How soon should you start probate after death of a loved one?

  • Author: David Crosby
  • Posted on: 27th July 2020
  • Posted in: Blog

The recent stay-at-home situation has meant that handling certain complex legal matters, has been more challenging however, there are now practical ways in place to help you deal with probate and there is plenty of guidance available to explain how the process works.

What is probate?

Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died. The estate includes financial assets or debts, property and possessions. If the deceased has left a will, it should name the person or persons responsible for administering the estate.

This recent article in This Is Money https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-8205333/Can-probate-coronavirus-lockdown.html  explains how soon you can start the process, and also how you can manage this even if you are self isolating or shielding. 

These are the key points to note:

  • you can start to apply for probate online or over the phone
  • you can register the death with your local registry office (most registry offices should be able to offer telephone appointments), 
  • where property needs to be valued, a valuation should now be possible. Home valuations officially started again in mid-May, but if for any reason it cannot be carried out in person, then an online valuation may be an option. 

How soon should I start the process?

There is no definitive timeframe for probate to start however, we would always advise starting as soon as possible to avoid getting caught in the backlog which has already been affected by the coronavirus. Also, an important point to note is, if inheritance tax is payable then it must be paid within six months of the death- any delays in this could lead to unwanted financial penalties. 

Can someone else deal with the probate process for me?

An important point to remember is, that you don't have to struggle through the probate process alone. Even though you may be named as an executor, you can appoint a solicitor or probate specialist to handle probate for you.

If you want to find out more about probate and how we can help you, then please get in touch with our team of specialist solicitors today on 01273 734 600 or email: advice@crosbywoods.co.uk