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What is Probate? When is Probate Required?

For free initial advice and guidance on any Probate matter, call our Award Winning Probate Specialists on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will help you.

What is Probate?

Probate Explained by Probate Solicitors

Probate Definition: In England and Wales Probate is the word normally used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions (called the assets) of a person who has died.

Before the next of kin or Executor named in the Will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased's assets they may have to apply for Probate.

When Probate has been granted through a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration the next of kin or Executor can start to deal with the deceased person’s assets in accordance with their Will. If the deceased died without a Will the law will determine who should receive everything, see Probate without a Will for complete details.

We can pay all the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral when you use our Probate Complete Service, and the Estate has sufficient financial assets which can be sold in due course.

Co-op Legal Services is the largest provider of Probate and Estate administration services in England and Wales, and is trusted to deal with over £1.3 billion in Estates annually.

Co-op Named Probate Provider & National Will Writing Firm of the Year at The British Wills and Probate Awards 2018

The Probate Process Explained

The Probate process often involves a lot of complicated legal, tax and financial work which can be broken down into five different phases.

Probate Phase 1. Identifying all of the deceased’s assets (property, investments and possessions) and all of their liabilities (debts ranging from loans to utility bills), in order to determine the value of their Estate.

At the same time, verifying entitlement to the Estate under the terms of the deceased’s Will, or in accordance with Intestacy laws if they died without a Will, and obtaining the necessary identification documents for those beneficiaries.

Probate Phase 2. Paying Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) where applicable, and submitting the correct Inheritance Tax return (required whether or not there is tax due), and applying to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Representation, being a document confirming the legal authority to administer the Estate.

Probate Phase 3. After the Grant of Representation has been issued by the Probate Registry, liquidating (selling) the deceased’s assets, settling their liabilities, paying the final Estate administration expenses and accounting to HMRC for any further Inheritance Tax, any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax due to or from the Estate.

Probate Phase 4. Preparing Estate accounts documenting all payments into and out of the Estate, and showing the balance left for distribution to the beneficiaries. Sending the Estate accounts to the Personal Representatives (such as the Executor in the Will) for approval.

Probate Phase 5. Providing there are no challenges to the Estate or other complicating factors preventing distribution at this stage, the final phase will involve transferring any assets that the beneficiaries wish to retain, and distributing the balance of the Estate funds.

For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate team on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will call you.

When is Probate Required?

Probate is Required in England or Wales when:

  • Property (houses, buildings or land) is owned by the deceased.
  • A Grant of Representation is required by a bank or other financial institution with which the deceased held assets. This is normally if the amount in the account is over the specific threshold set by that institution*.

*Banks and other financial institutions set their own limit above which Probate will be required, so it's worth checking with the individual organisation as to whether or not they require a Grant of Representation.

How We Can Help You

With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting the Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excluding VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs.

We can pay all the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral and reimburse any deposit paid, as soon as you have instructed us to represent you; providing that the Estate owns sufficient assets that can be sold in due course.

Co-op Legal Services has been named as Probate Provider of the Year in the British Wills and Probate Awards 2018.

Co-op Members save £200 or get 5% off Probate and Estate Administration whichever is higher, terms & conditions apply.

We can deal with HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf.

We can explain the Probate and Estate Administration processes to you and provide free initial advice and guidance, and we provide you with a written fixed fee quote for dealing with Probate on your behalf.

If you find the same quality service at a lower price, we promise to beat it – that’s our Best Price Guarantee, T&Cs apply.

For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate team on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will help you.

As part of the Co-op Group our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.

Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Probate Estate Administration in England and Wales is not a reserved legal activity which means that unregulated providers can offer Probate Estate Administration services regardless of whether they are insured, experienced or qualified to provide a full Probate service.

Co-op Legal Services is the largest provider of Probate and Estate Administration services in England and Wales, trusted to deal with over £1.3 billion in Estates annually.

Our Probate team includes over 170 staff of specialist Probate Solicitors, Lawyers, Case Handlers, Advisors and our national network of Probate Consultants; all of whom only deal with Probate.

Co-op Legal Services is a trading name for Co-operative Legal Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, giving you peace of mind knowing that your Probate affairs are being dealt with by a regulated organisation and by a brand name you know and can trust.

Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.

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Best Price Guarantee

Probate Service Best Price Guarantee

If you find the same quality service at a lower price, we promise to beat it – that’s our best price guarantee, T&Cs apply.

Probate Provider of the Year

Probate Provider of the Year 2018

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My expectations were exceeded at all stages of the process. Not only was the service a lower cost than would have been the case with the family solicitor but the efficiency and professionalism was great. P. G., Gloucestershire
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Everyone was very polite and nothing was too much trouble. I had regular updates too. Mrs G., Essex
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My case handler kept in touch, explained issues well and a direct line with her was most welcome. J.D., Devon
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When I rang the solicitor he was always at his desk, apart from a few occasions he could talk to me immediately. On occasions when he wasn't there, there were people who I could deal with for information and support in the same process. C.P., West Yorkshire
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I liked the fact I was kept up to speed with proceedings. D.B., Teeside
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