FAQs about Wills & Probate


Is it necessary to write a will ?

It is an uncomfortable thought knowing that you will die someday. But it is also an upsetting thought to think those you want to leave all your estate to after death may not get what you wanted to leave them because you did not write a will.

If you do not write a will it also increases the chances of disputes arising between your family as to what will happen with your assets. If you do not write a Will you assets will be divided in accordance with the Legal Rules of Intestacy. The rules will differ depending on whether you are married, or entered into a civil-partnership and have children or dependants.  These rules are intended to be fair but are unlikely to reflect your own personal wishes.

Making a Will gives you the freedom to decide how your assets should be divided after death.

Do I need a solicitor to prepare my Will ?

It is possible to write your own Will but wills are complex and need to comply with legal rules. If these rules are not followed it is possible that the courts will not uphold the Will because it is ambiguous or not drafted in a way which is legally correct. Legal advice will ensure you Will complies with legal requirements and that your instructions are clear. Any problems with the will may result in it being declared invalid or may lead to unintended distribution of assets. Irregularities can lead to substantial financial costs.

What does probate mean ?

Probate is the consent granted by a court for an appointed person to deal with a deceased person’s estate after they die. This consent enables the appointed person to deal with the deceased person’s estate by grouping together all their money and documents relating to assets, paying their debts and distributing what is left.

The appointed person would have been specified in the deceased person’s Will.

The consent is provided by the Probate Service in the form of a document called a Grant of Probate.

How long does the Grant of Probate process take ?

The process can be quite long-winded if there are large assets to deal with but normally you will be granted the Grant of Probate within three months of applying. The Probate Registry normally issue the Grant within two to four weeks after the Grant of Probate is dispatched.

What is the cost of getting probate ?

The price varies depending on the content of the will and types of assets involved. The amount of time taken to complete and any time taken over correspondence will be taken into consideration. You will be provided with an initial estimate and will be notified if the process becomes more complicated than anticipated. We charge on average 1.5% of the value of the state before tax.