What does Probate mean?

Probate is the term used to describe the legal process of proving and registering the last will of someone who has died. This is often done by a family member, friend or partner. A “Grant of Probate” must be obtained before any assets, including property, can be distributed in accordance with the will. It is usually the executor of the estate who will administer the estate and handle the disposal of their assets and debts.

Where do I start and who is the executor of the estate?

Before the process can begin and a grant of probate obtained, the executor of the estate will need to be determined and lodged with the Probate Office. An executor of the estate is traditionally named in a Will and is often a family member; on occasions, a solicitor may be named as co-executor. In instances where there is no Will, an administrator will need to be established.

How long does it take?

Typically, it takes between 4 - 12 weeks to receive a grant of probate. Only when the grant of probate is received can a property be sold or transferred to a beneficiary. However, property can be marketed for sale during this time but cannot be sold until probate is granted.

What happens if not all beneficiaries agree on what to do with the property?

When there is more than one beneficiary involved, conflicting views can sometimes arise when handling or selling a probate property. While the views of all beneficiaries may be considered, it is the responsibility of the executor to administer the estate.

The Hollis Morgan Service

We will arrange an immediate valuation of the deceased’s property and provide a written report with our professional estimate of the value of the property at the time of death.

We will also provide our recommendations as to the best method of disposal i.e. A private treaty sale, where a price is quoted and we seek offers or an Auction where purchasers compete against one another. Whichever process is appropriate we are able to guide our clients through the legal process and handle all matters from valuation to completion of a sale.

In many cases of deceased estates, an auction is very often the best way to proceed. The reasons are obvious :- Immediacy, transparency, being seen to achieve the best price in public (ensuring statutory bodies and executors have fulfilled their obligations and alleviating any disputes between beneficiaries) and finally, speed of conclusion of a sale and distribution of funds.

How to Proceed

Contact Andrew Morgan MBE or Oliver Hollis who will discuss the process with you, arrange to visit the property, provide a written valuation and recommendations. This service will be free of charge. Fees will be discussed with you in the event of a planned sale.