Is Probate needed if there is a Will?
Whether probate is needed if there is a Will can depend on a number of scenarios. The most common scenario where probate is not needed is where a deceased person held assets jointly with another person at the date of their death. In this scenario, the assets pass under the rules of ‘survivorship’. This includes property held as joint tenants, which is usually the main asset of the estate.
The situation changes where the deceased person held assets in their sole name and again there are a number of scenarios that determine if probate is needed if there is a Will. If assets held in the sole name of the deceased are valued above a certain threshold then probate will be needed in order to close/sell the assets. If the sole assets include a property then this will almost certainly require a grant of probate.
Is probate needed if there is a Will for sole assets under a certain threshold?
It may be possible for sole assets to be closed/sold without probate being obtained at the discretion of any third party holding the assets. For example, banks, building societies or registrars to companies will usually have a threshold at which they will accept a form of indemnity in lieu of probate. The value of the threshold will usually be confirmed when the third party is notified of the death.
Probate is also not usually needed for legacies of specific items, such as jewellery or a car, and if the asset was a pension nominated to a specific person or a life policy that was written in trust, this should also not require probate.
There are some circumstances where you may need a grant of probate even if the assets of the estate fall under the relevant threshold. For example, where an Executor has passed away and there is no provision for a replacement, someone will need authority to deal with the estate. This will be determined by the chain of representation and that person’s authority in these circumstances will be given under a grant of letters of administration with Will annexed.
Understanding more about Probate
Probate refers to the grant of probate, being the legal document granting personal representatives the legal authority to administer a deceased person’s estate. Read more about the key stages of probate
Rix & Kay has a dedicated team of specialist probate solicitors and paralegals that provide the full range of probate and estate administration services to bereaved families, executors and trustees. Read more about our probate team and how we can help or email Hannah Tolley directly e. firstname.lastname@example.org