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WILLs & Powers of Attorney
0800 0352 781
PROBATE AND TRUST
020 7046 6078
Apr. 28, 2015

What to do when applying for probate

When a loved one dies it is a very emotionally distressing and difficult time for those that were close to them. If you are also named as the executor of the person’s will then you will have even more on your plate with the legal matter of filing for probate and carrying out the deceased person’s final wishes. It can be difficult to know where to start so we’ve come up with some practical advice for important things that you will need to do when arranging probate.

Registration of Death

You will usually be issued with a medical certificate of death by a doctor which can then be used to register the person’s death at the Register for Births, Deaths and Marriages, this is unless a coroner’s report is required. In order to get a death certificate you will need to arrange an appointment with your local registrar and take cash along to pay for the death certificates, you will usually need at least three.

Find the Will

The first thing that needs to be done in order to get the wheels in motion is to find the will. If you cannot easily find it in the person’s home then you will need to make enquiries to find out the law firm or the financial advisor that holds the will.

Pass the Will on to the Courts

Once the will has been located it must be passed to the courts so that it can go through probate. The courts will validate the will and then inform the person named in the will as executor; this person will then be issued with a grant of probate. The grant of probate allows the person named to legally deal with the affairs of the deceased person and administer their estate as stated in their will.

Secure the property

If the deceased person’s property is now empty then it is very important to make sure that it is secure. None of their belongings should be removed from their home until it comes to executing their will. Burglars are familiar with the signs of an empty home so ensure that the house is properly secured to protect it from intruders.

Collate estate information

It’s a good idea to collate as much information as you can about the person’s estate, this could include details of their bank accounts, building societies, savings accounts, pensions, life insurance, subscriptions etc as all these organisations will need to be contacted and informed of the person’s death.