate legal clinic, 12-2pm every Wednesday - you can simply pop in to have a chat with Emma Stride, our Head of Wills & Probate.
Alternatively, you can contact the office on 01606 48777 to make an appointment.