What is the Difference between a Will and a Probate?

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22 March, 2019

The terminology surrounding the execution of a will can sometimes be quite daunting, especially when you are dealing with the death of a person or relative close to you. At Forbes Solicitors, we understand the information regarding this subject may not be the easiest to process, which is why we have outlined some of the language you may be faced with.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that enables you to determine how your 'estate' is to be distributed after your death. This includes your money, property, shares, investments and possessions. It's usually passed to a close family member or shared according to your wishes. It's advised that you get legal advice when you write your will, and inheritance tax needs to be reviewed in order to ensure you're not paying more than you should be. Additionally, your will must have a formal witnesses and signatures in order to ensure it is legally valid.

What is a Probate?

After someone passes away, an individual will need to take responsibility for the will and 'administering the estate'. This person is known as the 'executor' and is normally named within the will. In order to proceed with the distribution of the estate, the executor may need to apply for authority to deal with the estate which is considered as 'probate'. It's used to describe the legal and financial processes that are required to arrange the wishes of the deceased, and involves a large amount of legal and financial work.

If there is no will, someone close to the deceased has the right to apply to become an 'administrator'. This is a legal document issued by the court, and it allows someone else to administer the estate.

How can Forbes Solicitors Help?

As it's considered important to have legal advice when you are dealing with a will and probate, our specialist team are on hand to guide you on the various matters surrounding the subject. We realise this can become a delicate topic to tackle, but we are dedicated to ensuring our advice is straightforward and easy to understand. We are also a member of the Certainty National Registry of Wills, meaning your will is easily traceable by your beneficiaries.

For a consultation with a specialist Wills, Probate, Tax or Trusts lawyer, give us a call on Freephone 0800 975 2463 or send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts department here

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