Probate

What is probate?

When someone dies, there is a need to sort out their property, money, possessions and any other assets they own - known as their estate. Estates above a certain monetary ‘value’ need to go through a process called ‘probate.’  During probate, a legally appointed person (known as an Executor) is responsible for paying any outstanding taxes and debts from the estate as well as distributing money and possessions.

If the person who has died has left a Will, it will name someone as the executor of the Will. The executor needs to apply for a Grant of Probate that gives them the authority to deal with the estate.

If someone dies without a Will, they are said to be intestate.  In this case the rules of Intestacy will determine who can apply to administer the estate instead. 

Whilst some people apply for the grant of probate and administer the estate themselves, this can be a lengthy, time-consuming and complicated process; a number of organisations will need to be contacted (eg: banks, HMRC, pension providers, insurance companies), assets valued, forms completed, taxes paid and assets distributed.

Instead, most people choose to use a specialist to manage this process on their behalf.  Central England Co-operative work with a trusted firm of qualified paralegals who can assist you with every aspect of administering the estate – whether that’s help to complete the forms to apply for the Grant of Probate or undertaking full estate administration.

We have chosen to partner with them as they share the same values as Central England Co-operative – they are specialists in Estate Management, have fixed, competitive prices based on estate value, and offer a free (no-obligation) consultation, so you can discuss your needs and options with them. We know from the feedback we receive that people appreciate their friendly, personal approach – as well as feeling reassured and relieved that the process is being managed by professionals.


Close All
Open All


Do you need Probate?

Working out whether someone needs probate isn’t always straightforward.  The assets of the person who has died will need to be valued to estimate how much they are worth. It is also important to understand whether these assets are held solely in their name or in joint names.

Our Estate Management partners are happy to speak to you (free of charge) to discuss whether Probate is needed. You can click here to book a call with them.

The simple questionnaire/ chart below will also help you identify whether Probate is needed.

What to do next?

We understand that when someone dies, it can feel like there are lots of people and organisations that need to be contacted once the death has been registered.

When it comes to administering the estate, before you do anything, our suggestion is that you speak to a specialist to discuss what you would like to do yourself and where they can help.

Our Estate Management partners can apply for Probate and contact banks, pension providers, insurance companies and HMRC on your behalf, to ensure that the process is as easy and stress-free as possible for you.

To discuss your options, please feel free to call them directly on 0800 612 9262 or click here to arrange a call at a time to suit you. They will be happy to advise you free of charge without obligation.

Our chosen Estate Management Partner

At Central England Co-operative, it’s important to us and our customers to make the right choices.

So when we were looking for an expert partner to help our customers with Will and Probate Services, it was imperative that they shared our principles and values.

Our chosen Estate Planning partner not only offers expert advice, fixed, competitive prices and rewards for our Members (anyone is welcome to become a member – to find out more, click here), they also plant a tree for every customer.

So you can know that you are making the right choice for you, your family and the environment.

FAQs

What is Probate?

When someone dies, there is a need to sort out their property, money, possessions and any other assets they own - known as their estate. About half of all estates need to go through a legal process known as Probate. This allows the executor to distribute any money and possessions as well as pay taxes and debts. 

If the person who has died has left a Will, it will name someone as the executor of the Will. The executor needs to apply for a Grant of Probate that gives them the authority to deal with the estate.

If someone dies without a Will, they are said to be intestate. The intestacy rules will say who can apply to administer the estate instead. 

Whilst some people apply for probate and administer the estate themselves, this can be a lengthy, time-consuming and complicated process; a number of organisations will need to be contacted (eg: banks, HMRC, pension providers, insurance companies), assets valued, forms completed, taxes paid and assets distributed.
Instead, most people choose to use a specialist to manage this process on their behalf. Central England Co-operative work with a trusted firm of qualified paralegals who can assist you with every aspect of administering the estate. We have chosen to partner with them as they share the same values as Central England Co-operative, are specialists in Estate Management, have fixed, competitive prices and offer a free (no-obligation) consultation so you can discuss your needs and options with them. We know from the feedback we receive that people appreciate their friendly, personal approach – as well as feeling reassured and relieved that the process is being managed by professionals.


When is Probate required?

Determining whether someone needs probate isn’t always straightforward. The assets of the person who has died will need to be valued to estimate how much they are worth. It is also important to understand whether these assets are held solely in their name or in joint names.

Our Estate Management partners are happy to speak to you (free of charge) to discuss whether Probate is needed. You can click here to book a call with them.

Click here to see our chart here to help you identify whether Probate is needed.


How much does Probate cost?

Our Estate Management partner offers two levels of service:

1. Forms only: This includes applying for Grant of Probate and completion of HMRC forms

2. Full Estate Administration: This is an end to end service; they will deal with all matters related to Probate including contacting all the relevant companies and organisations, valuing assets, dealing with pensions, paying tax liabilities, preparing accounts and distributing assets

Full details of the two levels of service are in the table here together with the fixed prices. If you’d like to discuss the difference between the service levels, please feel free to call on 0800 612 9262 .


Can I pay for a funeral using Probate?

For many people, it is important to create a meaningful, personal funeral for their loved one but the prospect of having to pay for it can be worrying. 

As you may be aware, when someone dies their assets are frozen and are generally not released until after Probate has been granted. However, the costs of a funeral can, by law, be paid from the assets of the person who has died before this happens. 

What this means for you is, provided the person who has died had sufficient assets in their own name, you don’t have to bear the costs of the funeral.

Our Estate Management partner can deal directly our Funeral Homes to ensure the costs of the funeral are taken care of directly.


What is the process for going through Probate?

The process falls into four stages.

Valuation of the estate and ascertaining any debts
Declaration of the estate to HM Revenue and Customs and HM Courts and Tribunals Service
Calling in the estate and payment of debts and expenses.
Preparing estate accounts and distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries, or setting up any trusts

Our Estate Management Partner can manage all stages on your behalf.


How long does Probate take?

In most cases the whole process of administering an estate takes 9 – 12 months.

The process should never take less than 6 months from the date of a grant of probate being issued as the law allows six months from that date for claims to be bought against the estate. Any executor distributing the estate within that time will be personally liable for debts and claims that come to light if they have distributed within this period.

In reality the limiting factor in the probate process is how long it takes to sell any land and property in the estate. 


What happens if there isn’t a Will?

If someone dies without a Will, they are said to be intestate. The intestacy rules will say who can apply to administer the estate:

In most cases it will be your spouse or civil partner,
If you don’t have a spouse then it is your children,
If you do not have children then it is your parents,
If your parents are not alive or available, then it is your siblings

After that, it falls to nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins and then finally the Treasury Solicitor.

The rules also lay down who will inherit and exactly what, so  you cannot assume that your spouse or civil partner will get everything. 

You should also note that the intestacy rules make no provision at all for unmarried partners.

If you find yourself in a position where your partner or a loved one has died without a Will, our Estate Management Partner will be able to advise you on what you should, and should not do in the circumstances - including anything that might make you liable to the estate. 


How do the values of the Estate Planning Provider fit with CEC’s values?

At Central England Co-operative, it’s important to us and our customers to make the right choices.
So when we were looking for an expert partner to help our customers with Will and Probate Services, it was imperative that they shared our principles and values.
Our chosen Estate Planning partner not only offers expert advice, fixed, competitive prices and rewards for our Members (anyone is welcome to become a member – to find out more, click here), they also plant a tree for every customer.

So you can know that you are making the right choice for you, your family and the environment.


Close All
Open All