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 Estate Planning FAQ Book

Probate Frequently Asked Questions

Taking care of a loved one’s estate and financial affairs when they die can be complicated and confusing. Especially at such an emotional and difficult time. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about Probate.

What is an Estate?

A persons Estate is everything that they own including all of their assets and their liabilities.

What is Probate?

Probate is the court’s authority, given to a person or persons, to administer a deceased person’s estate and the document issued by the Probate Registry is called a Grant of Representation.

The Grant of Representation is usually required by the asset holders, for example, Banks, Life Companies and other Financial Institutions. The Grant of Representation serves as proof to show the correct person or persons have the Probate Registry’s authority to administer a deceased person’s estate.

When is Probate Required?

The Probate process is needed when investments (typically over £5,000) were held in the deceased’s sole name and the banks, building societies and other organisations request for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration in order to release the funds held.

Will I have to Pay My Loved One’s Debts?

The answer to this is No. However, there is a common misconception amongst people that when a person dies their debts disappear but this is not always the case.

When a person dies their debts are paid for from their assets at the time of death. If their debt exceeds their available assets then the estate will be insolvent.

Sometimes it is not known if an estate is insolvent until the Grant of Probate has been received. When the estate of the deceased is insolvent, gifts and legacies cannot be distributed to the beneficiaries under the Will. This part of the law is governed by Administration of Insolvent Estates of Deceased Persons Order 1986 (DPO 1986).

Who are Executors and What do They Do?

An Executor is a person elected in the deceased Will who they wished to deal with the administration of their estate after their death. It is an Executor’s responsibility to carry out the following duties:

  • Determine what property and other assets were owned as well as liabilities
  • Arrange valuations of personal possessions, property, investments, pension or insurance due.
  • Arrange for the payment of the funeral.
  • Calculate Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax & Inheritance Tax liabilities.
  • Complete the necessary Tax returns to submit to HMRC.
  • Complete and submit the necessary Probate Registry forms.
  • Arrange the clearance and sale of any property.
  • Collect assets and pay any debts.
  • Arrange for the distribution of legacies and gifts to beneficiaries.
  • Compile detailed accounts to give to the main beneficiaries.
  • If minor children are beneficiaries an Executor may act as Trustee to hold their monies in trust.

Who is a Personal Representative and what are their Duties?

A personal representative is usually the named Executor of the deceased’s Will. When a person dies without making a Will, the personal representative is the person a Grant of Administration has been given to.


If you are faced with the prospect of administering a loved one’s estate. Make sure you shop around and get a number of quotes. Ideally from a Probate Practitioner or Solicitor that offers Fixed fees for some of the more straightforward processes. And a transparent low-cost fee structure for more complicated probate matters.

At Mind at Rest Wills, we work closely with our trusted partners Premier Solicitors a leading law firm who was founded in 2006. This allows us to provide you with a seamless probate service from beginning to end.

The Firm is Lexcel accredited, a Law Society nationally recognised quality mark for law firms and operate nationally. Allowing us to offer our clients quality competitively priced fixed fee options for all Probate matters. Both Mind at rest Wills and Premier Solicitors are committed to providing appropriate solutions and excellent customer service.

We can help you with timely and sympathetic advice to ensure you have the right answers and solutions for you.

To make an enquiry simply fill in our Probate Enquiry Form and we will get back to you.

Related Links

Mind At Rest Wills
Pre-Paid Funeral Plans
Premier Solicitors