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The Difference Between Probate and Estate Administration

Despite both Probate and Estate Administration being associated with handling an individual’s estate after they’ve died, both are defined differently and often misunderstood.

What is probate?

Probate refers to obtaining the ‘Grant of Probate’ or ‘Letters of Administration’ if there is no will. This is required by law in England & Wales when the deceased owns a property or if a financial institution requires a ‘Grant of Probate’ to release funds.

In Scotland the Executor applies to the court for Confirmation rather than a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. Whilst the procedure is different in Scotland the purpose is similar – to give the executor legal authority to deal with the deceased’s estate.

Probate is not required if the estate is less than £5,000 in value, or if the assets were held jointly as it will pass automatically to a surviving joint owner. It should be noted, however, that there may still be inheritance tax implications in some circumstances.

If probate/confirmation is required, the ’Grant’ must be obtained before an Executor can start to gather in the assets associated with an estate.

To understand the probate process in more detail, you can read our Executry (Probate) FAQs here.

What is estate administration?

Estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal and tax affairs following their death. This can include the deceased’s financial assets, personal belongings and property, in addition to their debts, pensions and inheritance tax.

Depending on the size of the estate, type of assets and the wishes left in the Will, this process can be extremely complex.

If there is no Will, the assets will be distributed according to the ‘Rules of Intestacy’ rather than the family wishes, which is likely to make the estate administration process even more complicated. It is, therefore, crucial that - should you wish to ensure that your intentions are carried out in the event of your death - you have a clearly written and legally valid Will. Here at Wilson & Fish, our qualified Wills lawyers can help you plan for your future.

Contact Our Expert Executry (Probate) Solicitors Glasgow, Scotland

Our executry solicitors in Glasgow, Scotland, can help you to wind up the estate of a loved one in Scotland quickly and effectively. Based in Glasgow, we help clients throughout Scotland including Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, East Kilbride and Stirling. Contact us today on 0141 222 7951 or fill out our online form for advice on any of the above information and on all aspects of executries.

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