We are often asked, “Do I need probate if there is a will?” The answer is “Yes unless the estate is very small”
“Probate” is used to describe the process of administering a deceased persons estate when a Will has been made and an Executor or Executors have been appointed in it. If there is no Will the process is referred to as “Administration”. The words actually refer to the name of the legal document which is issued by the Probate Court to prove a persons entitlement to deal with the deceased’s estate. An Executor appointed in a Will has to make application for a Grant of Probate. If there is no Will an Administrator must apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. Where no Will exists there are legal rules determining who can apply to be appointed as an Administrator.
Acting as an Executor or Administrator is a position which carries with it huge responsibility and legal obligations and you can be held personally liable if these responsibilities and obligations are not carried out correctly and this results in a loss to the estate. By appointing a solicitor to deal with the estate you can be relieved of the risks and burdens together with the demands on your time and have confidence that everything will be dealt with correctly and in accordance with the law.