Stress-free Probate Services

Losing a loved one can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go through it alone. Our dedicated team is ready to support you through every step of the estate administration process. Whether you need full support or just assitance with applying for a grant, we're here to help.

Probate Journey

What is Probate?

Probate is a legal document that proves the validity of a Will and grants an Executor the authority to administer the deceased’s estate. Probate is also used to describe the process of dealing with the deceased’s property, money, debts, and possessions. If there is no Will, the deceased’s next of kin can apply to be an Administrator, granting them the authority to carry out this process.

Applying for Probate may be necessary before any asset transfers or distributions can occur, so it is best to check before making plans.

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What is Probate?

Choose the right option for you

Compare the features of our two different services

Complete Probate Service

Not comfortable with doing it yourself? Sit back and let our experts handle everything from start to finish.

We will...

  • Work out if any Inheritance Tax is due
  • Apply for a Grant of Probate
  • Take care of the entire estate administration process
  • Keep you up-to-date throughout
From £2,000

Grant of Probate Application

Simple estate or confident doing it alone? We'll get you a Grant of Probate so that you can get started.

We will...

  • Work out if any Inheritance Tax is due
  • Apply for a Grant of Probate
From £600

Do I need to apply for Probate?

Typically, if the size of the deceased’s estate is very small, it is unlikely Probate will be needed. Additionally, you may not need to apply if they only own joint assets, as these assets will automatically pass to the surviving owner.

Probate is generally needed when the deceased owns property or significant assets in their sole name. Banks and building societies all have different thresholds for when Probate is required. These thresholds can range from as little as £5,000 to as high as £50,000. Even if an individual account is below the threshold, a Grant of Probate may still be requested based on the size of the entire estate.

It’s best to speak to the organisations holding the assets or contact our team to determine whether Probate is needed.

FAQ

Only the named Executors can apply to administer an estate if there is a Will. If there is no Will, the deceased’s next of kin must apply to be an Administrator.

The order of who can apply to act as an Administrator is:

  1. spouse or civil partner
  2. children, which can include adopted children and children born outside of marriage
  3. parents
  4. brothers and sisters, or if they have died, their children
  5. half-brothers or half-sisters, or if they have died, their children
  6. grandparents
  7. uncles or aunts, or if they have died, their children
  8. half-uncles or half-aunts, or if they have died, their children

Typically, it can take between 6 and 12 months to complete the entire estate administration process, with complex estates taking longer.

Applying for a Grant of Probate can take up to 16 weeks if you use a professional and even longer if you make a personal application without a professional.

No – as long as you haven’t started performing any duties relating to the estate. Once you start acting, it is deemed that you have accepted the role of an acting Executor.

Options available to you include:

  • Renunciation: You can choose to renounce your responsibility as an Executor, meaning you can no longer act.
  • Power-reserved: If there are other named Executors, you can step to one side and let them act without you, but you can choose to join in at a later date.
  • Instruct a professional to act on your behalf.

If you are a named Executor in a Will, you can be held legally and financially responsible if you fail to carry out your duties correctly, even if they are genuine mistakes.

Unfortunately, we do not deal directly with contentious issues. However, we work closely with the only law firm in the UK that specialises in resolving contentious Wills, Probate, and Trust disputes.

The two roles are very similar as they are both personal representatives of the deceased’s estate; they are just appointed differently. An Executor is appointed through a valid Will, and an Administrator is appointed after applying for the role.

Why choose ELM?

We are committed to protecting your loved ones and hard-earned assets by offering straightforward and cost-effective solutions to your needs.

With our legal team's experience in the Wills, Estate Planning, and Probate sectors, we have established ourselves as a trusted and leading provider of Will Writing and Probate services in the UK.

We are specialists

We are a specialist Will Writing, Probate & Trusts company. This is all that we do. As a result, we're able to provide the highest quality service possible - something that is reflected in our fantastic customer reviews.

Over 20+ years experience

ELM was established in 2000 and has been providing a professional and reliable service ever since. We are members of the Institute of Professional Will Writers and our in-house training development plan means all our employees achieve industry-recognised qualifications.

We have helped over 30,000 people

We have helped over 30,000 people to complete their Wills, leaving them safe in the knowledge that their family’s interests have been properly protected.

Free no-obligation enquiries

Because everyone's circumstances are different, we offer free no-obligation enquiries, ensuring you get a personalised service that meets your specific needs.

Need help? Let's chat

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