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Probate - What does the Solicitor do?

View profile for Joel Evans
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This short animated video explains how a solicitor can assist with the process of dealing with someone's estate.

Meet Jim – he’s retired now. Throughout his life Jim has acquired a number of assets. He owns a house and holiday chalet. He’s invested in the stock market and he owns several classic cars. He also has some debts too. He owes money to the utility companies, he’s repaying a small loan he took out for an extension and he has a credit card.

Jim has made a Will appointing his son and daughter to deal with his affairs when he passes away. They are known as his Executors. When Jim dies they’ll appoint a Solicitor who will act on their behalf. The Solicitor will have to establish Jim’s assets, establish his debts, then work out the value of his estate. An Estate Agent may be needed to help value the property and a professional Valuer to put a price on any expensive items such as antiques and the classic cars.

The Solicitor will then make a decision as to whether a Grant of Probate is needed, which it often is except on very small estates. The Grant of Probate is a document that confirms Jim’s son and daughter are authorised to deal with his estate. The Solicitor will also advise if any tax is due and may be able to save you money, if there are legal ways to reduce the tax liability. Forms are then prepared to send to the Probate Registry and a fee is payable. The Probate Registry will then issue the Grant of Probate.

The Solicitor will request the money from Jim’s investments and, unless ownership of a property is to be transferred to a beneficiary, instruct an Agent to sell the properties. This will be used to pay off the debts, pay the legal fees and pay any tax bill. The money left over is then distributed in accordance with Jim’s Will.

If you have any questions about the probate process, or want to instruct us to help with anything along the way, then contact our expert team today. Call 01443 779050 or email