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Granting Probate: Your Step-By-Step Guide To Applying For Probate

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Losing a loved one is a difficult experience, and dealing with legalities during such times can be overwhelming. Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing a deceased person's assets, which can be time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining. However, there are strategies to avoid probate and ensure a smoother transition of your estate to your beneficiaries. In this article we will explore various methods of applying for probate and avoiding issues, ensuring your loved ones face less stress during their grieving process.


Table Of Contents

What does Probate mean?

When To Apply For Probate

Probate Application Form

Grant of Probate

Contentious Probate

How to Avoid Probate

Keeping Your Will Updated

​Probate Service

​Frequently Asked Questions

​In Conclusion

What does Probate mean?

Probate is the legal process that authenticates a person's will and oversees the distribution of their assets to beneficiaries. The process typically involves verifying the will's validity, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets according to the will or laws.

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Protecting Assets and Reducing Financial Stress

When To Apply For Probate

Probate is usually required when someone who has passed away owned valuable things like property or had money saved up. It's a way to make sure these assets get shared properly among their family or chosen beneficiaries. If you're unsure, the probate solicitors at Legal Help Services Limited can assist in navigating this process, helping you understand when it's required and guiding you through the necessary probate forms and grant of probate application.


Probate Application Form

The probate application form, also known as the 'PA1' form, is a critical document used to apply for probate. It provides details about the deceased person, their assets, and who will be handling their estate. Legal Help Services Limited can assist you in correctly filling out probate application forms, ensuring a smoother process. Accurate completion of this form is crucial.


Grant of Probate

The Grant of Probate is an official document that confirms your authority to handle someone's estate after their death. It's often required to access and distribute their assets. If you're unsure about the Grant of Probate or how to obtain it, consider seeking assistance from the professionals at Legal Help Services Limited.


Contentious Probate

Contentious probate refers to disagreements or disputes that can arise during the probate process. It can be a complex and emotional situation. Legal Help Services Limited, with their experienced probate lawyers, can provide legal support to help resolve these disputes and ensure a fair outcome.



 

How to Avoid Probate

Avoiding probate is possible through careful estate planning. This involves strategies like setting up trusts, joint ownership, and gifting assets during your lifetime. To explore the best options for your situation and ensure a smooth transition of assets, consult with probate solicitors from Legal Help Services Limited.




Estate Planning

One of the most effective ways to avoid probate is by creating a living trust. In times of uncertainty, when you're seeking ways to protect your hard-earned assets and ensure your loved ones are taken care of, Legal Help Services Limited extends a compassionate hand to guide you through the process.


Create a Living Trust

With the power of a living trust (Property Protection Trust, Asset Protection Trust or a Family Asset Protection Trust) you can find solace in knowing that you have the ability to transfer your cherished assets into the protective embrace of the trust, all while you are still living. It's a remarkable way to safeguard your legacy, providing a sense of security and peace of mind as you plan for the future. Since the trust owns the assets, (but you keep complete control) they are not considered part of your estate when you pass away, thereby bypassing probate.


Privacy and Peace Of Mind

A living trust also offers privacy, as the details of your assets and beneficiaries are not made public in court records, where as a with a Will your estate becomes public knowledge.


Designating Beneficiaries

For certain assets like life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and payable-on-death (POD) bank accounts, you have the option to designate beneficiaries. By doing so, these assets will pass directly to the designated beneficiaries without going through probate. Ensure that you regularly review and update your beneficiaries to reflect any changes in your life.


Joint Ownership with Rights of Survivorship

Holding property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship is another effective way to avoid probate. When one co-owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving co-owner(s). This process continues until there is only one surviving owner, who then becomes the sole owner of the property.


Gifting Assets During Your Lifetime

Consider gifting your assets to your beneficiaries while you are still alive. The HMRC allows you to gift up to a certain amount each year to an individual without incurring gift taxes. By gifting assets before your passing, you can significantly reduce the value of your estate and, consequently, avoid probate for those gifted assets.


Donating to Charity

Charitable giving not only benefits the causes you support but can also help with estate planning. By leaving a portion of your estate to a charitable organization, you can reduce the value of your estate, potentially minimizing or eliminating probate requirements.


Keeping Your Will Updated

If you have a will, it's crucial to keep it up to date. Life events like marriages, divorces, births, and deaths can all impact your estate plan. Regularly reviewing and updating your will ensures that your wishes are accurately reflected and can help avoid complications during the probate process.


Probate Service

A probate service involves assisting individuals in managing the probate process efficiently. Legal Help Services Limited offers a comprehensive probate service, including guidance on probate fees, probate valuation, and expert advice from probate solicitors. Their service ensures your loved one's assets are handled correctly and distributed as intended


Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need probate?

You might need probate if the deceased person had assets like a house or significant savings. It's a legal way to make sure these assets go to the right people. To determine if you need it, contact Legal Help Services Limited and we will assess your situation and guide you through the probate application process if necessary.

When Is Probate Required?

How Long Does Probate Take?

How Long Does Grant of Probate Take?

Can You Track A Probate Application in the UK?

Do I need a solicitor for probate?

Do you have to pay inheritance tax before probate?

How to value house contents for probate?


In Conclusion

In conclusion, while the probate process is a necessary legal procedure, it can be burdensome for your loved ones. By implementing some or all of the strategies mentioned in this article, you can significantly reduce the assets subject to probate and create a smoother transition for your beneficiaries, saving extra costs on your death. Whether it's establishing a living trust, designating beneficiaries, or considering charitable giving, careful estate planning can ensure that your final wishes are carried out efficiently and that your loved ones can focus on their emotional healing during difficult times.


Let Legal Help Services Limited be your dedicated partner in crafting a living trust that reflects your deepest desires and ensures your legacy thrives for generations to come.

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