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Definition of probate court
Examples of probate court in a Sentence
English Language Learners Definition of probate court
See the full definition for probate court in the English Language Learners Dictionary
Probate sentence example
The other officials are the sheriff, treasurer and coroner, elected for two years; the auditor, recorder, clerk of courts, prosecuting attorney, surveyor and infirmary directors, elected for two years; and the board of school examiners (three) and the board of county visitors (six, of whom three are women), appointed usually by the probate judge for three years.
What is Probate?
Probate is the formal legal process that gives recognition to a will and appoints the executor or personal representative who will administer the estate and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries.
- Many states have simplified or streamlined their probate processes over the years.
Do you always need a grant of probate if someone dies?
It is not always necessary to obtain a grant of probate. It depends on whether the person who died owned assets in their sole name that require a grant of probate. We will list below the assets that you will probably need a grant of probate to deal with:
- Bank accounts or savings accounts worth over £5000
- Stocks or shares worth over £5000
- Life assurance policies
- Private pensions
It is always worthwhile giving each company or institution a call to check and see whether or not they will require a grant of probate to release the assets.
is the word wil probate capitalized
What is the best way to find out if probate is required?
The first thing you should do is make a list of all the assets the deceased owned and then contact the institutions where these assets are held to establish the exact value at the date of death of the deceased and whether the institution will require probate.
In the case of a property, ask an estate agent or a surveyor to come and provide what is known as a ‘probate valuation’. You can also look on websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla to get an idea of property values in the same road or area.
Probate is always easier if you have a Will and/or Living Trust that clearly defines your wishes. These documents help most by naming your Beneficiaries and an Executor. An Executor is the person charged with overseeing your final wishes.
What is Probate & How to Avoid It
Learn what probate is, how to navigate the probate court process and even how to avoid probate in this handy guide by the experts at Trust & Will.
What Has to go Through Probate Court?
If you do not have a Will, everything you own will go through probate court. The following will always go through the process, regardless of what your Estate Planning states.
- Any inheritance where the Beneficiary predeceases the giver: If a named-beneficiary passes away before you do and you fail to update your Will, the courts will become involved in deciding how to settle this part of your estate.
- Non-titled property: Non-titled property is anything you own that doesn’t have paperwork. Household items such as appliances, clothing, furniture and other general items could fall into this category. If your Will names these items and appropriately states your wishes, you can eliminate probate.
- Partner-owned investment property: In cases where properties are titled as “tenants in common,” and where clear instructions aren’t present in a Will, a probate court will step in to help determine how your share is passed down. Keep in mind, if your Will makes your wishes clearly known, the process becomes simplified.
How Much Does Probate Cost?
We offer a highly personalised service for each of our customers. The cost will depend on the amount of work you’d like us to do.
When you speak to one of our team, we’ll:
- Judge how much work is involved based on your requirements and the size of the estate
- Give you an estimate for our fees before starting any work
- Always try and quote a fixed-fee cost, if possible, for your peace of mind.
Can You Get Probate If There Is No Will?
You can’t get a Grant of Probate if there isn’t a Will, but you can still administer the estate and distribute inheritance through a slightly different process.
The rules of intestacy set out who can apply to administer the estate with a Grant of Administration. Without a Will deciding how to pass on the assets, the administrator distributes inheritance according to the rules of intestacy. Only spouses, civil partners, children, and other close relatives can inherit under these rules.
What is a grant of probate?
A grant of probate confirms the authority of executor to administer the estate of someone who has died, which includes tidying up their affairs and distributing their assets to their heirs.
Before you’re able to deal with the deceased person’s assets – such as their bank accounts – you’ll need to obtain legal authority to act. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland this is called a grant of probate; in Scotland it’s a grant of confirmation.
- Need help with probate? Download our free checklist from Which? Legal to help you through the process.
Many estates include a property, which also needs to be valued.
You can value the property yourself by looking at similar comparable home sales.
But if inheritance tax (IHT) is likely to be an issue (the current threshold, or ‘nil-rate band’, is £325,000) a written valuation by an estate agent or surveyor will make dealing with HMRC far more straightforward if it challenges your figure as being too low.
The same applies for any other particularly valuable assets – for example, a wine collection or artworks.
Find out more: valuing a property – read our step-by-step guide to working out how much a property is worth
How to apply for probate
Some applications can be made online, others must be made by filling in an application form.
You can check if you can apply online, or alternatively which paper form is the right one for your particular application, at this link:
- Apply for probate
All executors named in the Will may apply and a maximum of four administrators can apply – both online or using the paper forms.
If applying online, all executors/ administrators who wish to apply must each have separate email addresses and mobile phone numbers. These are required to contact each executor/ administrator to invite them to sign the statement of truth.
There is a fee payable to the court for any probate application where the assets are valued at more than £10,000.
There is also a fee to enter a caveat.
If applying online you can use a debit/ credit card to make your payment.
If using the paper forms, you can pay using cheque for the full amount, made payable to the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunal Service (NICTS). Or you can provide the Probate Office with your phone number to allow them to contact you to take a card payment over the phone.
Application for grant of probate
Probate is required if the deceased person owned real property or if his or her other assets are above the threshold amount, which is usually $50,000 for major banks and lower thresholds for other financial institutions. Assets that had been “owned jointly” (but not assets held “in common”) pass automatically to the other joint owner and do not form part of the deceased estate. Also, benefits from life insurance on the deceased paid directly to a nominee is not part of the estate, nor are trust assets held by the deceased as trustee.
Applications for probate are made to the probate office in the jurisdiction with which the deceased has a close connection, not necessarily where the person died. Normally, only the executor of a will can apply for a grant of probate, and it is their duty to obtain probate in a timely manner. Executors can apply for probate themselves (which is often done to reduce legal fees) or be represented by a lawyer. With the application for probate, the applicant must also provide the original of the will, an official death certificate (not the one issued by a medical professional), a copy of the death notice and a statement of the known assets and liabilities of the deceased estate. The applicant may also be required to have published a notice in a major newspaper of an intention to make the application for probate.
How Do You File an Objection in Probate Court?
The probate court website usually has forms to fill out in order to file an objection, whether an objection to tampering of the will, forgery, or something else. These forms must be submitted at the beginning of the process.