What makes your Will valid? A Grant of probate is a legal document confirming the executor/s listed in your Will are legally appointed to deal with your Will.
The probate of a Will is essential for the Executor, or your legal representative after you’re gone, to begin to carry out the wishes of your Will. Learn more about what a Grant of probate is, its implications for your Will, and the steps you can take today to secure your future.
What Is a Probate of a Will?
The probate of a Will is the final legal step for the Will to be enforced.
Probate is a form of Grant of Representation, which is only applicable where the deceased had a valid Will at the date of their death. It confirms the appointment of your Executor and gives them the legal right to act on your behalf in managing your Estate.
For your Executor to manage your Estate and distribute it to your beneficiaries, probate needs to be granted by the Court first.
The probate process allows the assets of the Will to be transferred to the Executor. The assets can then be transferred or sold according to any instructions in the Will on how they should be dealt with. Without a Grant of probate of a Will, an Executor can’t deal with any of the assets of the Estate and can’t distribute the assets of an Estate among the beneficiaries as outlined in the Will.
For example, bank accounts will largely be frozen until an Executor has been given the grant of representation.
When Do You Need a Grant of Probate?
Many people believe that a Will is enough. However, the probate process is necessary as well. Just because you have nominated an Executor in your Will doesn’t mean the legal responsibility to manage your assets passes on to them automatically.
Being an Executor of a Will is a huge responsibility. They are carrying out the last wishes of a person who’s now passed away, and managing assets such as property, shares and bank accounts.
The probate of a Will is the document to validate this responsibility, so you can be confident your Will will be carried out the way you intended it.
An application for the Grant of Probate is only needed in cases where a Will has been written. If a person has passed away without first writing a Will, a different type of Grant of Representation is used, called a Letter of Administration.
In some cases, an Estate is small enough that a Grant of Representation is not needed at all. You should seek legal advice if you are unsure which Grant of Representation is applicable.
How Is the Probate Executed?
For a bird’s eye view of the process: Your nominated Executor needs to apply for a Grant of Probate. Probate can only be granted by the court in your relevant jurisdiction.
After a person has passed away, the Executor must advertise their intention to apply for Probate or another form of Grant of Representation. This allows any person who wants to object to the validity of the Will, or the appointment of the Executor/s so raise such objection.
The next step is for the Executor/s to apply for probate . There are specific steps that need to be taken when applying for Probate, which a solicitor or trustee company may assist with or do on your behalf.
The application for Probate needs to be submitted along with the certified death certificate, the original Will, an inventory of the assets of the Estate, and an affidavit of the Executor. An affidavit is a legal document, in this instance setting out the details of the deceased and confirming to the Court that it is appropriate for Probate to be granted to the affidavit maker ie the Executor.
The entire process for seeking a Grant of Probate will take a few weeks at a minimum dependent on the complexity of the application.
Before a Probate, Write Your Will
Feeling daunted by the convoluted process of applying for Probate? The key to a simple and smooth Probate application is to have a valid Will executed before you pass.
You can simply create your Will online with Your Wills today. Fast, convenient, easy and affordable, it’s the way Wills are written in the 21st century.
To secure your future and legacy, take the first step and write your will online.
Write your will online today with Your Wills.