Is Probate required?

If the deceased leaves a property or assets worth £15,000 or more in their sole name, it is usually necessary for the estate to go through probate.

You will need to obtain a Grant of Probate if a Will is in place.

You will need to obtain a Letter of Administration also called a Grant of Representation if the deceased did not have a Will.

What are considered as assets of £15,000 or more?

  • Cash
  • Stocks and shares
  • Certain insurance policies
  • Property
  • Land held in their own name or as ‘tenants in common’

If the deceased’s estate is worth less than £15,000 a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Representation may not be required.

If the deceased owned anything jointly with someone else, as a joint tenant on a property for example or as a signatory on a joint bank account, then everything relating to that joint relationship passes automatically to the surviving joint owner and is not considered part of the deceased’s estate.

Similarly, anything held in a Trust or being directed to a Trust within a Will is not considered part of the deceased’s estate and as such will not be required to go through the Probate process however it may still be taken into account for inheritance tax purposes and the appropriate process adhered to.

Estates worth less than £15,000

If the estate is worth less than £15,000 you still may need to go through probate if:

  • The bank or building society still insists on seeing a Grant of Probate.
  • Insurance policies are involved which need to be paid to the estate rather than direct to a beneficiary.
  • The person has given away any substantial assets in the last seven years - in which case, Inheritance Tax may be due.

Because of the complex nature of many of our clients' protection strategies that we have put in place for them, we always recommend that their Executors seek our advice immediately upon a client's death. Many good protective strategies can be unwittingly undone by a novice Executor without knowing, costing the estate significant sums in many cases. In many cases it is preferable that we are appointed Executors in the first instance.

Contact us to enquire about how our probate service works and how you can fix the fee now with a Lifetime Guarantee Certificate. Without a certificate we charge £300 + vat per hour, however with a Lifetime Guarantee Certificate we never charge more than 1.75% of the estate value + vat and our minimum fee is just £1500 + vat for the complete service and we also pay the probate fees in advance for the Estate rather than an appointed Executor struggling to find the funds required.