The first step when a loved one dies is to locate the will. If the will cannot be found, you can check with the Principal Registry of the Family Division to find it. The probate lawyers in London at SCL Wills and Probate offer will writing services and help guide clients through the probate process.
The probate process varies, depending on whether there is a will or not. If there is no will, the probate process can be more complicated and may take longer to resolve. Probate solicitors assist families in situations when the deceased left a will and when no will can be found. For more information about the services provided by SCL Wills and Probate, visit http://www.sclwillsandprobate.co.uk/.
The Probate Process with a Will
The will names the beneficiaries and the executor, which is the person who will apply for probate. The executor or executors are required to apply for a Grant of Probate from the Probate Registry, attend an interview, and swear an oath. This process can take from three to six months. The Grant of Probate is needed to administer the estate and distribute the deceased’s assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.
A will makes the process easier, although there can still be complications. When there is a will, the family of the deceased will have a clear understanding of that person’s wishes. The executors will be named and all interested parties will know exactly how the deceased wished for the assets to be distributed.
This does not mean there will be no potential complications or disagreements. It may be difficult to know where the will is located or the most updated version of the will. In addition, if any close family members were not provided for in the will, they may file a legal claim, which can make the probate process more difficult and take longer to resolve.
When There is No Will
Many people in the UK do not have a will. When a person dies without a will, the assets are distributed according to the rules of intestacy. Under these rules, the only people who may inherit property are a spouse, civil partner, and other close relatives, depending on the circumstances and if there was a current spouse or civil partner at the time of death.
If there are no surviving close relatives to inherit the deceased’s assets, the estate passes to the Crown. It is possible to apply for a grant from the estate, but the Crown does not have to agree to the grant. Individuals who are not surviving relatives, but believe they have a valid reason to apply for a grant should seek the advice of solicitors specialising in wills and probate.
In order to avoid a drawn out probate process or having your assets distributed according to the rules of intestacy, it is important to have a will in place prior to your death. Solicitors specialising in wills can guide you through the process and make sure your will meets all legal requirements to be valid.