The Probate Process

What is Probate?

An estate (the name for all of a person’s assets and belongings) can consist of more than just money – there may also be property, multiple bank and savings accounts, shares, bonds and personal possessions. So ensuring that the beneficiaries (the people named in the Will) receive what they are entitled to is a complex task. This process is called ‘Probate’, and a lengthy or protracted Probate can mean higher expenses – which means less money for your beneficiaries.

Who can apply for Probate?

Normally, the Testator (the deceased person) will name a trusted person to whom they want to distribute their estate in their Will. This person is called the executor and may be a relative or a solicitor. They must be prepared to do a fair amount of practical and somewhat complex work when administering the estate.

A person who has been named as an executor could also choose to employ a solicitor to deal with all or most of the Probate process on their behalf.

If you need to speak to someone about getting help with Probate, call us today on 0191 567 7244. A consultation is free and there is no obligation to instruct any of our services.

What happens during Probate?

  1. Locating the Will (if the deceased has made one).
  2. Applying for a Grant of Probate – this gives the executor the right to access things like the person’s bank account or savings.
  3. Collecting the assets (e.g. money, bonds, savings accounts, or the proceeds of the sale of a property).
  4. Ensuring that all relevant parties are aware of the Testator’s death. They will typically need to see the death certificate.
  5. Paying off any outstanding debts (for instance, unpaid gas or electricity bills).
  6. Distribution of the estate – this means giving any money, possessions or property (or the proceeds of the sale) to the beneficiaries.

How can I ensure Probate happens as quickly and as smoothly as possible?

The more complex the Probate the higher the risk of making a mistake when administering the estate. If the beneficiaries believe that a Will has been poorly executed or that they need to be appropriately considered when the Will is administered, they are entitled to dispute this.

If you are named executor and feel you can carry out the workload required, you can choose to apply for Probate yourself. Many people opt to use a solicitor who specialises in probate services to do much of the work for them, as this can save time and money and lessens the risk of making mistakes.

We can offer fixed fees for dealings with the Probate of an estate. These will vary depending on the complexity of the estate and its make up. For example, an estate involving several properties and/or numerous investments in shareholdings is likely to cost more to deal with than a straightforward estate.

Alternatively, you can read more about pricing here.

Contact us today

If you like to discuss getting help with Probate, then please call us on 0191 567 7244 and we’ll be happy to help you. A consultation is always completely free and there’s no obligation to use any of our servicesjust honest advice. We’ll even be able to give you a transparent fixed-fee quote about our costs.

If you would rather contact us online, you could email us on or complete our free online enquiry form and we will be in touch with you shortly.

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