What is Probate?

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions (called assets) of a person who has died.

When someone dies, their assets are usually automatically frozen, so the executors (if there is a will) or administrators (if there is no will) will need to apply to the Probate Registry for permission to sort out (administer) the estate.

Do I Need to Apply for Probate?

It is not always necessary to apply for probate; for example if the property, land, shares or money was jointly owned, or if the value of the assets fall below a specified level. The Estates Administration Act states that probate should be obtained in all estates that exceed £5,000, but it is generally left to the various institutions that hold the assets to set the level beyond which they require a Grant.

For further details, see the Government information on applying for probate.

The probate process is different in Northern Ireland (see the Government information) and Scotland (see the Government information).

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