Applying for Probate | What Happens if an Application is Not Made?
  • Helen Claydon

Applying for Probate | What Happens if an Application is Not Made?

If an individual has left a Will, and an executor has been named, it means that the executor is legally responsible for managing and distributing the estate.

Most people are aware of the term ‘probate’. Although it is generally used to describe the entire administration of the estate it actually refers to the process of obtaining authority from the Court to deal with the estate. There are those instances where this authority is required and those instances when it is not. The executor will need to establish if it is necessary to make the application in order to carry out the administration.

If probate is required but not applied for it means that the executor would not be able to collect or access all of the deceased’s assets. As a result, it will mean that family or friends will not receive their inheritance.

Probate will always be required where the deceased held property in their own name. The executor will not be able to sell or transfer the property without probate. Some investments will require probate and often banks will require probate for the executor to access accounts containing large amounts of cash. It is crucial that the executor makes an application for probate as soon as possible where it is required to ensure there are no delays in dealing with the assets.

Not every estate is going to need an application for probate to be submitted. If an estate is worth less than a certain amount then probate is not always needed. The amount can differ depending on the bank or the financial institution and what their own internal policies are. Therefore, it is important that the executor checks this before applying for probate as it might not be required.

If the property or bank is held in a joint name, then it will mean that the surviving owner will become the sole owner unless there is any evidence that this was not the deceased’s intention.

In conclusion, applying for probate is a vital part of the legal process of dealing with the estate of a deceased individual. To ensure that the process is smooth and efficient the executor should gain an understanding of what is required and whether probate is needed.


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