Probate: an overview [by Miss Carli Evans, Partner]

Dealing with a person’s Estate following their passing can be a daunting and stressful experience. There is generally a great deal of paperwork to deal with which can seem even more burdensome mixed with feelings of grief and distress.

This article aims to give you a basic understanding of the Probate process to assist in alleviating the fears of administering an Estate.

The first task is to establish whether the person whom has died has left a valid Will, and secondly, what assets the person held and whether a Grant of Probate would need to be obtained in order to deal with those assets. As well as knowing the extent and the value of the Estate, the liabilities would also need to be established and later discharged from the Estate.

A Will may be held with the Solicitor that drew it up or in a safe custody box with a Bank. A Personal Representative is usually appointed in the Will to deal with the deceased person’s Estate, also known as an Executor. If no Will was held, the position is slightly more complicated. We at Passmores are able to act on behalf of an Executor to carry out this role and responsibility, whether there is a Will or not, and to take steps to protect you against any future liability.

If needed, a Grant of Probate is issued by the Probate Registry which gives the Personal Representative authority to deal with the deceased person’s Estate and allows them to access money held in Banks, Building Society’s or other investments. It also authorises the Personal Representative to sell the deceased person’s home. In respect of small estates of nominal value, sometimes a Grant of Probate is not needed.

Once all funds have been collected in and all commitments have been paid, the Personal Representative may distribute the Estate to the beneficiaries as set out in the Will, or if no Will, then in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, which we are able to help you with.

The Personal Representative may also have to deal with the payment of Inheritance Tax if the Estate exceeds the current threshold. Recent changes in the law may mean that an Estate can take the benefit of an additional allowance which increases the threshold further, meaning that no or little tax will have to be paid.

Other responsibilities may include defending a claim against the Estate. Our team of experts can assist with this complex process, whether proceedings have been issued at Court or if the dispute is still in its early stages.

If you are an Executor and require advice on administering an Estate, or indeed any of the above issues, then our qualified solicitors with a wealth of experience in this area will be able to properly and comprehensively advise you in a face to face meeting; whether that is at our Barry or Cardiff offices or at another convenient location of your choice.

We at Passmores are also very competitive and unlike others, do not charge a percentage of the estate. We can provide you with a quotation upfront which reflects the work which you would like us to carry out on your behalf.

Passmores offers a sympathetic and efficient service when dealing with Probate and Estate Administration. If you live or work in Barry, Cardiff or the Vale of Glamorgan and would like further information then please call 01446 721 000 and ask to speak to Miss Carli Evans, Head of Private Client, or email direct to