Probate describes the legal procedure to implement a person's Will or administer their estate. When a person dies, someone has to deal with the person's money, property and possessions (the estate) by identifying and collecting in assets, paying any debts and distributing what is left to those who are entitled.
Probate is the court's authority, given to a person or persons to administer a deceased person's estate and the document issued by the Probate Registry is called a Grant of Probate or Representation. This document is usually required by the asset holders as proof to prove that the correct person or persons have authority to administer the estate.
If the person who has died has left a will, then normally one or more ͚executors will be named in the will to deal with the person's affairs after their death, and these will be the persons who apply for probate.
If the person who has died didn't leave a will, a close relative of the deceased can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. This is the situation in England and Wales, however in Scotland, there is a different system in place.
We have extensive experience in all areas of probate and we advise clients on a wide range of issues including:
- Administration of estates
- Powers of attorney
- Contentious probate (disputes relating to estates of deceased persons)
- Probate litigation
Our experienced probate lawyers offer a personal, sympathetic and highly professional service to the family of the deceased, advising on all aspects of the estate's administration. We frequently advise clients on the best steps to take during their lifetime, to minimise the risk of problems or disharmony within the family after they have passed away.
Guillaume Barlet-Batada is a London-based French lawyer (Independent Juriste) who advises and assists on wills, estate planning and probates, taking into consideration both legal and tax aspects on such matters within multiple jurisdictions, including France. Peter Dempsey also has extensive experience of advising on estates in a cross-border context.