In order to commence probate, the executor must obtain a Grant of Probate from a court to the effect the Will is recognised as legally valid. Once granted, the executor can begin the process of distribution.
Probate will always be required where:
- real property, such as a house, is concerned (however, if there is no real property and the entire estate passes to a surviving spouse, no Grant of Probate is required); and
- cash value of less than £5,000 is concerned.
The effect of granting probate is to provide legal authority to access the deceased’s bank accounts. This is important where the costs of a funeral need to be met.
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