What on earth is probate?

It is a common saying that there is nothing in the world more certain than death and taxes. Perhaps there is a third heading to add to that list – and that is probate. Speaking to people, there is a belief that if you don’t make a Will, then you don’t need probate or that somehow it’s not needed.

That belief is almost always mistaken. There are some banks who will dispense with probate and pay out the account without asking for the Grant BUT the scheme is voluntary and nearly always applies to small amounts – not normally more than £15,000. If you have property or shares, then Probate is required.

If your estate is complex and there is tax owing, then you may need the help of a lawyer. However it is a straighforward process and often you can go it yourself. You do need to keep careful records and be methodical but provided you are, you can save time and money.

I am preparing a series of talks on the subject but if you have any questions why not contact me through my website – www.willsadvice.wales.

Ruth Lilly, a pharmaceutical heiress and aspiring poet, spent much of her life trying to convince editors to publish her verses. Although she didn’t get any bylines, the editor of Poetry magazine once sent Lilly a handwritten rejection note, and that was enough for her. In 2002, Lilly pledged $100 million worth of stock to the foundation that publishes the journal. She sounds like she was a genuinely decent person and writing poetry wasn’t the only thing she did!

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