Legal Matters

How to obtain Probate
When a person dies somebody had to deal with their estate (the money, property and possessions left) collecting in all the money, paying any debts and distributing the estate to those entitled. The Probate Registry issues the document which is called A GRANT OF REPRESENTATION

There are three types of grant

  1. Probate issued to one or more of the executors named in the Will.
  2. Letters of Administration issued when there is a Will, but no executor named or unable to deal with the estate.
  3. Letters of Administration issued when the deceased has not been made a Will or it is not valid.
Why is a Grant necessary?
Organisations holding money in the deceased’s name need to know to whom the money is to be paid. The distribution of the estate is the responsibility of the person named in the deed. Sometimes a grant is not needed if the estate is small and there are no complications. Production of a certified copy of the entry of death will usually suffice.

Consult a Solicitor
In most circumstances, it is advisable for you to consult a solicitor both to relieve you of many worries and to take control of Wills, problems of intestacy, outstanding debts, grants and letters of administration. A solicitor could save you a great deal of unnecessary trouble and eventually save you money. If known that a Will was made, it is important that the contents be ascertained as soon as possible after death as it may contain instructions regarding the funeral arrangements. A Will may be among personal papers, with the bank or solicitor for safe-keeping. If a solicitor has been consulted by the deceased in the recent past it is important that you contact them without delay.

People you should tell
  • The local social services department if the person was receiving meals on wheels, home help or day centre care. Local council tax department and the Department of Work and Pensions.
  • Any hospital the person was attending
  • The family doctor to cancel any home nursing, appointments etc.
  • The Inland Revenue.
  • The social security office to stop direct payments into bank or building society accounts.
  • Insurance Companies to ensure cover is maintained on a home or vehicle.
  • Banks and Building Societies.
  • Services supplies ie. Gas, Electricity, Telephone, Water.
  • Passport agency and DVLA
Legal Matters

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