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Probate and Executorship - What are they?

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An executor is a person or persons appointed by you in your Will to deal with your affairs after your death. He/she will be authorised by the Courts to do this. Your executor will inform the next of kin, heirs and possible beneficiaries of your Will that he/she has been appointed. Wills & Tax Associate Heather Varley says “It is really useful to obtain the deceased’s address book so that distant friends and relatives can be informed.”  If not already done the executor will register the death and make funeral arrangements and assemble all the papers, files and accounts of the deceased. There are many organisations that need to be informed of a death, such as:

  • Financial organisations – insurance companies, banks, building society, credit card provider etc.
  • Government departments – TV licensing, council tax, passport service, DVLA to cancel car tax and return driving licence etc.

The executor/s will obtain the Grant of Probate and make an Inheritance Tax return if necessary and pay all of the deceased’s liabilities and testamentary expenses before the estate can be distributed.

Probate is the legal process whereby the Executor/s of a Will receives legal recognition of their appointment. There is further recognition that the Will that has been submitted to the Probate Registry is the Last Will and Testament of the deceased. The Grant of Probate is issued by the Probate Registry and is the document confirming the acceptance of the Will and the appointment of the Executor.

We have offices in the Christchurch, New Milton and the New Forest. Our Wills & Tax team also cover Bournemouth and Poole. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Heather or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.