When a loved one dies, what should you do if there is no will?

Dying without a Will

The legal and financial procedure of examining the assets of a person who has died is known as probate. It usually takes around two months to straighten out probate, which involves identifying the deceased’s possessions.

All relevant taxes are calculated and paid, all debts owed are investigated, and the overall estate is distributed according to the will. All you’ll want during this trying period is something to make things easier so you can mourn. Here’s a step-by-step list of everything you need to do throughout this difficult time.

Finding the Will

After you’ve completed recording the death of a loved one and made funeral arrangements, you’ll need to find out if they had a will or not almost immediately. If your relative cannot find the will, find out whether any of their other family members, lawyers, accountants, or banks have a copy in their files.

Contacting the Relevant Parties

The next step is to put the financial information together, which may be left to the executor(s) named in the will or those who would inherit if there is no will. You may use the Death Notification Service to notify several financial institutions at once, saving time on the phone. You will also need to notify mortgage lenders, credit card providers, insurance companies, and any other financial providers.

Estimating the Value of an Estate

The executor will be required to generate an estimated value of the estate by checking for pay-outs from life insurance policies, as well as assessing the amount of cash in savings, pensions, shares, and ISAs. While applying for probate, you will be required to pay any debts that remain, such as credit cards, mortgages, and other obligations. The value of the estate may be used to reimburse these debts once probate has been granted.

Applying for Probate After the Death of a Loved One

You’ll need to apply for a grant of probate before going through the months-long process of probate, either by yourself or by a probate professional. This is a legal document that allows you access to the money, organise finances, and distribute assets accumulated over time is known as a grant of probate.

If you’re not sure whether you need to file for probate, the government website offers further clarification on the procedure and whether or not you are required to go through it based on a variety of criteria. If the deceased’s assets amount to less than £5,000 in England and Wales, there is no requirement to apply.

Using a Probate Expert or Do it Yourself?

Although you are not required to hire probate professionals like solicitors and probate accountants it can relieve the added stress and emotion during this difficult and emotional time, allowing you to grieve while they deal with all of the complicated aspects of the probate process.