Wills and Probate Solicitors

Are wills and probate the same thing?

Wills and probate are very similar and both come into play after someone passes away. The difference is that the will writer is able to list what they wish to happen after death, and probate allows the deceased representatives to act on the will writer’s wishes.

When someone dies, the assets they leave behind need to be divided as per the wishes of the deceased. This is where wills and probate come into the picture. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about wills, probate and the difference between wills and probate.

What is a will?

In simple terms, a will may be defined as a legal document which outlines how the assets of the deceased are to be divided. These typically include property, money as well as any other assets. The people to whom these assets are left are known as beneficiaries.

If a person dies without a valid will, the state decides who is going to receive their assets and in what proportion.

A will is an important legal document as it ensures that your assets are divided as per your wishes and nobody else benefits from the assets you have left behind. A will may also be used for recording other important wishes of the deceased.

An individual may outline who is going to be the legal guardian of their children, who is going to take responsibility for a child’s upbringing and other such things. The will is also used for declaring the executive who is going to carry out the wishes of the deceased. Many people also use the will to declare their funeral arrangements such as cremation or burial.

Experts recommend individuals keep their will updated throughout their life to make sure their wishes are accurately reflected in the legal document. It is always possible to revoke a previous will and write a new one. It is also possible to make small amendments to a will.

What is probate?

Probate may be defined as the process of carrying out the wishes of the deceased as per the terms outlined in the will. This is the process where a particular will is legally recognised as the last wish of the deceased.

It is important for you to understand that probate isn’t always necessary. Some people may find the process a bit frustrating but its ultimate goal is to protect the beneficiaries and make sure everyone gets the assets as per the wishes of the deceased.

If the will outlines who is going to be the executor, they will be the administrator but if it is not specifically mentioned, the next of kin is usually the administrator or executor. This process involves collecting all the assets, paying off debts and distributing the remaining assets to the right beneficiaries.

The ultimate goal of the probate process is to make sure that the deceased person’s affairs are winded up correctly. It also gives confidence to financial institutions and other asset holders that the assets are being released to the right person.

Difference between Wills and Probate

The major difference between wills and probate is that a will is a legal document whereas the probate process is a legal mechanism that takes place after the death.

Another important thing you need to understand is that even though probate isn’t always necessary, probate may be needed even if there is no will.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it is important to make a will to make sure that your assets are divided among the right beneficiaries as per your wishes. If someone dies without a will, their assets may be distributed as per the law and not as per their intentions. It is also important to continue to update the will as per your needs. When it comes to choosing the executor, you should carefully mention them in your will to make sure your affairs are winded up correctly and your assets are divided in the right manner.

You should get in touch with experienced solicitors that offer estate planning and are able to understand more about drafting a will and the technicalities of the probate process to make sure your beneficiaries don’t have to experience hardships after you are gone.

For any information relating to our services please give us a call and we will be very happy to help.

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0118 914 5622

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    We can be contacted 24 hours a day.
    Our Reading Head Office address is:

    Davidson House
    Forbury Square
    RG1 3EU
    0118 914 5622
    07850 952245