What is Probate?

After someone’s passing the process of Probate is usually needed in order to wind up the estate. To put it simply, it is the whole process of drawing up and dividing an Estate and Assets to the Beneficiaries after death.

There are a few things you need in order to apply for Probate at the Probate Registry. It can be very time-consuming but you will need to gather all information regarding a deceased persons Estate including:

  • bank accounts
  • investments
  • debts
  • pensions
  • property and any other valuable items.

You also have to consider any outstanding debts or taxes owed by the deceased and then administer the Will in accordance with their wishes, ensuring all debts and taxes are paid.

Sometimes, Probate isn't required; for example, when an individual had minimal savings or where they own property held jointly with someone else, in which case this property will automatically pass to the surviving joint owner.

What is a Will?

A Will is a must have document, dividing your assets in the way you would like, to the people you wish to benefit.

There are almost limitless reasons why someone should make a Will. Some draw up a Will to make provisions for partners (if not married/ civil partners) and some like to make provisions for former spouses/ partners. Other reasons for making a Will are that it allows you to choose the guardian for any children who may still be under 18 rather than allowing children to go through government systems before being reunited with family. Another reason why people choose to make a Will is the simple reason that it can be entirely more tax efficient.

Also, many families have extended family trees in respect of step-parents and children. Individuals making a Will sometimes feel that they do not want step-children to benefit from the estate and choose to exclude them. This must be concluded in writing before it can become legally binding.

Another crucial reason for a Will is that many older people wish to prepare for their financial legacy by creating Trusts, which enable their funds to be handled and dispersed in a tax efficient manner. In your Will you may appoint Trustees who will manage these trusts upon your passing to ensure they are not mishandled or destroyed.

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