If a close friend or family member asked you to be an executor of their will, to take care of their affairs when they die, you’d most likely agree. But once they’ve passed away, it’s not easy to know what comes next. What is a grant of probate, and why is it so important? There will be a lot of paperwork to do – but where can you get any extra information you need? And how do you go about finding the beneficiaries named in the will if you don’t know who they are?
When someone dies, the executor or executors named in the will usually apply to the court for a grant of probate. This gives you the legal power to deal with the estate. You can show the grant to organisations such as banks and the land registry so that you can close the accounts of the person who has died and start disposing of their assets. What steps are involved will depend on the exact circumstances of the person whose estate you’re administering.
Probate can be a long, complicated process. But our legal experts can give you advice every step of the way – from obtaining the grant of probate from the court, to having an estate valued and dealing with HMRC. We can also advise you on any unexpected difficulties – like tracking down a missing beneficiary, or what to do if there’s more than one will.
All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.