Legal advice to help you through a difficult time
Personal law probate


Associated Services

If you're responsible for managing the estate of a friend or family member who has passed on, we can provide the support and advice you need. View our complete range of Probate services below.

Administering Probate Estates

Once a Grant of Probate has been obtained, the often-complex process of administration work begins. We can help you at any stage, ensuring you can fulfil your obligations with absolute confidence and clarity.

Contentious Probate

If you believe that the distribution of a friend or family's estate is not being handled correctly, our solicitors are able to offer the guidance and reassurance to stand up for what’s right, ensuring their final wishes are carried out. 

Dealing with Probate Properties

Probate properties require a specific valuation when included within a deceased loved one’s estate. From advice on selling a probate property, to guidance through complexities such as insurance and home repairs, our experienced solicitors consider everything to give you complete peace of mind.

Obtaining Grant of Probate

If you are responsible for obtaining the Grant of Probate on a loved one’s estate, we are here to help ease you through this important yet challenging time. From support interpreting the Will, to reporting any and all assets, ​​we provide the clarity you need to get the probate process in motion.

Experts in Probate

Our proficient team can guide you through the complexities of probate, towards a resolution that more accurately reflects the desires of both you and your loved one.

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What is probate and how does it work

What is probate and how does it work?

Probate is the legal right to manage the estate of a deceased person. Before the executor(s) named in the deceased’s Will (or the person’s next of kin if they die intestate) can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the assets within the estate, they will usually need to apply for probate.

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Who is the executor in relation to probate?

An executor (or in certain cases an administrator) is a person who is responsible for carrying out the final wishes of a deceased individual per the terms of their Will. This is often a family member or close friend, but solicitors are also often appointed as executors due to the complex nature of these cases. This responsibility starts on the deceased’s date of death.

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Do you have to do probate when someone dies?

If probate is required to unlock a person’s estate, as the executor, it is your legal obligation to complete the probate process to ensure the estate’s assets are not frozen and the beneficiaries receive the inheritance they are owed.

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What types of assets are subject to probate

What types of assets are subject to probate?

It is a common misconception that when a person passes away, all assets within their estate will require a Grant of Probate to be accessed.

In fact, it is a little more complicated than that, which is why it’s always helpful to speak to probate solicitors who can advise on when you need to receive this and when you don’t, saving you time and expense down the road.

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Do household items go through probate?

Household items are considered part of the probate estate. Any estate can be spot-checked and investigated to ensure they have been honest with the assets they’ve left their loved ones.

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Do digital assets fall under probate?

The law is still evolving in relation to digital assets, such as social media accounts and information stored in the Cloud.

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What is the grant of probate

What is the Grant of Probate?

A Grant of Representation is the overarching name for the grant you must receive to confirm that you have the authority to carry out probate on a deceased person’s estate.

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Do I need to apply for a Grant of Probate?

As noted in our section on ‘What types of assets are subject to probate’, there are circumstances where you do not need to apply for a Grant of Probate, most typically when the deceased’s assets are of low monetary value.

Different banks and building societies have different frameworks over what requires probate. Let’s say your mother’s sole bank account had £20,000 remaining when she passed away, and the bank in question’s threshold for probate is typically £30,000. That means you’ll likely be able to access these funds without requiring a Grant of Probate.

However, you might still wish to apply for a Grant of Probate in these instances in order to establish that you have the right over the deceased’s body, assets and overall estate, if say you are in dispute with other family members over what will be done with their ashes.

It’s always worth seeking the impartial advice of experienced probate solicitors to give you peace of mind when applying for probate.

How to apply for probate

How to apply for probate

If you’re the executor for the deceased’s estate, you can apply for probate, or contact a specialist probate solicitor to apply on your behalf.

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Is probate required if there is a will?

Whether the deceased individual left a Will or didn’t has no bearing on whether probate is required to access their estate.

If the value of the estate is determined to exceed the probate threshold and the assets were held in the manner outlined in ‘What types of assets are subject to probate?’, this service is required.

Do I need probate for a small estate?

As highlighted in our section on what types of assets are subject to probate, if the total value of an estate is worth £5,000 or less, or a particular asset is worth this amount, it is considered a small estate and often won’t require a Grant of Probate to access. At £5,000+, it is more likely this will require you applying for probate.

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How long does probate take?

Asking how long it takes to complete probate is much like asking how long is a piece of string. It depends on the nature of the deceased’s estate and assets, the beneficiaries selected and much, much more.

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Can I do probate myself?

It is possible to complete the probate process without legal guidance in straightforward circumstances. However, these cases can prove more complicated than they appear on the surface.

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What if probate is contested

What if probate is contested?

When probate is contested, this is referred to as Contentious Probate.

This covers any dispute that arises from how a person’s estate is administered when they pass away, either as a result of the terms of their Will not being adhered to or belief that an individual has not received ‘reasonable financial provision’.

Can I stop someone’s probate application?

If you or another person objects to probate being granted to an executor, you can challenge this as a case of Contentious Probate.

This may involve the issuing of a caveat, which acts as an injunction that imposes a moratorium (waiting period). If you are the executor, you should take early advice if you find your application blocked by a caveat.

Do i need a solicitor

Do I need a solicitor for probate?

As mentioned in ‘Can I do probate myself?’, you do not necessarily need to contact a probate solicitor to complete this process.

However, various complexities and scenarios can affect how simple it is to receive a Grant of Probate and distribute an estate.

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What covers a solicitor’s costs for probate?

The cost of probate, covering the process and your solicitors’ fees, will more often than not be paid out of the remaining value of the deceased’s estate, known as the residue.

The residue refers to the remaining funds left over in the estate when everything else outlined in the Will has been distributed. For example, if you leave £10,000 to your grandchild and the rest of your estate to your daughter, that remainder left to the daughter will be the residue.

Any liabilities, expenses and fees are only paid out of this residue, unless no other funds are available. Let’s say in the previous example the value of the deceased’s estate is £12,000, and there was £3,000 of expenses. This usually means the grandchild will receive the remaining £9,000, while the daughter receives nothing.

If the person dies intestate, the Rules of Intestacy will determine the value of the residue.

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Life is complicated enough without having to fret about fees. We’re leading the way to provide complete transparency for our clients. We’ll always discuss your budget and the cost of your case in advance to give you complete clarity, as well as talk you through potential funding options.

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The expertise of our solicitors is regularly recognised by some of the profession’s most distinguished organisations. As well as being a member of a number of Law Society schemes, we have won awards at the Law Society Excellence Awards, the Halsbury Legal Awards and the Modern Law Awards.

We have also received recognition in the form of the Lexcel mark of quality, a Legal 500 listing and a place on the shortlist of The Lawyer’s Boutique Firm of the Year.

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When to report a solicitor to the SRA

If you have complained to your solicitor about breaching the SRA Code of Conduct and are not satisfied with their response, you can report them to the SRA. Examples of a breach include:

  • Dishonesty
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When to contact the Legal Ombudsman

If you have complained to your solicitor about poor service and you are not satisfied with their response, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman who deal with poor service, such as:

  • Delayed or unclear communication
  • Problems with your bill
  • Loss of documents