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Probate Registry and Executors


Probate Registry


The Probate Registry deals with applications for Grants of Probate after someone passes away. A Grant of Probate may be required in order to sell or transfer assets, so the estate of the deceased person can be collected in and distributed in accordance with their wishes, if they left a Will. If they didn’t leave a Will, their estate will be distributed in line with the intestacy rules.


Applying for a Grant of Probate involves submitting the Will to the Probate Registry, and providing information about the assets and family circumstances of the deceased. The Probate Registry will check if the Will is valid and, if there are no issues meaning they require further information, they will issue the Grant of Probate. This is the official legal document that means the executors are entitled to receive the assets. The executors use the Grant of Probate to transfer assets to the beneficiaries, or to sell or cash in assets. The proceeds of these assets are used to settle any liabilities of the estate, and any remaining funds can then be distributed to the beneficiaries.


Appointment of Executors


Executors are the people with legal responsibility for the administration of an estate. They handle all of the legal and administrative work that is required after someone passes away. When you make your Will, you need to state who you would like to entrust with this role. You should choose people who will be able to handle the responsibility, and who you trust to be fair and thorough. Where you are appointing more than one person, you should try to ensure the people you choose can work well together. If your chosen executors don’t get on, this may cause difficulties and delay during the administration.


If your affairs are complex or if arguments or conflicts are likely to arise after you die, then you may want to consider appointing an independent professional who can help the administration of an estate run more smoothly.


No Executors / Executor has died


If no executors are named in a Will, or if all the named executors have died, there are rules in place to determine who is entitled to apply for the Grant of Probate. The people entitled may not be who you would choose to act in your affairs, and should this circumstance arise, it can cause uncertainty and delay. You should keep your Will under review and update it if your chosen executors have died or can no longer act.


You can name reserve executors in your Will, people who can take on the role if the first-named executors have died or can’t act for any reason, or don’t want to take it on.


Find out more about Probate here.

Find out more about Wills, Trusts and Probate here.

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