Probate can be an intricate and confusing process, especially when you're already dealing with the difficulties of losing a loved one. Our guide aims to simply explain what probate entails and provide clarity around the key steps involved, addressing common questions that arise during this complex process.

Probate and estate administration are the terms associated with the process of handling an individual’s estate after they have died. It is apparent to us at Funeral Experts that
the two terms are commonly misused by many, despite them being defined differently. When it comes to probate, the more frequently used term of the two, there is a lot of confusion about
what it means and what is included in the probate process. On the other hand, estate administration is the term that more accurately describes the entire process of dealing with a deceased person’s estate.

What is Probate?

Probate, referring to the ‘Grant of Probate’ in England and Wales, or ‘Confirmation’ in Scotland, is required by law when the deceased owns property (including any houses, buildings, or land) or if a financial institution (such as a bank) requires a Grant of Probate to release funds. It is important to remember that financial institutions and organisations set their own probate thresholds. Therefore, obtaining a Grant of Probate may not be necessary to access funds. Additionally, probate is not usually required if the estate is less than £5,000 in value or if assets were held jointly, as they will pass to a surviving spouse or partner. If probate is required, a Grant of Probate must be obtained before an Executor (if there is a Will) or an Administrator (if there is no Will) can start to gather in the assets associated with an estate

What is estate administration?

Estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal, financial, and tax affairs after they have died. It involves far more than obtaining a Grant of Probate, which is just one potential element of the wider process. Estate administration can be extremely complex and is required after every death, whether there is a Will or not. In order to complete the estate administration process, there are a number of tasks that need to be carried out, including:

• Obtaining a Grant of Probate
• Closing bank accounts and paying any debts
• Ensuring the family tree information is correct
• Dealing with shares and investments
• Selling property and assets
• Dealing with Inheritance Tax forms (if applicable)
• Completing Income Tax work
• Dealing with specialist legal work
• Contacting beneficiaries
• Producing accurate estate accounts

These are just some of the tasks that may be involved. However, every estate is different. While some people decide to administer a loved one’s estate themselves, this can take a significant amount of time and effort, leaving them personally liable for any mistakes made during the process. On the other hand, those who do not want the financial and legal responsibility may choose to instruct a professional to help them complete the entire process.

Do I have to pay for probate?

In England and Wales, there is a set government fee for applying for a Grant of Probate. The fee is £273 for estates valued over £5,000. However, estates valued at £5,000 or less do not incur any fee for probate application.
Within the £273 fee, one copy of the Grant is provided, but you can acquire additional copies at the time of application for a small fee.
If you opt to engage a professional to handle the probate application on your behalf, additional fees will apply. These fees vary among service providers. Our partners at Kings Court Trust can support you with probate and estate administration and all their fees are fixed, ensuring you are not presented with unexpected costs.

Is there a time limit as to when I should apply for probate?

There is no time limit but the sooner you start the process the better as it can take 16 weeks or even longer.

Do I need anything prior to applying for probate?

Hetre are some of the documents you will need when applying for probate.

– A PA1P (if there is a Will) or PA1A (if there is no Will)
– An Inheritance Tax form, where applicable.
– A copy of the death certificate
– The original will and any changes, where applicable
– Photographic ID

Can Funeral; Experts help me with probate?

Whether the estate is simple or complex, dealing with the death of a loved one is rarely straightforward. That’s why Funeral Experts has partnered with Kings Court Trust, our preferred provider of probate and estate administration services. Most of us are not used to dealing with the complex requirements of estate administration, especially at a time when financial matters are the last thing on our minds. Kings Court Trust is the leading specialist estate administration provider in the UK and, like us, they place their clients at the very heart of everything they do. Estate administration is their sole expertise, and they can advise on any situation. Whether you only want support with the probate application process or would like to hand the entire process over to the professionals, Kings Court Trust has a variety of solutions available to support you in your time of need. There are numerous benefits of instructing the award-winning providers to complete this complex process for you, including:

1. Clear and transparent pricing. They work on a fixed fee basis, unlike many other estate administration providers.
2. Paying your inheritance quickly. Wherever possible, Kings Court Trust will make interim payments to all the beneficiaries, so you don’t have to wait until the end of the process.
3. Removing the legal burden off your shoulders. In full estate administration cases, Kings Court Trust can take on the responsibility and liability so that you don’t have to worry.
4. Receiving a personal service. You’ll be assigned a dedicated Personal Estate Manager who will keep you updated throughout the entire process and answer any of your questions.

Contact our Funeral Advice Centre now on 0333 0912 490 or contact us via our website Contact us