How do I know if Probate is needed?
The factors that decide whether an estate goes through Probate are usually the value of the estate and in addition, whether there are assets such as a property or land. In some circumstances though, Probate might not be required even if there are assets such as a property. Some of these circumstances are:
- If the only assets are in cash and belongings such as jewellery or a car.
- The property is owned as joint tenants. If the property is owned as joint tenants, the property automatically belongs to the surviving joint owner.
- All of the other assets were owned jointly, usually with a spouse or civil partner and/or there were joint bank accounts. The joint owner has the legal right to these funds without Probate.
- If the estate is low value. Financial institutions each set their own limits for Probate. You can ask the bank or building society where the account is held about their particular limits.
- If the estate does not have enough assets to pay off its debts – it is insolvent. Please note, there can be some legal issues when dealing with an insolvent estate that could expose you to personal liability for any mistakes made.
You can see there are quite a few situations where Probate is not required. Therefore if there is an Executor named in the Will and no Probate is required, the Executor can continue on with administering the estate, apart from if it is insolvent, where it is advisable to take advice from us.